English Hideaway Bed & Breakfast

Address: 325 North Plain Road, Housatonic, MA, 01236    Reservation Line: 1-413-274-6149

History of An English Hideaway Inn

The Inn is an authentic 230 year old Berkshire cottage Farmhouse located close to Tom Ball Mountain. In the 1700’s a Mr. Robert Turner lived with his family in the cottage which was part of the Turner Farm Estate on North Plain Road in scenic Housatonic in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mr. Turner was well known in this community and it is reported that he worked diligently to help the local people. In the late 1700s, North Plain Road was the main thoroughfare between Housatonic and nearby Great Barrington and the Turner Cottage is one of the oldest buildings on this road. Most people would travel this dirt road by horse and buggy.

The Turner cottage was termed a “Grand Cottage” because it was fortunate and unusual in having two rooms for living space. Both the working kitchen and the best room were built with large fireplaces. The Rumford fireplace in the Living Room is a rare example of an extremely effective design by Count Rumford produced in 1796. Indeed the example in the inn is considered to be one of the earliest in New England. Interestingly the Count was born Benjamin Thompson in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1753 but as a loyalist departed in 1776 at the time of Independence and spent the rest of his life serving the Bavarian State. These fireplaces are very efficient at reflecting heat into the room and the design means that the fire produces very little smoke. We can imagine the early American family sitting in the Best, or Keeping, Room around the fire in the dead of winter enjoying reading the Bible or telling stories to each other. This room is still kept in its original configuration complete with original beams and wide 200 year old Chestnut wood floors.


An English Hideaway Inn


Central Square, Housatonic, Massachusetts – c1880

Most farmhouse cottages would have had just one large open room serving as a kitchen and living room. The fireplace in this cottage’s kitchen is of a large open design which would have been prone, like most kitchen fireplaces, to producing a rather smoky atmosphere. As a result, the Kitchen was often called the Fire Room.

The Turner Estate was part of the American Underground Railroad, bringing slaves from the Deep South to the north and to Canada. This was effectively a series of “Safe Houses” providing slaves with places to hide en route. By the early 1800s, Massachusetts had already ended the use of slaves but it was not until the completion of the Civil War that slavery was abolished across the USA. Two of the bedrooms in the main Inn have secret areas where it is said that the slaves would hide.

The building was called "Berkshire Cottage" for many years and a sign sporting this name hung outside for over 70 years until the previous owners renamed the property “Christine’s Inn”.

Tom Ball Mountain behind the Inn has many associations with the Mahican Indian tribe. There are many caves on the mountain that would have been used by the local Housatonic clan. North Plain Road is bounded by the Housatonic river on the east side and the Williamsville River on the west side below Tom Ball Mountain.

The Inn’s main building was constructed between 1780 and 1840 and guests enjoy the country cottage ambience of the guest lounge, complete with a wood burning stove. The breakfast room which is a great place to watch the many beautiful birds that grace the extensive gardens.

The carriage house building, accommodating the guest rooms, is relatively new and dates back to 1985. The Berkshire Room has a fireplace for a particularly cosy and romantic feel as well as its own private deck for those warm summer evenings. All rooms are air conditioned and have mountain and garden views. The Inn has magnificent lawns, perennial cottage gardens, 200 year old trees and views overlooking Tom Ball Mountain. The gardens have a gazebo located on the south side where you can relax and enjoy the peaceful country ambience.

Members of the Berkshire Lodgings Association, Southern Berkshire Chamber and the Berkshire Visitors Center, and many popular websites  and have won many awards. An English Hideaway Inn, located in Housatonic, Massachusetts, MA  halfway between Great Barrington and West Stockbridge MA offers accommodation and lodging in the Southern Berkshires close to the towns of Stockbridge, Great Barrington and Lenox, home of the Tanglewood festival.


Gardens at an English Hideaway Inn