Island Hall has been open to interested groups for over twenty years and the Vane Percys are always pleased when people have enjoyed their visits:

  “Your ‘Invitation To View’ was full of surprises we met some delightful fellow visitors and enjoyed our visit immensely.”
Liz and Peter Iriving

“The eye is taken across the millrace, the island and the Great Ouse to the vastness of the water meadow and quite takes your breath away. Even more so when you realise that the view has probably not changed in several centuries”
Lesley Roberts The Fan Circle international


"Island Hall is the most beautiful house in Huntingdonshire"
Lord Renton, the former MP for Huntingdon


"Island Hall sums up that quality of the well built Georgian house that is surely every Englishman's dream. The Vane Percy's charm and kind welcome added to the pleasure of the visit, as did cups of tea in that handsome hall, the perfect place for a relaxed party."
Jeremy Musson, writer, broadcaster and tour leader for Flagstones's


"Island Hall is one of the most charming private houses open to visitors through Invitation to View, memorable for both its unexpected interiors, sense of history and beautiful gardens."
Hew Stevenson of Columbine Hall, former chairman 'Invitation to View'


"What a lovely setting you have, the gardens were a delight and your house so interesting . . Altogether a most successful visit which are members really enjoyed."
Joyce Lunn of the Holland & Kesteven Antiques & Fine Arts Society


"I have received many comments expressing how all the party enjoyed this visit and in particular your descriptive and entertaining presentation of the house and garden."
Clare Downie, Whittlesford Gardening Club


"Your illuminating commentary on the house and garden and their history very much added to the pleasure of our visit, and we also enjoyed the tea in such beautiful surroundings, and so charmingly served."
Louise Sheppard, The Art Fund, Northamptonshire


"Thank you for a most interesting afternoon and elegant hospitality. I have never known 'my lot' to be so appreciative and enthusiastic."
Ann Hawker, Norwich Union



Appreciation in books:

The Gardens of England: Treasures of the National Gardens Scheme With text by George Plumptree, and Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales

“Christopher Vane Percy’s idea for this green garden is that it be idyllic and “a bit fluffy”, but there little fluffy about it. Instead, it is a designer’s garden par excellence, every bit of it is so right as to see, inevitable. It could be a high-street garden if Buckingham Palace could be described as a town garden – but Island Hall is better.” Leslie Geddes-Brown

The Building of England: How the History of England Has Shaped Our Buildings by Simon Thurley
“The point about Island Hall is its magnificent first floor saloon, a room normally found in a much larger house. As a consequence much of the ground floor was given over to an impressive hallway and a very fine staircase”

Historic Gardens of Cambridgeshire: and the Isle of Ely by Timothy Mowl & Laura Mayer
“Island Hall was described in the abstracts of title in 1749 as a ‘New Built Capital Messuage’. The house has an imposing pedimented front to the main street and a similar elevation to the rear garden which extents as far as the Great Ouse. The adjacent stable block is topped by a lively Gothic lantern similar in design to the work of Cambridge Architect James Essex.”

Appreciation in magazines:

"[Mr Vane Percy] has completed the house's restoration: not only has it been redecorated but the 18th century cupola over the stables has been rebuilt, the island bought back and the Chinese bridge reconstructed. The long task of returning to the garden to the vision of the 'stillest repose' which Octavia Hill enjoyed is now well advanced. She saw the house as a reminder 'of what that deep attachment is to an inherited spot of old earth, rich with memories of days long ago.' By some miracle, that attachment has endured."
Michael Hall, Country Life, with photographs by June Buck

"I silvered the columns, then stippled them with the blues of lapis. I gilded the woodwork, then gave it a grain finish. For that, the school of safe good taste would probably have taken me out and shot," says Christopher Vane Percy, "but my house needed something bold. Island Hall may be mid-eighteenth century, but the architecture looks back to the seventeenth century, a gutsier era when all the great Baroque houses were over the top."
Elizabeth Lambert, Architectural Digest

"For Christopher and Lady Linda Vane Percy their magnificent Georgian home in Godmanchester has become like an additional family member - a sentient being that reacts to people and events. Never did the label 'home' seem more appropriate."
Andrew Whittaker, Cambridgeshire Journal

"With the flair for which CVP designs is famous, the formal dining room is a room designed to look magnificent by candlelight. A huge portrait of the Duke of Rutland, deliberately over scaled for the room, is a brilliant coup de theatre."
Ros Drinkwater, Sunday Times

“The special thing about Island Hall is that almost everything has survived from the 18th century, which is unusual, as most houses are altered by every new generation,” Christopher explains. “However, my ancestors left it as it was, and I’ve been able to recreate the original colour schemes from when it was first built. We gently worked our way through the interior, acknowledging and respecting the house.“

“The Journal showcases the 5 most beautiful buildings open to the public in Cambridgeshire: Treasure Island, described by Octavia Hill, co-founder of the National Trust, as “the loveliest dearest house”, Island Hall is a much loved family home”.

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