Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

The European Boxwood & Topiary Society Visit to Island Hall 6th July 2014

July 8, 2014

“I would like to thank you most sincerely both personally and on behalf of the EBTS Group, for allowing us to visit Island Hall last Sunday Morning. You were most generous with the welcoming coffee and biscuits and also very kind to let us see inside your wonderful house. The view if the garden from upstairs was indeed special and the house itself had a great atmosphere within it – just the sort of place we like to visit.

What a treat to walk round the gardens and feel the essence of what you have created. Thank you for taking the time to walk around with the Group to bring alive what you have developed at Island Hall. A fascinating history made alive by your enthusiasm and knowledge.

A wonderful visit which made up such an important part of our memorable AGM weekend in Cambridge.


Yours sincerely,


Mark Hopkins”

The European Boxwood and Topiary Society, UK Chairman



Count Down to Our 2nd Annual Red Cross Courtyard Charity Craft Market & Garden Opening! Sunday 13th July 2014

July 1, 2014

Less than two weeks to go until our 2nd annual courtyard craft & garden event. All our confirmed 22 crafters are hard at work creating their beautiful wares! Please make 13th July a date for your diary. Entrance to the Courtyard Craft Market is FREE. Entrance to the Garden is £4.00 per adult and FREE for accompanied children. All proceeds from the garden opening go to the Red Cross, so why not pop along and support a good cause, whilst picking up some locally made goodies too?!

Craft Market Photo

DSC_8113  DSC_8027




Rienzi House Museum of Fine Arts: UK Houses Tour & Lunch 15th June 2014 Island Hall

June 20, 2014

Rienzi House Museum of Fine Arts visited us recently all the way from Texas as the first stop in their Grand Tour. Shortly after we received this much appreciated, letter of thanks:

“Having returned from England & somewhat digested my trip, I wanted to take a moment to tell you what a wonderful visit I had at Island Hall on June 15th.  It was absolutely the perfect choice to start our trip.  The walk thru the garden & over the bridge introduced me to the vistas of the English countryside; I will always have that memory.  

Island Hall is charming & recommends itself not only for the scale & liveability of the house but the beautiful interiors.  As an introduction into the Georgian world, it was perfect.”

Pamela Hunt


Rienzi House Museum of Fine Arts
Houston, Texas USA


Sunday 1st June National Garden Scheme CHARITY GARDEN OPENING

May 31, 2014

11.00am – 5.00pm charity entrance fee 4.00 pounds (accompanied children free). Teas and refreshments with homemade cakes will be available.

Island Hall is also featured as one of just 50 ‘Treasures’ from the schemes gardens to be showcased in The Gardens of England.

The book is a celebration of more than eighty years of Garden visiting through the National Gardens Scheme. “This selection of the best gardens, represent of all styles, both public and private that participate in the scheme.”

Island Hall, which celebrates 20 years of opening under the scheme, is the home of Christopher and Lady Linda Vane Percy, Christopher, a past president of the British Institute of Interior design, and Regional Chairman of The Historic Houses Association, started to plan and lay out the gardens at Island Hall in the early 80’s, having reclaimed is his ancestral home in 1983

ALL MONEY RAISED  goes straight to NGS charities:

Since its foundation, the National Gardens Scheme has donated over £42.5 million to nominated beneficiaries, of which nearly £23 million has been donated within the last ten years. Their continuing support means that for most of their beneficiaries we are the largest cumulative donor in their histories.

Please see the National Garden Scheme Website for details.


Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan provides practical, medical and financial support and pushes for better cancer care.

Marie Curie Cancer Care

Marie Curie Cancer Care

Marie Curie nurses provide care to terminally ill patients in their own homes or in Marie Curie hospices, while offering vital support to their families.

Help the Hospices

Help the Hospices

Help the Hospices is the UK’s leading charity for hospice care, supporting over 200 hospices.

Carers Trust

Carers Trust

Carers Trust works to support carers who are caring for family and friends.


The Queen’s Nursing InstituteQueen's Nursing Institute

The Queen’s Nursing Institute campaigns for the best possible nursing care for patients in their own homes and communities.



Perennial gives help and advice to those who work or have worked in horticulture and their spouses/partners when they face adversity or need.

Parkinson's UK

Guest Charity 2014: Parkinson’s UK

Parkinson’s UK is the research and support charity for anyone affected by the condition.

Calling All Crafters!!! Red Cross Garden Opening & Courtyard Craft Market on Sunday 13th July 2014

April 25, 2014

Please apply NOW to reserve your space at our second annual Red Cross Garden Opening & Courtyard Craft Market on Sunday 13th July. Stalls are still just £25.00 please email or message us for more information.

If you are thinking of visiting the Craft Market – IT’S FREE ENTRY! So why not?!

11.00am – 4.00pm and Garden Charity Opening entrance fee £4.00 (accompanied children FREE).

Please email us for an application form


Unique English Wedding Venues Features Island Hall for its FIRST article!

April 8, 2014

Have you ever discovered a place that you just can’t help but fall in love with? Well, that’s how it was for me with Island Hall.

