The History of Wadenhoe House

Wadenhoe House

Wadenhoe House is a magnificent Jacobean manor house in the rolling Northamptonshire countryside near Oundle and it enjoys a unique place in the history of England dating back to the mid-17th century. Early occupants of the building were the Delacy family who was discovered to be actively involved in the Gunpowder Plot. Wadenhoe House is known to have been one of the meeting places of the conspirators. After the Gunpowder Plot was discovered the De Lacy family vacated the house.


The Cabinet of Prime minister Benjamin Disraeli with George Ward-Hunt seated far right.

In 1735 the estate passed into the ownership of Sir Edward-Ward whose daughter Jane married a Thomas Hunt from Shropshire and thus the combined name of Ward Hunt came to Wadenhoe. Wadenhoe’s political and financial history was further enhanced when George Ward Hunt became Chancellor of the Exchequer in the first Disraeli government and went on to become First Lord of the Admiralty in 1874. In a comparatively short life (1825 – 1877) George Ward Hunt was not only a force in local affairs and national politics he also found time to remodel Wadenhoe House to create a classical House of the period

The village of Wadenhoe itself is mentioned in the Doomsday Book and records show that the estate passed through the Vere family and the Delacy family before being passed in 1551 to Sir Walter Mildmay who also owned the neighboring estate of Apethorpe. His son Sir Thomas, also a politician and financier, was a close friend of King James 1st and we believe King James visited Wadenhoe House during one of his 3 recorded visits to Apethorpe to hunt in Rockingham Forest. Wadenhoe then passed to the first Earl of Westmoreland in 1617 who oversaw the construction of the present House.

While still retaining the House’s original character it was converted in 1966 to a residential training center. In 1990 it came under the management of Peter Hall & latterly his wife Bb joined him. This fine building has retained many of the features and standards which made it such a gracious family home.