Lynch Lodge

Alwalton, nr Peterborough

Overview

Moved from its original home in Chesterton, Lynch Lodge is a stunning porch, salvaged from a great house once loved by the poet and playwright John Dryden but now lost. Its purposes have changed over the years but the layout has reverted to its original format, warmly welcoming everyone who stays here.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • Waitrose DeliveryWaitrose Delivery

Beds 1 Double

Sleeps
2
4 nights from
£277 equivalent to £34.63 per person, per night

The gateway to a grand estate

Lynch Lodge was re-erected around 1807 as a rather grand entrance to the three mile long drive to Milton Park, which was then owned by the Fitzwilliam family. It had been moved from the Drydens' house at Chesterton when their house was demolished. So, the taller part of the Lodge predates the rest of the building by some 200 years when it stood as a Jacobean porch further away. Families who inhabited the Lodge would have done so to primarily serve the owners of the estate by opening and closing the gates. Marjorie Harris was the last person to live here, herself a descendant of former estate workers. On the suggestion of a neighbour we acquired the property in 1983 from the Fitzwilliam estate and carried out restoration and modernisation to make Lynch Lodge an enchanting Landmark. 

Restored to its original form

We have restored it to its original form, with one small room up and one more generous room down, joined by a new staircase. Sitting on the great limestone belt running from the Wash to the Cotswolds, it is built out of a stone like many of its great geographical contemporaries, such as nearby Peterborough Cathedral. Located on the edge of the charming village of Alwalton, country pubs, beautiful countryside and an area rich in historical buildings are on the doorstop for everyone who stays.

‘After having been here for a very short time its amazing how Lynch Lodge feels like home.’

‘The highlight of my week was seeing a kingfisher for the first time flying low across the river.’

From the logbook

Floor Plan

Map & local info

Lynch Lodge stands on the edge of the charming village of Alwalton complete with church and pub, with wonderful countryside and walks on the doorstep.

"The finest town in England" Stamford is under ten minutes in the car from Alwalton, where you can find a wide range of pubs, restaurants and shops, or simply enjoy a pleasant wander around the historic cobbled streets. The Tobie Norris pub, located on St Paul's Street and dating from 1280, is award winning for restoration of the building and offers a fantastic menu of locally sourced food and real ales. You can find a full list of the many pubs in Stamford here

Enjoy a trip on the Nene Valley Railway. Visitors can experience the thrill of riding a steam engine, learn about the history of the railway and enjoy the surrounding countryside.

Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre is another fantastic day out with plenty of hands-on activities and arts and crafts to enjoy. 

Peterborough Cathedral is a short drive from Lynch Lodge. Be sure not to miss the tomb of Henry VIII's first wife Katharine of Aragon and special Tudor events for all. 

Staying at Lynch Lodge is a treat for literary fans; it was the porch to the Dryden's house where the poet himself often stayed. Nearby, you can explore the home of another great English poet John Clare; his cottage in Helpston is just twenty minutes drive away. 

Close by is the Peterborough Museum (5.2 miles). You can gain free entry to it with a National Art Pass, which enables its 122,000 holders to enjoy free and discounted entry to over 225 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK. The pass is presented by one of Landmark's partners, the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, which has been supporting museums and galleries for over 110 years by helping them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy. Income raised through the National Art Pass goes straight back into their charitable programme. Find more about it on the ArtFund's website http://www.artfund.org/


 For more ideas of things to see and do during your stay at Lynch Lodge, take a look at our Pinterest Map.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Clear directions
FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    From the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Peterborough – 5 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    Yes – there is one parking space behind the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are Rointe heaters and an open fire.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is also an electric cooker.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a bath. 
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    The stairs are steep, narrow and spiral.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is a garden (not enclosed).

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • What time can I arrive and what time do I have to depart from the Landmark?

    Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).
History

At the entrance to the Lynch drive to Milton Park

Lynch Lodge was built in around 1807, to stand at the entrance to the Lynch drive to Milton Park, which belonged to the Fitzwilliam family. The family used Alwalton Hall as a dower house at that time, so it must have been convenient to be able to drive there without going round on the public roads. The drive, which takes its name from a spinney called the Lynch, is no longer passable, part of it having been flooded to make a lake.

The main, taller part of the Lodge had already been in existence for nearly two centuries before that. In its original form, it was the porch of Chesterton, a Jacobean house in the neighbouring village built (according to Pevsner) in about 1625. In the mid-17th century Chesterton was the home of the Dryden family and was visited by John Dryden the poet, cousin and namesake of the then owner. He is said to have inscribed the first line of his Aeneid on one of the window panes at Chesterton with a diamond; if so, the inscription vanished with the house when it was demolished in 1807. It then seems, in part at least, to have been in a ruinous condition but the porch was rescued and re-assembled here to form the Lodge; other bits of the house were built into the Lynch farmhouse and into other houses in the area as well. The library window in Elton Hall, for example, is one that was salvaged from Chesterton.

