West Banqueting House

Chipping Campden

Overview

This extraordinary Jacobean building is placed within one of the most important Jacobean sites in the country. The remains of Old Campden House, built by Sir Baptist Hicks in 1613 and destroyed by fire in 1645 during the Civil War, stands close by. West Banqueting House was built simply to enjoy seventeenth century banquets within. Today, you can also choose to banquet in this spectacular setting just as Sir Baptist Hicks and his guests once did. The nearby Almonry holds a further sitting-room and twin bedroom.

  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Logs availableLogs available
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • ShowerShower

Beds 1 Twin, 1 Double

Sleeps
2 +2
4 nights from
£415 equivalent to £25.94 per person, per night

Civil War

In 1613 wealthy merchant Sir Baptist Hicks built a new house in Chipping Campden in the very latest style with equally fashionable formal gardens. Just 30 years later retreating Royalist soldiers burnt his mansion to the ground; only a single fragment remains. Other lesser buildings on the site survived. Two pepperpot lodges frame the gateway beside Campden’s wool church, and two exceptional Jacobean banqueting houses with exuberant strapwork parapets and barley sugar twist chimneys face each other across a former terrace. The skeleton of the Jacobean gardens is still visible beneath the Cotswold turf. Today the two banqueting houses provide the main accommodation for two Landmarks, with the Almonry, a fine little building of unknown purpose, acting as an annexe for one.

In the seventeenth century Sir Baptist’s guests would have retired to this building for their ‘banquet’ (or dessert course) at the end of the meal to drink rare wines, eat dried fruit and sweetmeats and admire their host’s domain. Whether today you choose to sip Tokay and nibble on a crystallised petal or tuck into fish and chips with a glass of beer, it cannot fail to be a banquet.

Enjoy a banquet

The banqueting house is also more spacious than it looks, with a large barrel vaulted chamber on the ground floor and a hearth at either end – perhaps once a kitchen, as it now is again. Underfloor heating makes this room particularly comfortable.

The first floor chamber yields the only fragments of Jacobean frieze of the rich and elegant plasterwork and panelling that must once have adorned all the buildings on this site. Yet this banqueting house was converted at an early stage for humbler domestic accommodation and it may well have been the house of William Harrison, steward to Lady Juliana Hicks and a key player in the mystery known as The Campden Wonder.

West Banqueting House is a two-storey building with external doors at both levels. The tiny building known as the Almonry, where two people sleep, is a short walk away.

In contrast to the quiet atmosphere of the site, the town of Chipping Campden, a traditional Cotswold market town, is a justly renowned Cotswold town popular with tourists and filled with interesting shops and good eateries. Nearby is one of the country's greatest gardens at Hidcote Manor, and Capability Brown's brainchild Broadway Tower.

See all our Landmarks at Old Campden House

Floor Plan

‘The view out of the bathroom window at sunrise is spectacular; we could have been in Tuscany.’

‘We did lots of banqueting. The diet starts tomorrow!’

From the logbook

Map & local info

West Banqueting House stands surrounded by fields and facing the ruins of Old Campden House and the East Banqueting House beyond. A grand gateway connects you to Chipping Campden, a traditional Cotswold market town.

Experience one of the country's greatest gardens at Hidcote Manor, created by the talented horticulturalist Major Lawrence Johnston. Many of the plants you will see are from Johnston's frequent trips abroad, it is perfect to visit for some gardening inspiration. 

Broadway Tower was Capability Brown's brainchild, and still stands today as a magnificent Costwolds monument. Explore this fantastic historical building, once a holiday retreat for pre-Raphaelite artists, or use it as a base from which to walk and explore the beautiful surrounding countryside. 

Stratford-upon-Avon is within easy driving distance, where you can find shops, restaurants and cafes along the beautiful river. The world famous Royal Shakespeare Company is of course located in Stratford. Follow in the footsteps of decades of RSC stars (including Judy Dench and Peter O'Toole amongst many others) with a trip to the Dirty Duck pub before or after the show. 

Global Gathering Festival is just outside of Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Other nearby heritage attractions include Court BarnCompton Verney (15.6 miles), Coughton Court (16.9 miles) and The Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery (21.9 miles). You can gain free entry to Court Barn and Coughton Court, 50% off entry at Compton Verney and 50% off exhibitions at The Wilson with a National Art Pass, which enables its members to enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions.

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 at artfund.org/national-art-pass.

Take a look at our Pinterest Map for more ideas and information on things to do during your stay at the West Banqueting House.

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.

See all our Landmarks at Old Campden House

West Banqueting House
Chipping Campden
Clear directions

‘The view out of the bathroom window at sunrise is spectacular; we could have been in Tuscany.’

