Burton Agnes Hall is a house of immense charm and character. It has many unusual features and is fortunate in suffering so little from alterations or additions in its history. The family stress that it is a 'lived-in' home and this welcome quality is perhaps its most appealing asset. Since the Norman Manor House was built by Roger de Stuteville in 1173 the property has never changed hands by sale, though it has passed from family to family on occasions when the male line has ended.
The beautiful proportions of the Hall and its adherence to the principles of Tudor Renaissance architecture (Commoditie, Firmness and Delight) confirm that a professional hand drew up the designs. The architect was in fact Robert Smithson - Master Mason to Queen Elizabeth I and builder of such other famous houses as Longleat, Wollaton and Hardwick. It is the only Smithson house where the plan still exists, in the RIBA collection. In his definitive book on the Smithsons, Mark Girouard called Burton Agnes a 'spendid and glittering composition'.