The house from a 1910 postcard
House & Family History: Hadspen was originally a farmhouse built by William Player between 1687 and 1699. In 1747 the House was sold to Vickris Dickinson, who remodeled it circa 1750. The ceilings of the front rooms were raised in 1786-87, with major alterations and additions to the House in 1828, 1886 (the large west wing), and 1909 (the small east block). Supposedly the subject of a bidding war in late December 2013-early January 2014 between actor Johnny Depp and South African billionaire Koos Bekker, Hadspen was won by Bekker and his wife, Karen Roos, for a reported £12 million. It opened as The Newt in Somerset hotel in 2019.
Collections: Between May 29 and May 31, 1996, the contents of Hadspen House were sold in 1,562 lots by Sotheby's. There was a further sale (The Niall Hobhouse Collection), which was conducted by Christie's on May 22, 2008 and brought a total of £2,906,275.
Comments: In 2019 "The Telegraph" gave The Newt a rating of 9 (out of 10) and called it "...one of the most exceptional country house hotels Britain has seen."
Garden & Outbuildings: The walled garden has been open to visitors since 1970; it was maintained by Penelope Hobhouse until 1979. In March 2007, the three-quarter-acre walled garden was redeveloped via an open design competition. The House is today the center of a 300-acre estate.
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat / Home of: William Player, late 17th century. Vickris Dickinson, 1747-67. Charles Medows, 18th century. John Ford, 18th century. Henry Hobhouse, late 18th century; Arthur Hobhouse, 20th century; Niall and Penelope Hobhouse, late 20th century; Hobhouse family here from 1785 until 2012.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Hotel
Ownership Details: Since July 2019 The Newt in Somerset hotel, owned by Koos Bekker and Karen Roos.