This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
This country house lies in the village of Lode just nine kilometres northeast of Cambridge, England. The structure is practically ancient, dating back to the 12th century. It is thought to have been a hospital originally, before eventually becoming an Augustinian monastery.
This monastery operated in the remote village of Lode for centuries alongside hundreds of other priories, nunneries, convents and friaries across England. It is estimated that approximately one in 50 Englishmen were a part of one of these religious institutions by the 16th century, at which point King Henry VIII dissolved all of them by royal decree and sold off their land so he could fund his military campaigns in France.
In 1609, the property was purchased by the Fowkes family, who converted the building into a home. Over the next three and a half centuries, the property changed hands many times, but remained well-preserved. The building still represents the original structure with just a few additions, like horse stables that eventually became garages, a spiral staircase and a porch.
The abbey was bequeathed to the National Trust by its final private owner, Lord Fairhaven, after his death in 1966. Today, the house and its grounds are open to the public, although some parts still remain the private home of the Fairhaven family.
Already have an account? Log In