15 months ago, we started our little mission to visit Britain’s historic houses. We heard some juicy, at some times racy, and often quite bizarre anecdotes about the people and events associated with each place.

Here are the 20 most interesting stories we have heard so far:

  1. The Wife, The Prime Minister and Oliver Twist: The title says it all, really. It is the most unbelievable love affair, spicy shaming in a 19th century’s style.
  2. The First Lady Diana: Lady Diana was trapped in a loveless marriage with two boys, and it all went downhill when she divorced and remarried.
  3. The Oldest Ghost in England: Over nine hundred years ago, her lover betrayed her trust. She killed him and committed suicide. This must be the perfect recipe for a ghost haunting a castle, am I right?
  4. How Much Does it Cost to be a King? : Daddy was a wealthy knight, but he wanted so much more for his son…
  5. The Curse of the Most Beautiful Girl in Ireland: She grew up in poverty in West Ireland and ended up a national celebrity and the wife of an Earl.
  6. The Nazis’ Black Book: During World War II the Nazis had very big plans for the UK… once they’d managed to occupy it.
  7. The Fat Baronet and the Hunchback Jester: The Baronet had a pet frog. Her Jester used to swallow live mice.  Together, they were a match made in heaven.
  8. The Witch from Leeds Castle: All the duchess wanted was a Horoscope chart. It ended with three executions and a life sentence.
  9. The Virgin Widow and The Swedish Assassin: Even when Elizabeth married for the third time, she was still a Virgin. It might be related to the fact that her lover murdered her husband.
  10. Becoming a Fertility Doctor in the 17th Century: John Wilmot was kicked out of the King’s Court, so he needed a place to stay and something to do….
  11. The Most Expensive Marriage Proposal in History: When you are trying to propose to the one you love, you must make a real effort, especially if her name is Queen Elizabeth.
  12. The Secretary: George Vernon needed a secretary. His only requirement was that she will be 13 years old.
  13. The Prince of Wales and Mad Mordaunt: When Charles Mordaunt discovered a stash of letters from his wife’s lovers, he decided to divorce her and take them all to court as witnesses. But what do you do when the Prince of Wales is one of them?
  14. Lucy Percy, the Double Agent of the Civil War: One lover was a royalist, her other lover was a Parliamentarian, which made Lucy Percy the perfect double agent.  
  15. Ford Lord Grey and the Berkeley Sisters: He married one sister and seduced the other. When Lord Berkeley took him to court, some shocking information was revealed.
  16. The Lady who owned an Island: She was the “Queen” of the Isle of Wight and one of the richest people in the country, so why was she forced to live in hiding?
  17. Dragfoot, the butcher of the Scots: When he could no longer fight for Edward I, he decided to become his chief torturer. Was John Sage a real man, and could he still be haunting Chillingham Castle?
  18. The Worst Underground Movement in History: They supported the Monarchy and hated the commonwealth, so they tried to bring Charles II back. Problem was, they were really bad in plotting.
  19. 13 Years Old Mary Anne needs a Husband: At the end of the 18th century, finding a match for a Catholic English was not an easy thing. The solution? Marrying the 13 years old Mary Anne to her 63 years old uncle.  
  20. Mr Throckmorton’s £70,000 New Coat: In 1811, when you can’t play bingo or gamble on football, all is left is put your bet on technology of course.