Island Hall lies in the heart of old Godmanchester on the main thoroughfare, Post Street, just a few minutes walk from the parish church of St Mary the Virgin. Its position by the Great Ouse and views over the water meadows very much give it the atmosphere of a classic English country house. The property is the privately owned and much loved family home of Christopher and Lady Linda Vane Percy. Its uniqueness as a wedding venue lies in the fact that this graceful home only hosts a handful of bespoke weddings a year and offers an intimate splendour as it becomes exclusively yours for the duration of your wedding day, if you so wish.

Upon my request to visit Island Hall and interview Christopher Vane Percy I received a very kind and gracious reply. In fact, I was also invited to meet his elder daughter, Grace, who runs the weddings with her father.

Grace and Christopher make the perfect hosts and are incredibly kind and charming, caring deeply about Island Hall and the heritage bestowed upon them. They are also very focussed on the practical side of things, leaving the bride and groom to enjoy their day amongst friends and family.

in December 2013, a Civil License was granted for three rooms: the Stone Flagged Hall and Drawing Room on the ground floor and the maroon velvet lined Salon on the first floor. In addition, I should mention that the first floor also has a beautiful four poster bedroom suite that would make any bride feel like a princess, as she dresses for her big day.

It is difficult to put into words the beauty and serenity of Island Hall. Although I visited it at the beginning of March and the gardens still had a sleepy winter feel about them, you could nonetheless imagine how beautiful it would be in summer when everything is flushed with colour and in full leaf. I could also sense how the Chinese-style bridge and secluded Saxon island would became almost a secret garden and the perfect backdrop for some extraordinary wedding photographs. On the days leading up to your wedding Christopher and Grace are there to help coordinate with suppliers with regard to deliveries, storage and set up, and remain discreetly on hand throughout your wedding day to ensure everything runs smoothly. Two fully S.I.A. licensed security guards are also in attendance throughout your day. Christopher and Grace are exceedingly charming people and take enormous pride in Island Hall and how special it is as a unique wedding venue. I know from my meeting with them that they will do everything in their power to ensure your wedding day is unforgettable and that you and your guests enjoy the splendours of Island Hall and its gardens.

Alice Barker

The Great GMC Flood of October 1880

March 12, 2014

A letter from Charles Astry Octavius Baumgartner to his eldest brother John Percy Baumgartner

J Percy Baumgartner Esq.
Gorleston, Gt Yarmouth

11th Oct./80

My dear Percy

Thanks for your note of 9th inst. I wish you could have come while I was here.
The flood has been something to remember, – covering the road from the Vicarage to Bester’s shop & Church Lane, and running down past E. Maule’s to the road between the Bull Inn & what used to be Capt, Molyneux’s house.

The sailing on Port Holme on Saturday was absolute perfection. I feel, now, that I have not lived in vain. Life is not a hollow mockery. The gale, N.E. , was just as strong as the ”Iona” could stagger under without upsetting. The only other boat out (a Bevan’s canoe) was capsized at the first attempt to go about. and I had to keep my own weather eye considerably open, to avoid sharing the same fate. I wanted you much to share the perils of a cruise in the ”Yarra” with one. I would have been too much for a single hand. I sailed clean over the highest part o ‘Goose Island’, – not, however without scrapping the ground with my keel; the water having then subsided 3 inches. The wind being almost exactly against the stream, I could go to any part of the Holm at pleasure, – which a canoe cannot do with the wind in any other quarter. – My river gauge marked just 7 feet. The September flood, high enough in all conscience, was only 6ft 9in.

Cambridge St, & West Street, and others, were flooded also: but I did not explore those regions beyond the ‘Causeway”. The water came up as far as the cedar on our lawn, and was in all E. Maule’s gardens & yard, &even in the house, at the back. Even the September flood, I went in my canoe over his embankment & tennis lawn to call on Mrs Maule; but this flood has been far worse. There is also far more water to be seen from the Eastern windows of these houses than I ever saw before, – all over ”The Parks” and Mr Brawn’s and the Vicarage land. Another indication of the height of the flood is, that it is over the sill of the Island Boat-house windows.
The Locks were almost indistinguishable, save for the upper wood & iron work of the gates, & the footbridge leading from water to water only! The flood-gates were open; but scarce any stream was perceptible, the lower level nearly the same as the upper. The flood is lower now, but it is still what in other years would be called unusually high one.

I am arranging to leave Godmanchester on Thursday. I am much obliged for your invite. I have a prior one for Burys Court but I cannot accept even that (if at all) until I have been to Invermark first. There will be some carpenters’ work of alterations, &some painting & c., and a lot of carpets & cornices & things ordered in July, to be looked after; and I must be on the spot at the first at all events. I hope you will come & see the new place some day when it is properly ‘’fixed’’. Please give my love to Elsie with thanks for her letters. I am very sorry she is ill again. This intended to be almost as much for her as for you. I cannot write more, 4 ½ a.m. Love to all at home.
Your affectionate brother,



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