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Dawley House, Harlington 1056

Brief Description

The site dates from the early 17th century, when a wall was built round a large rectangle of land south of the house. A park was created in 1690,and enlarged in 1707. The whole site was redesigned in 1726. Formal gardens shown on an engraving published in 1780 may belong to this phase. The house was demolished in 1770, and the site developed.


Sir John Bennet took up residence at Dawley, and in about 1620 may have walled-in a large rectangle south of the manor house to make a garden. His grandson Lord Ossulston received a licence to empark 300 acres in 1690, and enlarged the house in the same decade. A double avenue of trees ran out into the park, and there was a transverse avenue carrying the sidelong approach to the forecourt. The vista that ran through the south gardens was continued by elaborate ironwork gates, and an avenue running into the park. A fine greenhouse was built. The 2nd Lord Ossulston incorporated a further 70 acres into the park in 1707 and created a broad northward vista. He also altered many other elements to the garden layout, including a wilderness arm extending west from the gardens. Lord Bolingbroke bought the estate in 1724, disparked, and renamed it 'Dawley Farm'. The old house and gardens were mostly swept away when James Gibbs 'new modelled' the house during 1726 and produced a design for an arched bridge. Formal gardens shown on an engraving published in 1780 may belong to this phase. Charles Bridgeman was called round, but whether he was employed is unclear. A plain parterre was made west of the house which gave views down a western vista. The house was demolished about 1770.

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