To stay in this extraordinary, historic, Grade II* house is a unique experience. Deeply atmospheric, the principal rooms exude a tremendous sense of history and contain many fine examples of period features. Set in superb grounds on the Rushmore Estate, on the edge of the charming village of Tollard Royal, King John’s House is perfect for a special celebration be it a ‘milestone’ birthday, important wedding anniversary or a large family reunion.

The medieval entrance hall provides a wonderful reception area and guests will be able to dine in style in the Tudor panelled dining room.The Rushmore Estate lies within the larger area known as the Cranborne Chase, once a royal hunting ground, and perhaps one of the best examples of a typical ‘English’ landscape anywhere in the country. The higher ground affords wonderful views as far as the Isle of Wight and there are superb walks in the area including a number of ‘droves’ – green lanes where once oxen and cattle were herded to market. Comprising 7,000 acres in total, the estate contains one of the largest swathes of broad-leaved woodland in southern England and is a wildlife site of national importance.

The estate includes the Larmer Tree Victorian pleasure gardens, a 15 minute walk from the house while for keen golfers, Rushmore Golf Club, an excellent 18 hole parkland course, is a few minutes’ drive. In Tollard Royal itself, The King John Inn serves mouth-watering food, a good selection of ales and fine wines.

Further afield, the Saxon hilltop town of Shaftesbury, the cathedral city of Salisbury and the New Forest National Park are all easy destinations for a day’s exploring. The beautiful Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, is an hour’s drive and richly rewards a visit.

The original building on the site of the house was a hunting ‘box’ used by King John in the very early years of the 13th century. He held a ‘knight’s fee’ through his second wife Isabella, and would meet the other huntsmen under the nearby Larmer Tree, originally a wych elm which was later replaced by an oak (the name is thought to mean a boundary marked by bulrushes, possibly separating Saxon from West Welsh territory). Later they would eat at the lodge.

The central part of the current King John’s House was built in 1240, shortly after the King’s death in 1216; and this is where guests will enter, into the medieval hall with its huge fireplace, long stone-mullioned window overlooking the garden and water feature, and very unusual small ‘loophole’ window. Further rooms lead from the oldest parts of the house to the Tudor additions where some of the original fine panelling still remains.


Open fires. Oil/Gas Fired Central Heating.

Logs, Oil, Gas, Electricity, Bed Linen, Towels & Welcome Pack included in Rent.

Large Screen TV’s in Study, Drawing Room Freeview TV’s in Bedrooms

Wi-Fi/Broadband and Sonos Music System.

Automatic Washing Machine & Tumble Dryer, Dishwasher, Gas ‘Range’ Style Cooker with Two Ovens, Microwave, Fridge/Freezer, Additional Drinks Fridges.

Catering or hire of a Chef can be arranged for special celebration meals. Ample Parking. Excellent Pub (The King John Inn) a few minutes’ walk. Local Shopping in Shaftesbury 8 Miles away or Blandford 10 Miles. Pets by prior arrangement. Non Smokers Only.

For more information or to book please call the Rushmore Estate Office on 01725 516225 or email


Ground floor: entrance through ancient oak door from courtyard into the medieval hall with its huge open fireplace and flagged floor. Impressive, oak-panelled dining room in the Tudor addition to the house with original fireplace now containing a gas fire. Large, well-equipped kitchen with breakfast table. Outer room incorporating a big walk-in larder, utility area and secondary entrance at the side of the house. Study on other side of hall with flat screen, wall-mounted TV. Inner hall leading to a shower room/wc and connecting door to the annexe. Main, wide oak staircase to landing and inner lobby. 1st floor: Large, beautiful drawing room corresponding to the hall below in the original part of house with large window overlooking the garden below and open fireplace. From inner lobby, two bedrooms, one double with half-tester canopy and one with twin beds; both with an en suite shower room/wc.
Further twin bedroom with Tudor panelling and decorative, herringbone brick fireplace. Separate bathroom/wc with shower over bath (adjacent to the bedroom but also accessible to others). Master bedroom with kingsize bed, dressing area and luxurious, contemporary shower room/wc. On landing, cupboard containing a small ‘bar’ with sink. Further narrow stairs to landing. 2nd floor: bathroom/wc with separate shower cubicle. Single bedroom leading to a further large attic room with twin beds. Annexe: (accessed from main house or from outside via courtyard): large sitting room with view over the garden. Two bedrooms, one double and one with twin beds. Shower room/wc. Small fitted kitchen with electric oven/hob. Pavilion: Luxurious double room overlooking Japanese water gardens, with en suite shower room/sauna and separate wc.


The beautifully maintained gardens at King John’s House are enchanting. Laid out in a formal manner close to the house, further away they blend seamlessly into the surrounding countryside. A long vista at the rear of the house leads the eye past a series of ascending rectangular pools and a fountain to a folly in the far distance.
The long grass pathways passing through avenues of pleached hornbeam and cypress trees are a wonderful way to explore this imaginatively landscaped outdoor space. One of these walkways leads down to the exotic ‘Japanese’ garden where a pavilion overlooks a series of ornamental ponds containing Koi carp and various aquatic features. Inside the pavilion is a double bedroom – perfect for a bridal suite.