Ashdown House is an extraordinary Dutch-style 17th-century house perched on the Berkshire Downs and famous for its association with Elizabeth of Bohemia ('The Winter Queen'), Charles I's sister, to whom the house was dedicated.
This beautiful Palladian mansion was built in 1776-83. The interior is notable for its original delicate plasterwork and elegant staircase, as well as the unusual Octagon Room. The house fell on hard times early in the last century but was rescued and restored by Lord and Lady Iliffe, who filled it with fine pictures and furniture. The early 19th-century pleasure gardens are currently being restored and there are way-marked trails through the parkland. Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire, England, RG8 9NR
Englefield House is a superb Elizabethan mansion, with 18th and 19th-century remodelling. The house is built loosely on the traditional Elizabethan E-plan, though there is much asymmetry about the design. No one seems sure quite when the house was built, but it is likely that the house actually predates the Elizabethan period. Englefield, Reading, Berkshire, England, RG7 5EN
An extravagant Georgian mansion, home of the Earls of Caernarvon, rebuilt by Charles Barry in exotic Victorian Gothic style. Highclere boasts a suite of opulent state rooms, and an exhibit of Egyptian artefacts, for the fifth Earl was an enthusiastic backer of Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen. Highclere Park, Newbury, Berkshire, England, RG20 9RN
Shaw House is a lovely Grade-I listed Elizabethan mansion built in 1581 by a wealthy clothing merchant from Newbury named Thomas Dolman. The house was passed down through six generations of Dolmans between 1554 and 1728. during this time visitors to Shaw included several kings and queens on their royal progress around the country as well as courtiers travelling from London to Bath. It was later owned by the high-flying Duke of Chandos and the Andrews and Farquhar families. Church Road, Newbury, Berkshire, England, RG14 2DR
A Victorian mansion with roots going back to the 11th century, Taplow was once owned by the monks of Merton Priory. It is now a Buddhist study centre but is open for special heritage days throughout the year. Berry Hill, Taplow, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, SL6 0ER