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Southwest Lincolnshire Country Houses
by Michael Ford, Country House Editor
Doddington HallDay 5 - Leaving Lincoln we travelled about five miles west to Doddington Hall.
Doddington Hall is a pure Elizabethan house designed by the great architect Robert Smythson and was built between 1593 and 1600 for Thomas Tailor. It is of brick with stone quoins, stringing and window surrounds, all on a back-to-back double 'E-plan'. It has three spectacular octagonal turrets with domed copolas, one of which houses a stairway while the other two were used as summerhouses to the roof. Doddington ranks with the best Elizabethan houses in England.
The approach is through a gatehouse, which is believed to be that from an older house on the site.
Inside, the Great Hall is Georgian in style and leads to Queen Anne's Parlour, with its oak panelling and also to the Library. The staircase was installed in 1760 and is a particularly fine example. Upstairs are a series of rooms, including the Drawing Room, which are hung with fine tapestries and pictures and have interesting furnishings. There are more rooms on the second floor one of which is the Long Gallery, 96ft in length and hung with family portraits.
On the death of Thomas Tailor's son Thomas, the estate passed to his niece Elizabeth Anton and she married Edward Hussey of Honington. Although the family were staunch royalists during the Civil War, the house survived retribution. Sarah, the last of the Hussey line, married a Mr Apreece in 1749 and their daughter Rhoda married Francis Blake Deleval of Seaton Deleval in Northumberland. Doddington was inherited by their second son Sir John Deleval. He carried out major repairs to the house in 1760. When his elder brother died, Sir John inherited the Northumberland estates and became Lord Deleval, remaining at Doddington until his death in 1808. Doddington continued in the family by marriage until 1829 when it was willed to a Mr George Jarvis through a romantic attachment. Mr and Mrs Antony Jarvis are the present owners.
The formal gardens are beautiful and are enclosed by a fine wall. The church of St. Peter is near the gatehouse.
Doddington Hall was used for some of the inside sets for a BBC television production of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' (not the latest version but the one before).
Doddington is a member of the Historic Houses Association and is open from May to September, on Wednesdays and Sundays from 2pm to 6pm.
NEXT STOP: Auborn Hall