|Architectural style||Gothic Revival|
|Town or city||Farleigh Hungerford|
Farleigh House (or Farleigh Castle) is a large country house in the English county of Somerset that was formerly the centre of the Farleigh Hungerford estate, and much of the stone came from Farleigh Hungerford Castle. The house is a Grade II listed building.
The house was built and extended during the 18th and 19th centuries serving as a country estate for various families until 1970 when it was purchased for use as a Special Needs school. In the 20th century it was bought by Inspecs a Glasses manufacturer and it is now Bath Rugby Club's new training facility.
The house has sometimes been called Farleigh New Castle. Indeed, it was largely built with stone taken from the ruins of the mediaeval Castle itself. A Trowbridge clothier, Joseph Houlton, bought the Farleigh estate in 1702. His son, Joseph Houlton, Junior, lived at Church Farm within the estate. He completely rebuilt and turned an old gabled house into Farleigh House, a modest gentleman's residence complete with a 120-acre (49 ha) deer park. In 1806, Colonel John Houlton inherited the estate. He enlarged and altered the house in the fashionable Gothic Revival style spending £40,000 - several million in today‘s values — on extensions to the main house, a chapel, hot houses, conservatories, stables and six lodges. Most of the present house dates from that period. One of the lodges was called the Castle Lodge and is now the Bath Lodge Hotel.
The Houlton family remained at Farleigh Hungerford until 1899, when Sir Edward Houlton died with no male heir.
The estate was sold in 1906 to Lord Cairns and later passed through several hands. In the 1950s and 1960s, Farleigh House and its estate were owned by the Hely-Hutchinson family, a cadet branch of the Hely-Hutchinsons, Earls of Donoughmore.
In 1970, the main house and a number of cottages were sold to Mr John F. R. Gillam, the Headmaster and owner of Ravenscroft School, which had previously been based in nearby Beckington Castle. In about 1980, John Gillam also bought much of the Farleigh Hungerford estate. In 1998, Ravenscroft School closed and the house became Farleigh College, a Special Needs school educating children with autism and Asperger Syndrome and dyslexia, but which subsequently moved to new premises near Mells. John Gillam and his family continued to own the house until it was sold to an optical company called Inspecs to serve as the firm's headquarters.
In 2001, London based Inspecs owned by Robin Totterman and Chris Smith, purchased the estate and brought back the old name 'Farleigh House'. The owners spent 8 years and significant amounts of money bringing the estate back to its former glory. The roof of the house as well as a complete refurbishment was carried out during this time. The old medieval castle 'Drakes' to the west of Farleigh House, now called the Tower House or Castle Court, was saved from certain ruin through an extensive restoration project. The Estate Manager David Reed (brother of the late actor Oliver Reed) carried out significant groundworks to reinstate the traditional formal gardens.
Bath Rugby Club
In April 2010, it was announced that Bruce Craig, businessman, had purchased a 99-year lease of Farleigh House as Bath Rugby Club's new administrative headquarters and training ground following his acquisition of the Club.
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