Aynhoe Park, no longer open to the the public, is on southern edge of the stone-built village of Aynhoe, on the borders of Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.
The estate was purchased in the 17th century by John Cartwright but the house he built in 1615 was seriously damaged during the Civil War by Royalist forces following the Battle of Naseby.
Rebuilt after the Civil War to the design of Edward Marshall, master mason in Charles II's Office of Works, in 1707 Thomas Cartwright employed Thomas Archer to enlarge the Jacobean building.
At the beginning of the 19th century the house was embellished by Sir John Soane.
The Cartwright family lived at Aynhoe Park until 1954, when the house was acquired by the County Houses Association and converted into apartments.
The main ground floor rooms have been preserved as reception rooms for the residents but, because the Cartwrights took all their paintings and furniture with them, the main interest in Aynhoe Park today is in the building.
Aynhoe Park is a pedimented main block with lower service blocks on each side forming a courtyard. This dates from the early-18th century when Thomas Archer was commissioned to enlarge the Jacobean house.
Archer, who had visited Italy, added some unusual late-Baroque detailing, such as the concave surrounds to the central doorways of the service blocks. The middle of the garden front remainly largely unchanged since it was built in the 1660s.
The interiors, created by Archer with the exception of the main staircase, have been remodelled.
However, Aynhoe Park has retained the rooms designed by Sir John Soane.
Soane was instructed to prepare designs for a thorough remodelling of the interior in 1795 - the drawings for this work can be seen in the Soane Museum in London. Unfortunately, these interiors were never built.
However, Soane did redesign the reception rooms along the garden front in a more modest style in 1800-05 and with the exception of the French Drawing Room, these interiors have survived. These illustrate the architect's exploitation of curved surfaces.
Soane created the top-lit staircase with its iron balustrade in the south wing and the 'triumphal arches' which link the main block to the service wings.
Before World War I some internal redecoration was carried out, and, more 1988 the Country Houses Association converted the former orangery into a luxurious dining room.
Aynhoe Park overlooks the Cherwell valley, which divides Northamptonshire from Oxfordshire.
The domestic-looking church to the east of the house was constructed in 1723 to the designs of Edward Wing, one of the masons employed at Aynhoe Park.