‘We did lots of banqueting. The diet starts tomorrow!’

From the logbook

FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    No.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Via a driveway off the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Moreton-in-Marsh – 9 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    Ample parking in the yard through the entrance gates. 
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are electric night storage 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, a dishwasher and a microwave. 
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom in the main house with a bath. There is an additional bathroom with a shower in the Almonry (short walk away).
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

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

    There are open grounds.
  • Are any rooms outside the main accommodation?

    The Almonary containing a lounge area, twin bedroom and shower room is a few feet from the main building.

    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 create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • 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.
  • 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).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

Sir Baptist Hicks's elaborate house

Beyond the flamboyant gateway which forms the main entrance to Sir Baptist Hicks's Campden House are two pavilions, or banqueting houses. They stand at either end of a broad terrace overlooking the bones of an extensive and elaborate formal garden. These buildings are all that remain of what was once one of the grandest of Jacobean houses, razed during the Civil War. Today it is one of the most important Jacobean sites in the country, its importance recognised by Scheduled Ancient Monument designation for the site as a whole and Grade II* status for the banqueting houses and Almonry.

These minor buildings serve as a reminder of the richness and quality of the ‘great burned house’ itself, and are also a notable collection in their own right. The Hicks family originally came from Gloucestershire, but Baptist's father was a mercer in London and his mother ran a flourishing business as a moneylender. Baptist carried on and excelled in both activities, helped greatly by the position of his elder brother Michael who was Secretary to William Cecil, Elizabeth’s Lord Treasurer, and a close friend of Robert Cecil who inherited his father’s position. When James I came to the throne in 1603 Baptist provided much of the finance for the King's and the Court’s extravagant lifestyle. This canny move made him an immense fortune and led first to his knighthood and later to his being created Viscount Campden. By 1609 Sir Baptist had bought the manor of Chipping Campden. Campden House itself was built from about 1613: until then Sir Baptist was busy building Cam(p)den House in Kensington. Sir Baptist was a self-made man (his motto was 'Non dum metam' – not yet at my goal) and he wanted to indulge in a great show of magnificence, and was lucky to live at a time when the architecture of display was at its most dramatic. We do not know for certain what his house looked like, but an impression can be gained from some 18th-century views which are thought to be based on a single contemporary original. To judge from these, the result was all that Sir Baptist could have hoped. It is still reflected in miniature in the Banqueting Houses, which combine an eye-catching Jacobean roofline with confident if irregular Classical detail to produce an effect that is both stately and delightful. There are grounds for suspecting that the designer may have been John Thorpe, who designed Sir Baptist’s London house when he was still plain ‘Mr. Hix.’ Sir Baptist also provided Chipping Campden with its almshouses, market hall and water brought by conduit from Westington Hill.

The banqueting houses served as places of retreat for the family and their guests, to which they would withdraw at the end of the main afternoon meal, away from the rest of the household. In the fine rooms at terrace level they would drink fine wines and eat what we would now call dessert – dried fruit, small cakes and sweetmeats - while enjoying the outlook over the gardens and the surrounding countryside. Below, hidden by the fall of the ground and entirely separate from these upper rooms, were further rooms which in the case of the East Banqueting House at least, probably served as lodgings for servants.

The light and glitter of a great house, especially when lit up by candles at night, was a favourite Jacobean spectacle and there are stories of how the lantern on the top of Campden House could be seen from far off. Never was this more true than on a night in 1645 when a Royalist garrison, withdrawing from the house which had served as their local headquarters, set light to it. "The howse (which was so faire) burnt" wrote one of them in his diary. By the light of the blaze Prince Rupert's army marched over Broadway Hill to Evesham.

The mansion was never repaired. Gradually over the years its shell was raided for building stone, some reddened by the heat of the flames. Some found its way fairly soon into the banqueting houses whose open loggias were blocked to adapt them for humbler domestic use for the estate stewards and, by the early 18th century, for a fruit farmer who planted orchards in the former gardens. Such gentle adaptation ensured that the site remains largely undisturbed to this day.

The manor descended continuously through the Noel family from Sir Baptist's daughter Juliana, who married Edward Noel in a classic alliance of ancient lineage with new money. The Noels had other estates, especially in Rutland, although their link with Chipping Campden persists until the present day: a descendant still lives in the former stableblock, long known as the Court House. In 1987 Lady Maureen Fellowes and her husband Peregrine granted a lease of the East Banqueting House and the gate lodges to the Landmark Trust. In 1998 they agreed to transfer care of the West Banqueting House, the Almonry and the rest of the house and garden site to Landmark’s care.

