CYM – Baron Hill House

Originally the house was built in 1618 by the Bulkeley family but heavily modified in 1776 by further generations of the same family, Remodelled in Neo-Palladian style by the architect Samuel Wyatt. In 1880 it’s lands included various folly’s, a memorial even a golf course which still is in use today, Shortly before WW1 the family was said to be suffering financial difficulties and moved to a modest house locally using the big house as nothing more than storage space, at some stage during WW1 the house was used to house Royal Engineers who somehow burnt down said building and that was the end of that.

When visiting i strolled along with a friend who had been various times as always with these places there is always something you miss so it was nice to have someone familiar to show me around, upon entering the property the first thing we saw was the old stable blocks, tiled with original cast iron dividers separating the horses, beautiful painted walls certainly hint of the property’s greatness, somehow a old wood burning stove ended up outside next to a rusted out old horsebox, suddenly there it was, the place was bigger than i thought it would be, i was shown where the old cellars were and where huge amounts of wine would have sat, now occupied by a spooky masks and family’s of bats.

I start to explore the house and find lots of cast iron fireplaces scattered around, and its clear to see the difference in old and new as the buildings methods change from slate to brick, the exterior shows its columns but photos are difficult with all the trees overtaking the once gravel drive, moving around the house you notice false windows bricked and then rendered some still with blinds attached in front which says you have more windows than you really do, there is a balcony above as you move around the curved façade of the building covered with cement render which in places was broken exposing its brick structure, the interior still shows signs of its plasterwork which will not survive much longer, their is also original features of another kind including fireplaces and original doorways long forgotten but now exposed due to the buildings deterioration including a tree growing on top of what i think was the old heating system, along with wheels maybe for milling or similar.

Old trellising still hangs on the exterior but it appears the roses has long since died, moving slowly around the beautifully cut terrace staring out at its once loved gardens now nothing more than dense vegetation and trees. Moving more around the site you see brick constructed bases of many, many greenhouses afew whose ironwork still survives, i must of counted 25 or more before seeing what appeared to be a mausoleum poking through some trees but in fact was a set of stairs which lead upstairs to the original road to the property, its sides long since collapsed piercing a hole in the brick made front wall, its stairs and base appeared to be marble, many old and rare trees are noted to be here which should the site be redeveloped they would have to go, plans in 2008 were made to turn the building into luxury apartments but as of yet it would appear nothing has started. Oh and just as i was leaving hours later i found a pond..