This outstandingly well-preserved example of 15th-century domestic Tudor architecture (with 16th- and 20th-century additions) turns up as Athelhall in some of Thomas Hardy's writings (Hardy was a frequent visitor and his father, a stonemason, worked on the house). Don't miss the Great Hall, built in 1485, still with its original linenfold paneling, heraldic stained glass, and vaulted timber roof. The paneled Library contains more than 3,000 books. Outside, 20 acres of grounds include eight formal walled gardens created in the 19th century and 12 yew pyramids, each 30 feet high.
Dorchester, DT2 7LG, England