Gore Lodge – also known as The House that Jack Built, is now a fine example of a 19th Century Hunting Box.  It was originally built as a Georgian farmhouse in the 1730’s, as stated by the date bricks on the front, and was purchased from Charlotte Humfrey of Kibworth Hall in 1862 by Benedict John (known as “Jack Cherry”) Angell. A member of the fabulously wealthy Angell family who owned estates in London, Berkshire, Sussex and the Midlands, he already owned The Cottage Estate in Lubenham (now know as The Tower House) and bought the house for his uncle John Benedict Gore although the two were actually about the same age. Both Jack and nephew John were avid racehorse breeders, trainers and gamblers, Jack being the founder of The National Hunt Challenge Cup which started in Lubenham and eventually became the centrepiece of the Cheltenham Gold Cup Festival, he gained the nickname Cherry Angell due to his love of the colour, even wearing a cherry hunting coat and driving a cherry Phaeton carriage.

Guest House market Harborough Gore Lodge
Guest House market Harborough Gore Lodge

The tale goes that Jack and John had a wager on a horse race, which John Gore won, Jack’s forfeit was the renovation of Gore Lodge as seen today. Designed by the eminent arts and crafts architect R W Eddis, these include the installation of the mock Tudor front, raising the roof for a third floor, enlarging the Hall, Dining and Drawing Rooms and building stabling for twelve hunters complete with tack room, dog kennel, grooms’ lodge and coach house. On the completion of the renovations, a dinner party was held in the new hall, at which a guest suggested the new name of; The House that Jack Built. which was duly carved over the front porch. So famous was it for horse racing and hunting, it is said that Lubenham had more horses than inhabitants, and the first winners of the National Hunt Challenge Cup, were stabled here: Alcibiade at Gore Lodge, Queensferry at The Cottage, and possibly the most famous racehorse ever, six times winner of The Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot, Brown Jack stabled at Thorpe Lubenham Hall owned by Sir Harold Wernher. John Gore died in April 1876 after his uncle Jack in May 1874 from whom he had inherited much of his wealth including many properties in the village, he is buried in Lubenham Churchyard.

Other notable owners Gore Lodge are Major William Massey who was Master of Foxhounds for the Fernie Hunt nearby, Victor Collin, antique expert and columnist.