Built in 1499, Hodges Piece was originally used as a giant dovecote to house pigeons which provided winter meat for the manor house 500 yards away. When the house burnt down in 1556, the dovecote was abandoned and used only occasionally to house farm carts. Purchased in 1945 by Nick Hornby’s great-grandmother, it was converted to a home and has been in the family ever since. Nick and his wife, interior designer Amanda Hornby, bought the home from the family seven years ago and then spent two years giving it a respectful modern update.
The sturdy ancient walls and cruciform structure made it an ideal family home, full of character and charm. “In my mother-in-law’s day, the house was always full of beautiful things, with lots of people staying,” Amanda told House & Garden. During the renovation, they lived in a rented house nearby. The roof came off, many of the upstairs rooms were reconfigured, and an extra wing was added, concealed behind what appears to be a garden wall.
The result is an elegant yet inviting home, perfect for entertaining and for Amanda, Nick, and their three children. It is a happy house, surrounded by family treasures and beautiful things, certain to remain in the family for many years to come.
Photography by Alexander James for House & Garden
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