I was recently invited over to a Jacobean manor, situated in a quiet valley in Somerset, known as Newton House, where they’ve recently started producing their own gin. As a huge fan of history, architecture and antiques (with a penchant for gin), how could I refuse?
As regular readers will know, the VE HQ is a rather eclectic place full of wondrous surprises – so when asked about supplying some quirky vintage props for their Gin Bar photo shoot above, we were more than adequately placed to help! This inevitably led to us featuring them within this issue, as it’s quite unlike anywhere I’ve had the fortune of visiting before, and you’ll soon find out why.
The magnificent house formed the centrepiece of what was once, a very large estate known as Newton Surmaville, named after a French family the de Salmonvilles, who first built a mediaeval house on the site where the current house now stands. A wealthy local merchant, Robert Harbin, built Newton House in 1612 and successive generations of the family enjoyed the property for 399 years, until it was sold for the rst time in its history to Robin and Jane Cannon in 2007.
They took on what was to be a gargantuan reno-vation project, as both the house and gardens were in a very sorry state of decay. Following the ten- year restoration project Robin and Jane produced a book, Newton House: Restored For Life, which is a lavishly illustrated history of this fascinating house and the restoration.