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Aynhoe Park

Restored Grade I-listed house with a formidable collection of plaster casts and more...

It is rare to find a Grade I-listed house of such quality in private ownership. Burnt down in the English civil war, rebuilt in the early 1700s and altered by Sir John Soane in the late 18th century this country house has been restored by a young dynamic owner (events organiser and property developer) with a passion for collecting and in particular plaster casts. He now has the worlds largest private collection (4,500 pieces) many formerly owned and sold off by the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London - some of which are displayed in the house to dazzling effect. The fact that John Soane created the enfilade of rooms which exist today is particularly interesting as he was a cast collector himself and his collection survives in his London house. The ground floor was extended by Soane with a spectacular orangery at one end and a library at the other - double doors open from one room to the other the full length of the house. Stuffed birds, lions, a giraffe, bison, zebra and much more line the walls, stand on floors and tabletops. Furniture ranges from contemporary to antique, the whole an eclectic and fascinating assemblage. Wire sculpture by Sophie Ryder is displayed in the grounds.

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