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News: Discover the Hidden History of Midlands Meeting Venue Highgate House

1 Aug 2012

Highgate House is one of the jewels in the crown of the Northamptonshire countryside, and is a favourite with those escaping to the countryside to enjoy leisure pursuits. Whilst it is nowadays used as a modern and beautifully preserved Midlands conference venue and leisure retreat, Highgate has a history which sets it apart from many country houses in the region, making it a fascinating and enlightening place to visit for many enjoying a countryside escape.

Built in 1663, when the country was under the rule of Charles II and recovering from the events of the recent Civil War, Highgate House was constructed by a farmer, with the intention of providing a farmstead and an inn for the nearby village. It wasn't until 1721, when a smooth and much improved road was built nearby, that the house began to develop and become an integral part of the community of Creaton. The traffic in the region grew, and with the house perfectly positioned between London and York, many travelers and coachmen stopped there frequently to rest during their journey. Stables were built to house their horses while coachmen rested, and there was accommodation, food and drink for all. The house's roots as an inn are thoroughly honoured now in the 97 bedrooms the house has, all furnished to the highest standard.

This development saw the inn used more and more as a meeting place, laying the foundations that would eventually see the house widely used as a country house conference venue. The house remained a coaching station for the next 200 years, and when the Royal Mail Coach was established in 1784, it became a main stop on the mail route between London and Holyhead, and later London and Liverpool.

Over the many years since the last mail coach passed by, the hotel in Northamptonshire also installed a number of leisure facilities, and the house has since become known for its escapist values. Back in the 18th century, it was a bowling green that was installed for the residents to wind down, but now the leisure facilities include a swimming pool, spa and gym, as well as a mountain bike rental service so that residents may explore the 26 stunning acres of carefully groomed gardens. The Terrace Restaurant has been continuously voted one of the best places to eat in the entire county, and there is even a tennis court and croquet lawn for those who wish to indulge in a little competitive sport.

Highgate House also has easy access to some of the most beautiful off-site locations in England; Rockingham Castle and the magnificent gardens are just a short drive away, and the Althorp house and gardens, where Earl  Spencer currently resides, is open to visitors and houses an exclusive exhibition devoted to the late Princess Diana. The entire area surrounding Highgate House is dense with stunning buildings and architecture, as well as quaint villages and picturesque walking routes for everyone staying at the house to enjoy.

To view the new website and find out more about any of the Sundial Venues or other services offered by the group, please visit www.sundialgroup.com

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