Almost a secret, and accessed by a lane that sneaks under a line of trees in the Gloucestershire countryside, Chavenage has been in existence over 400 years - and it shows, for you half expect horses and carriages to be parked up. There is nothing quite like having a family member give you a tour of their historic home. In the case of Chavenage it is done with great pleasure and enthusiasm. The owner's son showed our group round and he couldn't have been more charming and well-informed, so that I hung on to his every word. And what a delightful property this is, with that lived-in feel and no cordons. As a bonus it has beautiful grounds, a private chapel and peace. Cromwell was here but, unlike most places connected with him, he was a guest rather than a wrecker of fine architecture. In his room you can feel the ghosts, whose stories are told convincingly.
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