Ardington House is a fine, beautifully symmetrical, brick house set close to an unspoilt village to the north of the Berkshire Downs.
The house was built in 1719 - 20 by Edward Clarke whose family had been lords of the manor since the 17th century.
Ardington remained in the hands of the Clarke family until 1831 when it was purchased by Robert Vernon, a wealthy horse dealer and art collector.
The property was then bought on behalf of Robert Loyd-Lindsay (later Lord Wantage) who had inherited a considerable banking fortune.
Ardington was incorporated into the prosperous Loyd estate surrounding his house at nearby Lockinge. The land and the village of Ardington still remain part of the Loyd estate but in 1939 the house was sold to the Baring family.
Today, the Barings, another banking family, maintain Ardington House as their comfortable country home.
Externally Ardington House has changed little since it was first built in the early 18th century.
The architect was probably Thomas Strong, whose father was one of Sir Christopher Wren's most important master masons, and some of the details of Ardington House reflect the style developed by Wren and his team.
The tall building has three storeys and its pleasing proportions resembles an early Georgian town house. The brickwork is unusually fine and there is an attractive contrast between the grey brick walls and the red-brick window surrounds.
The remarkable entrance is dominated by the wooden Imperial Staircase. This is situated on the central axis and has two flights of stairs rising to a landing and a single flight leading from there to the first floor. The delicate carving of the twisted balusters enhances the effect.
Such staircases are very rare and the example at Ardington is particularly fine.
The Hall has original panelling and cornices and the Drawing Room is hung with 19th century landscape paintings. In the Dining Room the original bolection-moulded oak panelling has survived and there is a splendid plaster-work ceiling.
Outside there is a charming garden and stable block.