Our greatest love stories

Who doesn't like a good love story? Our history and literature are full of them. Many of the places we care for have stories to tell as well, dating from Tudor times up to more recent decades. Here are some of our favourite stories of romance and intrigue.

View of the east front of Avebury Manor, Wiltshire.

Avebury, Wiltshire 

The presentation of the Tudor bedroom in the Manor celebrates the marriage in the late 1590s of widowed Deborah Dunch and Sir James Mervyn, the High Sherriff of Wiltshire. The couple's initials are also present above the front porch.

Gelert's stone monument in Beddgelert

Craflwyn and Beddgelert, Gwynedd 

Not quite a traditional love story - more of a tragedy that occurred because of love. Llywelyn the Great killed his favourite hound Gelert because he mistakenly thought the dog had harmed his baby, which had in fact been killed by a wolf.

View across the lake towards the turf amphitheatre at Claremont Landscape Garden in Surrey

Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey 

Viewers of ITV's Victoria will have heard of Princess Charlotte, who was heir to the throne of England but whose tragic death meant that Victoria became queen instead. But some of Charlotte's happiest days were spent at Claremont, where she and Prince Leopold walked hand in hand and spent their brief married life.

Portraits of 7th Earl George Harry and his wife Catharine Cox

Dunham Massey, Cheshire 

When George Harry, 7th Earl of Stamford and Warrington - young, incredibly wealthy and very eligible - married Catharine Cox, a stunningly beautiful circus equestrienne in 1855, they became the most glamorous couple on the stage of Victorian society.

Eyam Hall

Eyam Hall and Craft Centre, Derbyshire 

When John Wright inherited Eyam Hall he married local heiress Elizabeth Kniveton. Elizabeth was the daughter of a lawyer, and she had a marriage settlement drawn up, giving her the right to stay on in the family hone after John died. So - a great love story or a marriage of convenience?

View of the Hall shrouded by thick fog. Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk.

Felbrigg Hall, Gardens and Estate 

There's a love poem that dates back to around 1735 etched into a pane of glass in the window of the butler's pantry at Felbrigg. It was etched by Benjamin Stillingfleet, William Windham II's tutor, in praise of a local beauty, Anne Barnes, with whom he was in love.

the Disraeli monument in winter at Hughenden

Hughenden, Buckinghamshire 

Disraeli’s wife, Mary Anne, trapped her finger in the carriage door on her way to accompany the Victorian Prime Minister on his way to an important speech. So as not to worry him or distract him from the job at hand, she kept quiet. Later, when Disraeli found out what she’d done, he had the carriage door removed and displayed on the wall as a sign of the strength of their love. You can see the door today in the servants' corridor when you visit the house at Hughenden.

Embracing the Regency

Lyme Park, Cheshire 

Uncover the fascinating story of Thomas Legh, Lyme's very own Regency Indiana Jones and romantic hero. He was instrumental in saving a young heiress, Ellen Turner, who had been abducted. He later married her, in 1828 when she was just 16, although she sadly died in 1831 following a stillbirth.

This winter, take a look inside the South Cottage by purchasing a timed ticket from 1 November

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent 

Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, who lived at Sissinghurst until it came into our care 50 years ago, had a very loving relationship - despite publicly practicing an open marriage. Both embarked on various same-sex relationships over the years (including in Vita's case, Virginia Woolf).

Sir Henry and Lady Alda Hoare with their son, Henry on 4th October 1912 at Stourhead, Wiltshire

Stourhead, Wiltshire 

Sir Henry Hoare was just 29 when he inherited Stourhead. He and his wife Alda devoted themselves to the care and repair of the house for just over 50 years, tragically dying within six hours of one another. Their only child was Harry, who was himself killed during the First World War.