Dropmore House 1134

High Wycombe, England, Buckinghamshire, South Bucks

Brief Description

Dropmore House has a late-18th/early-19th-century landscape garden. Ornamental woodland and formal gardens cover about 35 hectares, within a woodland and agricultural estate which at its most extensive was around 270 hectares. The estate, much of which is neglected, includes a large 19th-century aviary.

History

Lord Grenville, Prime Minister to George III, began work on the Dropmore estate in 1792, employing Samuel Wyatt to build the south range of the present house. Grenville was a keen botanist, and planted many trees including, in the 1820s, a 25 hectare pinetum west of the house.

Terrain

The land generally slopes down to the south-east, with the house near the top of a hillside overlooking Slough and Windsor.

Detailed Description

The following is from the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

A late 18th/early 19th century landscape park, ornamental woodland and a formal garden surrounding a late 18th century country house.

DESCRIPTION

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

Dropmore lies in the Chiltern Hills, 4 kilometres south of Beaconsfield and 3 kilometres north of Burnham. The 270 hectare site is bounded by lanes: to the west Cliveden Road, to the north Heathfield Road, to the east Dropmore Road, and to the south Nashdom Lane, the land generally sloping down to the south-east, with the house near the top of a hillside overlooking Slough and Windsor in the distance to the south-east. The setting is largely agricultural and woodland, with the designed landscapes of Cliveden, Hedsor House and Nashdom adjacent, Hall Barn 1 kilometre to the north, and Burnham Beeches woodland 1 kilometre to the east.

REFERENCES

C Holme, The Gardens of England (The Studio) (1907-8), pp 46-48

Country Life, 120 (11 October 1956), pp 772-5; (18 October 1956), pp 834-7; 140 (4 August 1966), p 263

D Jacques, Georgian Gardens (1983), pp 192-193

J Morgan and A Richards, A Paradise out of a Common Field (1990), pp 166-167

J C Loudon, In Search of English Gardens (1990), pp 95-96

N Pevsner and E Williamson, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire (1994), pp 289-291

Maps

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1882

2nd edition published 1914

3rd edition published 1926

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1881-1882

2nd edition published 1899

Description written: 1997

Amended: April 1999

Edited: June 1999

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: Much of the house was destroyed by fire in 1990.
  • Earliest Date:
Access & Directions

Directions

North of Lambourne
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Taplow
History

Detailed History

The following is from the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

Lord Grenville, Prime Minister to George III, began work on the Dropmore estate in 1792, having bought 15 hectares of land complete with a small labourer's cottage, which he demolished, then employing Samuel Wyatt to build the south range of the present house. Grenville wrote to his future wife, Anne Pitt, 'I think you will be pleased with the situation when you see it, though I know Lord Camelford will think it a great deal too exposed. I do not think that a great objection, being compensated, as it is, by the advantage of air and prospect' (Country Life 1956). Grenville began landscaping Dropmore immediately after he built the house, and his improvements are said to have included the removal of a hill that blocked the view of Windsor Castle 12 kilometre to the south-east (Country Life 1956). He was a keen botanist, and planted many trees, some supplied by his brother Lord Buckingham from Stowe, including, in the 1820s, a 25 hectare pinetum west of the house, around the lake. Grenville died in 1834, leaving his widow, also a keen botanist, who continued to develop the estate and gardens, constructing the alcove by the lake, and probably the Italianate features in the walled garden. Following Lady Grenville's death in 1864, aged ninety-one, the estate was inherited by the Fortescue family, and bought in 1943 by Lord Kemsley. Following its occupation by the Army during the Second World War, and consequent deterioration of the house and grounds, the Kemsleys restored the estate and planted many more trees to complement the existing planting. The majority of the house burnt down in 1990, and has not been rebuilt, although there are plans to do so (1997). Much of the garden has subsequently been vandalised and many structures have been stolen. The site remains (1997) in private ownership.

Period

  • Late 18th Century
Associated People

People associated to Dropmore House

Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Click Here
References

References