Vintage Guns Ltd moved from London in 2012 and re-settled in new premises in Ludlow. It became apparent that despite the new location, 28 Corve Street, being a good venue with generous accommodation, office and living space, further expansion was necessary in order to realise all the ambitions we had for the company to grow. Caynham Court was selected as the ideal premises. Just 2 1/2 miles from Ludlow, the Court has an interesting history.
Caynham Court was established as a manor house shortly after the Norman Conquest. In 1086 the Domesday Book shows it owned by Ralph De Mortimer. It once acted as the hub of a substantial manor of dozens of farms, a stone quarry and significant acreage.
Title passed to Wigmore Abbey in 1180 and, following the Dissolution of the Monasteries , Henry VIII sold it to John Adams for £674. 18s. 4d. Adams passed the manor to Charles Foxe in 1584. It stayed in the Foxe family until 1668, when it was bought by Thomas Powys.
The house was totally refurbished in the 1790s by Joseph Oldham, who bought it from Powys in 1776, or possibly by the next owner, Rev William Calcott, who bought it in 1792 for £18,300. At the time it probably included an estate of 500 acres. The oldest parts of the building now visible are some Jacobean corner pillars and the vaulted cellars, showing hand-made bricks.
The Calcott family kept the lordship of the manor until they sold the estate to the Curtis family, in 1852. This is the date of the final structural additions to the building.
Although flourishing during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the estate fell on hard times in the mid 20th century. The Curtis family retained ownership until 1940 but after WW2 its fortunes fell into decline, as did those of many country estates at the time. It served variously as a domestic science college, as accommodation and offices for a turkey farm and, finally suffered the indignity of being sold to developers, who divided the grounds into lots, developed the stables and barns, while selling the court to to a Captain Carlisle. In 2002, Capt. Carlisle sold the house at auction and it was subsequently bought by Paul Chester, who rescued it from dereliction by structurally repairing the fabric, roof and internal structures and returning it to habitability, notably restoring some of the intricate plaster ceilings, which had collapsed during the years of neglect.
Diggory Hadoke and Claire Bosi purchased Caynham Court in June 2017. It now serves as a family home as well as a base for Vintage Guns Ltd. It provides ideal shoot party accommodation, and an atmospheric dining venue.
Vintage Guns started hosting shoot parties at Caynham Court in October 2018. An expanded gun shop with storage and workshops will open as soon as re-modelling work is completed and we expect monthly dinner parties, with visiting chefs, to begin in 2019.