Nether Winchendon House
Screenshot image is (c) Nether Winchendon House
A historic manor on the banks of the River Thame, Nether Winchendon has been in the same family since 1559. The most striking feature of the house is the multi-arched screen that fronts the courtyard. This is quite unusual and to the best of my knowledge, unique in England. The house has featured in many popular television programs and feature films, including Miss Marple, The Bridget Jones Diaries, and James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies'.
During the medieval period, an Augustinian priory was established at Nether Winchendon as a daughter house of nearby Notley Abbey. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the manor passed into private hands. The monastic buildings were converted into a private dwelling and eventually sold to William Goodwin, a successful London merchant. It has been passed down through generations of the same family ever since.

The current house is a wonderfully idiosyncratic mix of Tudor timber-framing and ornate Strawberry Hill Gothick style, looking out over wide lawns to the River Thame. The interior is a mix of wonderfully dark, panelled rooms mixed with exquisitely detailed Gothick. The showpiece room is the drawing room, a wonderful Renaissance chamber with painted linenfold panelling.

The ceiling is carved in delicious detail, but the real treasure is the tapestry, boasting the only known contemporary tapestry depiction of Henry VIII. Unlike other rather stylised impressions of the monarch, this is thought to be a lifelike portrayal of the king. Henry is shown flanked by Archbishop Cranmer and Lord Russell, who owned the manor briefly. The tapestry is thought to have been made to celebrate Russell being named to the Order of the Garter in 1539. The original Tudor great hall has been converted into a dining room, with a high, ribbed Gothic ceiling.

Nether Winchendon House is only open to the general public on specified days throughout the year, as it primarily serves as a wedding venue.