Our wonderful House of the Month is more than just a house; it’s a piece of English history.
Built in the 1320s, the house was a blatant public declaration of status during a time in which Northern Europe had been struck by a great famine quickly followed by the Black Death. But The Hyde you see today is very different to The Hyde of 700 years ago. Originally most of the building would have been full height open to the rafters, with a fire in the centre and outlets for the smoke in the roof. Remnants of the medieval decorative paintwork are still visible on the wooden truss and wall plates in bedroom 1.
A huge amount of money was invested in The Hyde in the 1560s when Thomas Baskerville acquired it and set about putting in the first floor, fireplace and dining room. After this The Hyde was passed to the Netherwood Estate, of which it has stayed a part for the majority of the last 550 years.
The house was dramatically altered again in the 1840s when the roof height was raised and the house was subsequently facaded in stone. This is why upon first look the house looks of Victorian descent, contrasting the medieval and Elizabethan interiors.
When owners Peta and Ivo Clifton set about their renovation project they tried hard to take the building back to its Elizabethan floor plan, carefully removing some later alterations, in particular the modern stud partition walls.
For those sports fans out there, The Hyde has something for you too. In the solar bedroom hangs a portrait of Florence Morphy, who was to become the Countess of Darnely. Her claim to fame is that she fell in love with the captain of the English cricket team – Ivo Bligh – when they were touring Australia in 1882/3. As a token of her affection, she burnt the bails after a match and presented them to Ivo in a small urn. These became The Ashes. Florence married Ivo and they are the current Hyde owners’ great-grandparents.