Both Banqueting Houses illustrate the ornamental, even flamboyant, style of architecture favoured by Jacobean architects and patrons for their garden buildings. Both are embellished with strapwork parapets, basket finials and twisted chimneys in a display that recalls the fantastic structures shown in engraved frontispieces to the works of Spenser and Sidney. This high London fashion must have puzzled local masons used to the simpler local architectural tradition. The upper rooms, decorated with plaster friezes and with open arched loggias, made a fitting setting for the fanciful displays of pastries and sweetmeats that made up the ‘banquet’. Apparently symmetrical at terrace level, they are in fact different in form.

Restoration

In danger of imminent collapse

The West Banqueting House was in danger of imminent collapse when it came to Landmark, especially the stair turret. At first simple and conservative repair was suggested, to leave it as a banqueting house to be visited from the other building, but as the offer included the Almonry and the whole of the house and garden site, it was decided to make a second Landmark of the West Banqueting House and Almonry together.

Application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and various charitable trusts was successfully boosted by Landmark’s own appeal and work started in October 2001. Stephen Oliver and Andy Brookes of Rodney Melville & Partners again were our architects. Phil Semmens was site foreman for the contractors, William Sapcote & Sons of Birmingham.

The building had been altered substantially for residential use at an early date, when the windows and loggia were partly or wholly blocked with ashlar, presumably plundered from the ruins of the main house, and a Jacobean door and one smaller window inserted. The shafts of two of the barley twist chimneys had to be replaced; the fifth chimney seemed to have been plundered from the East Banqueting House some time in the past, to serve the inserted fireplace on the terrace floor. Land drains were again laid along the east wall to help with the dampness that pervades the vaulted ground floor chamber. The use of limewash inside will also help with this, although it will be some time before the building dries out and regular redecoration is needed. The west wall had moved away from rotted rafter feet by some 15cm so new metal ties were put in and a concrete tie beam cast. The lathe and plaster of the barrel ceiling was so decayed it had to be renewed. In the kitchen, the floor was recorded, lifted and as many slabs as possible relaid.

More of its Jacobean interior survived in the West Banqueting House, including sections of the original plaster frieze showing a winged lion with a man’s head. Where possible, these have been carefully conserved and pieced back together. Large sections of Jacobean wainscotting also survive at the head of the stair turret. This tower was added soon after the building’s original construction, at first to hold a garderobe (or lavatory). Soon after, perhaps when the banqueting house was converted to domestic accommodation after the fire in 1645, a staircase was inserted instead. These stairs did not survive although the marks of the treads and risers are clearly visible in the walls. We inserted a carefully designed replacement. The East has three storeys, the lower two suites of rooms; the West just two storeys, and a single large chamber on the ground floor. Both were originally open loggias. The intervening centuries have treated them differently, something reflected in Landmark’s approach to their restoration.

We have kept the rough studwork partition which divides the first floor chamber and, to ensure privacy both for the Court House and for visitors to the East Banqueting House, the loggia and some of the windows remain blocked, although others in the kitchen and north and west walls have been unblocked to provide more light. Both external doors are originals; that leading onto the terrace may have been salvaged from the main house. The West Banqueting House has thus deliberately been left much as it came to us, so that it reveals its later history as a domestic dwelling. William Harrison, a key player in the mysterious events known as The Campden Wonder, may well have lived here in the mid-17th century and been responsible for the adaptation.

The Almonry also dates from the early 17th century and is an altogether simpler building than the banqueting houses, following the more traditional pattern of Cotswold architecture seen also in the former stables (now the Court House) and the contemporary Almshouses across the road. It is small in scale and restrained in detail, three storeys with but a single chamber on each floor linked by a stone spiral staircase. Its original function has been the subject of much debate: it may have been the office of a household official although the carefully framed views from its first floor windows suggest it could have been intended as a garden pavilion. Equally, blocked arches in its basement wall and proximity to the ‘bleaching garden’ in early views have led to speculation that it could even have been a laundry. Later references suggest use as a hen roost or dovecote. The only certainty is that it was not built as an almonry, a whimsical name acquired in the 1930s, no doubt due to its proximity to the almshouses, and which has stuck.

In 1930, the Almonry was repaired by F L Griggs, renowned engraver and campaigner for Chipping Campden. The large fireplace on the ground floor is a later insertion but that on the first floor and the balustrade at the top of the stairs are original. Like the West Banqueting House, it has been re-roofed and the stonework repointed.

Court Barn, the surviving fragment of Campden House and Juliana’s Gateway at the bottom of Sir Baptist’s garden are also in the care of the Landmark Trust. Court Barn is leased to the Guild of Handicraft Trust.

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.