Downton Castle

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Downton Castle

Downton Castle is an 18th-century country house at Downton on the Rock, Herefordshire, England, about five miles west of Ludlow, Shropshire. It is a Grade I listed building.[1]

The estate was acquired by Richard Knight (1659–1749) a wealthy ironmaster of Madeley, Shropshire, and in due course passed to his grandson Richard Payne Knight, who created the new house in a Gothic revival style.[1] Knight, an enthusiast of the ‘picturesque’ style, commissioned landscape artist, Thomas Hearne to produce several drawings of the grounds.[2]

The original south-facing entrance front has a central square tower, six bays to the left terminating in an octagonal tower and five bays to the right flanked by a square tower, the whole resembling a medieval castle with embattled parapets.[1]

In 1824 Charlotte Knight, daughter and heir to the estate, married Sir William Rouse-Boughton of Downton Hall, Stanton Lacy, Shropshire, (about 6 miles to the NE of Downton Castle) the 10th of the Boughton Baronets. She bequeathed the estate to their second son Andrew, who in 1857 changed his name to Rouse-Boughton-Knight. He was High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1860 and at that time began improvements and extensions to the house which included a new entrance and porch, a north west tower, and a chapel.[1] Terraced gardens were created in 1865 by WA Nestfield. In 1881 the family were resident with a retinue of twelve servants.[3]

Charles Andrew Rouse-Boughton-Knight died at the house in 1947.


Coordinates: 52°22′04″N 2°48′59″W / 52.3678°N 2.8164°W / 52.3678; -2.8164