The moat and squash court at Barrington Court

The moat and squash court at Barrington Court

An estate preserved

Barrington Court estate is the vision Colonel Abram Arthur Lyle and his architect, James Edwin Forbes. Together, in the 1920s they created an elegant home, productive gardens and a farm estate around the core of a derelict 16th century building.

Without their efforts it is highly likely that the house would have been demolished before it came to the National Trust in 1907.

The Long Gallery: before the repairs

Before the Long Gallery was restored, owls were its only residents 

Before the Long Gallery was restored, owls were its only residents

Our Long Gallery has seen a few things in its time. During the English Civil War in the 1660s, 500 Parliamentary soldiers were billeted here.

When Canon Rawnsley visited before the National Trust got the house in 1907, he described the Long Gallery as being full of holes, providing a great home for owls. As you stride the length of this great room, imagine who else has trodden here before you.

The Long Gallery today

The Long Gallery at Barrington Court is 40 paces long. © Andreas von Einsiedel

The Long Gallery at Barrington Court is 40 paces long.

The Long Gallery is 40 paces long and runs the whole length of the attic floor. Long galleries provided space for indoor exercise and their long walls were useful for hanging family portraits.

Our Long Gallery walls are made from Colonel Lyle's panelling collection and contain wonderful examples of marquetry. This is an impressive space - great for people today to walk (or run) up and down in.


  • Colonel Lyle restored the Long Gallery using the panelling he collected © Matthew Applegate

    The South front

    The South front was the original entrance to Court House.

  • Strode House before restoration © Unknown

    Before the two houses were joined

    Colonel Lyle built a passageway between Strode and Court houses, which helped the family stay dry...

  • A cow pen at Barrington Court © Unknown

    The farmyards

    Farmyards surrounded Strode House until they were converted by Colonel Lyle's wife into gardens.<...

  • The newly planted Chestnut Avenue in c.1917 © Unknown

    The Chestnut avenue

    The avenue was created after 1917. The trees provided conkers to Barrington Court's visitors.

Colonel Lyle's legacy


Detail of panelling in the Court House © Andreas von Einsiedel

Arthur Lyle chose Barrington Court as a family home and as somewhere to install his collection of historic oak panelling. He personally supervised its installation, starting in 1922. Superb examples can be seen here, especially in the Wren Room (now the coffee lounge) with panelling from Sir Christopher Wren's London house.


The Master Bedroom bathroom © Matthew Applegate

Colonel Lyle had an eye for practicality and style. In Court House he created three large bathrooms - each with a beautiful deep enamelled bath, with ornately illustrated Dutch tiles on the walls.

The gardens

Hollyhocks at Barrington Court © Matthew Applegate

Throughout spring, summer and autumn, the gardens at Barrington Court are a riot of colour. Sir Arthur's wife, Elsie, visited the famous garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll, to discuss plans for the gardens. Although they were not fully implemented, the Lily and Rose and Iris Gardens show the direction they were taking.

Who was Colonel Lyle?

  • Colonel Lyle leased Barrington Court from the National Trust in 1917.
  • He was the grandson of Abram Lyle, who introduced Golden Syrup.
  • He was a soldier in the City of London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers.
  • He was an avid collector of wooden panelling and other historic items.
  • Three generations of his family lived here, the last leaving in 1991.

Court House from the South Lawn

The South lawn at Barrington Court in c.1917 © Unknown

The South lawn at Barrington Court in c.1917

This image was taken in around 1917 and shows some of the many apple trees which were here at the time. Note also the lean-to building (since demolished) attached to the main house.


The hounds at Barrington Court

The hounds at Barrington Court © Unknown

The hounds at Barrington Court

Hunting, particularly beagling was an important pastime for the Lyles at one time. This image shows the pack outside Court House.

Court House with orchards

The North Front of Barrington Court, 1917 © Unknown

The North Front of Barrington Court, 1917

This image was taken in around 1917, before the Court House was restored. It is interesting as it shows yet more apple trees growing right up to the house and that the main steps were not then present. Today, the orchard has gone from here but there are still many left on the estate.

Old farm buildings with pond

Barrington Court farm buildings and pond © Unknown

Barrington Court farm buildings and pond

The beagles depart

The beagles leaving Court House © Unknown

The beagles leaving Court House