Plans have been put in place to reopen Hinchingbrooke House in Huntingdon.
The House is used during the week for the Hinchingbrooke School’s sixth form students but is normally open on Sunday afternoons in July and August, thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Hinchingbrooke House. The Friends is a charity set up to help maintain and promote the historic building.
The July openings have been cancelled due to the constraints of the coronavirus pandemic, but the House will re-open to the public on Sunday, August 2 at 2pm and will also be open on August 9, 16, 23 and 30.
Hinchingbrooke House is one of the major historic buildings in Huntingdon. Originally a nunnery, it became a stately home to the Montagu family in 1540 and John Montagu acquired the title Earl of Sandwich in 1660. It stayed in the Montagu family until 1963 when it was bought by Cambridgeshire County Council, and in 1970 became part of Hinchingbrooke School.
Guided tours are provided by former students and staff, for which there is a small charge, children go free. The guides explain how the House changed its use over the centuries, how the fourth Earl invented the famous sandwich and visitors can admire the magnificent rooms, library and paintings.
At the end of the tour, tea and cakes are available in the former dining room of the Montagu family. House visitors can also stroll round the extensive grounds and visit the rose garden which is maintained by the Friends.
Visits for groups and historical associations can also be arranged by contacting the vice-chairman of the Friends, Peter Downes, on: 01480 509471.