Since the 17th century courtyard was enclosed and built over with the Octagon, the main entrance to the House is through the Front Hall in the more modern (1800) section. A painting of Mary Queen of Scots welcomes old Jacobite retainers in to warm themselves by the fire.
The Octagon provides access to many of the ground floor reception rooms. As an inner hall, it is an excellent central room for events of all sorts. The cupola window in the ceiling allows an interesting view of Winton's unique twisted chimneys.