What is now known as Holland House was originally built in the Jacobean style in 1605, for the diplomat Sir Walter Cope (it was originally known as Cope Castle). It was extended between 1625-35 by the by-then owner, Cope’s son-in-law, Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland, who gave it is present name. Rich was executed in 1649, for his Royalist activities during the Civil War, whereafter the house was temporarily appropriated by the Parliamentarians – despite, according to legend, still being haunted by Holland’s ghost, carrying his severed head under his arm! By the eighteenth century, the house had come to be owned by the Fox family, and became a fashionable meeting-place and celebrated salon. It was substantially destroyed by incendiary bombing on September 27th, 1940, with essentially only the east wing still surviving intact.