There has been a house at Rycote at least since the 13th century, of which nothing now remains, with the notable exception of the mid – 15th century Chapel. The current house is the remnant of a magnificent Tudor palace most probably built by John Williams (aka Lord Williams of Thame, founder of the eponymous school) in the 1550s. His descendants, who ultimately became the Earls of Abingdon, continued to own Rycote until the 20th century and the house was much visited by royalty in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The family fell upon hard times at the end of the 18th century and the mansion was pulled down and sold off as building materials in 1807. What remained became a farmhouse which was restored and extended by Col Alfred St George Hammersley after he bought it In 1911. It was further extended in the 1930s by the new owner Cecil Michaelis, whose descendants sold the house to the current owners in 2000.
Bernard and Sarah Taylor have spent the last twenty years restoring Rycote, its buildings, its gardens, its lakes , its land so that it is once more a working Estate, supporting families and animals as it did in its pre – 1800 life.