Friday, May 16, 2014

Romantic houses of England: Stourhead

This striped Chippendale sofa makes an appearance in my novel WHAT A RAKE WANTS - The Spies of Mayfair, Book Three
It's not Lord Montsimon, but Lady Brookwood who wants it. As I confess I do myself!

The Stourton family, the Barons of Stourton had lived in the Stourhead estate for 500 years until they sold it to Sir Thomas Meres in 1714. A wealthy banker, Sir Richard Hoare then bought it in 1717. After the original manor house was demolished, Colen Campbell designed the new Palladian mansion, one of the first of its kind.

Stourhead, the estate, includes the Palladian mansion and the village of Stourton, gardens, farmland, and woodland. Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare, gave the Stourhead house and gardens to the National Trust in 1946, one year before his death. His sole heir and son, Captain 'Harry' Henry Colt Arthur Hoare, of the Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry, had died of wounds received at the Battle of Mughar Ridge on 13 November 1917 in World War I. Captain Hoare is commemorated by a plaque on the Memorial Hall at Stourhead. The last Hoare family member to be born inside the house is Edward Hoare on 11 October 1949.Stourhead has been in the ownership of the National Trust since 1946.

Over the next 200 years the Hoare family collected many heirlooms, including a large library and art collection.

In 1902 when the house was gutted by fire, many of the heirlooms were saved, and the house rebuilt in a near identical style. 
The gardens include a man-made lake and the famous Temple of Apollo and grotto
Information and images from Wikipedia and the National Trust website: Stourhead

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