Lodges are rarely very large and Lynch Lodge was no exception. At first there was only one room with a loft over it, in addition to the rooms in the porch itself. In an attempt to provide more space the original two storeys of the Chesterton porch were replaced by three and a small stone lean-to containing a kitchen was added at the north end of the cottage in the 19th century. The ground floor of the porch cannot have been of much use, however, since the entrance arch was blocked with big wooden double doors, which remained in place at least until 1936. Either just before the Second World War, or soon after it, these were replaced by a window, and at about the same time a flat-roofed extension was added at the back of the building.

The families who lived in the Lodge would have had the duty of opening the gate to people coming and going from Milton Park. Often it was the wife who did this, or one of the older children, while the husband had some other job on the estate. This was apparently the case in the second half of the 19th century, when a family called Samworth lived here. Mr Samworth was employed by the Fitzwilliams and also served as the village undertaker. He had a large family, all of whom grew up in the tiny house. The youngest daughter married another estate workman, Mr Harris, who worked in the estate limekiln; he later rose to be Clerk of the Works, although by this time the family had moved to another village on the estate. One of their descendants, a Marjorie Harris, was the last person to live in the Lodge, which she did until she was well into her nineties.

After her death the Lodge, which needed further modernisation if it was to be lived in permanently, remained empty for a time. Then in 1981 a neighbour living in the early 17th-century Manor House nearby (it is now a farmhouse) suggested that the building might, as a distinguished architectural fragment, be of interest to the Landmark Trust. The Fitzwilliams were willing to sell, and the Lodge passed into the Trust’s hands in 1983.

For a short history of Lynch Lodge please click here.

To read the full history album for Lynch Lodge please click here.

Restoration

Returned to its 17th-century form

The Landmark Trust entrusted the restoration of Lynch Lodge to the architect Philip Jebb, one of Landmark’s most experienced and successful architects, together with the builders C. Bowman and Sons. The main aim of the restoration was to return the porch itself as closely as possible to its 17th-century form. The two inserted floors were therefore taken out and only one was reinstated, at what seemed to be the original height.

The arched front opening was unblocked, leaving the ground floor open to the outside, as would have been the case when it stood at Chesterton. The cottage addition of 1807 was restored externally to its original form, without the lean-to addition at the northern end. Some sort of additional space was going to be necessary, however, and since there was no 17th-century architectural detail visible at the back of the porch, that was the best place for it. The rather unsympathetic concrete extension of the 1940s was replaced with a more compact structure, containing a staircase and a bathroom. This new addition was designed both to be different from what was there already (and so was built of brick rather than stone and roofed with tiles rather than stone slates) and at the same time to have a strongly architectural character that would make it a fitting partner to the porch.

Apart from the new building, the main structural work consisted of renewing the roof structures on both the cottage and the porch. The existing stone slates were then relaid on the cottage. The chimney on the south-east corner of the porch was taken down and the one at the north end of the cottage rebuilt; an oven that had been built against the latter was removed. The door that had led into the kitchen addition was blocked up and all the cottage walls, together with the south wall of the porch, were repointed. Some new stone was needed in the parapets of the porch and the copings were repointed. The stone finial at the south-west corner had worked loose and needed to be secured by the insertion of a new dowel. One of the mullions of the first-floor front window needed to be partly renewed, as did the cill of the big cottage window. Clipsham stone was used in all these repairs.

The ground was re-levelled at the front of the building and a new wall was built on the south side of the porch to balance the front wall of the cottage. Two small areas of stone-on-edge paving were discovered - one forming a threshold to the arch and one outside the back door. These were both retained, although the one at the back had to be relaid at a higher level.

Inside the Lodge nearly all the detail is new. The original glass in the existing windows was retained, but re-set in new lead. New metal casements with leaded lights were made for the new windows. A new wall was built between the cottage and the porch, creating an alcove into which a kitchen could be fitted, a new staircase was built and a new wall and entrance door were added at the back of the porch. New floors were laid throughout, mainly using Mansfield stone flags, with Colombian pine for the sitting room and bedroom and all the internal walls were lime-plastered and distempered. The Lodge, renewed, warm and friendly, now stands ready in its quiet village backwater to welcome you to stay for a few weeks or days, as you will.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.