The History and Interiors at Poundon House

Since our parents brought the house from the Post Office over 35 years ago, the interiors at Poundon House have been lovingly restored room by room. The house also has a very interesting history, having been used during the second world war to help break the Enigma Code. During its use by the Post Office, many rooms were boarded up, including the fireplaces, floorboards etc in order to protect the interiors. We love when we meet people who were based at the house during this time, to hear how it used to be in this fascinating part of its history.

Poundon House was built in 1908 by Col. John Heyward Lonsdale when he married a Miss Parker Bowles who lived locally. The house is built of sandstone from the quarry at Eydon near Banbury and the stone was hauled up from the Marsh Gibbon station by teams of horses.

In 1939 the house was requisitioned for the war by the Foreign and Colonial Office.

During the war the house was used by the Post Office and formed a part of the huge effort to break the Engima Code. This code had to be broken anew each day and the number of people working on the project nationwide was over 10,000. Although the Germans considered the code unbreakable they had not taken into account what the inventive English could achieve with intelligence and tremendous hard work. Co-incidentally our great aunt worked on the project at Bletchley House!

During the war a bomb was dropped at the end of the drive.

After the war the house continued to be used for the gathering of intelligence in the cold war. Poundon Hill radio station has direct line of sight to the Ukraine and was used by the GCHQ until 10 years ago.

Our father bought the house in 1979 when the Foreign and Colonial Office relinquished their lease, and it has been a private family home ever since.

The house still retains much of its Edwardian character, with the reception rooms and bedrooms restored to their Edwardian style. The nine bedrooms are spacious, ideal for preceding preparations, and there are shared bathrooms. Decorated with a classic style, the reception rooms are grand but not at all intimidating, all interlinked and south facing.’

You can read more on the interiors as featued by Coco Wedding Venues here.

With over 9 bedrooms & 5 receptions rooms, its been a labour of love. The interiors of the house have featued in many editorial magazines, from World of Interiors, House and Garden to Homes and Antiques.

 

Images with thanks to Eneka Stewart Photogrpahy, Dylan Thomas, Bridget Pierson and Alistair Freeman.