Knebworth House

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Knebworth House

Knebworth House is a country house in the civil parish of Knebworth in Hertfordshire, England.

History and description[edit]

The home of the Lytton family since 1490, when Thomas Bourchier sold the reversion of the manor to Sir Robert Lytton, Knebworth House was originally a genuine red-brick Late Gothic manor house, built round a central court as an open square. In 1813-16 the house was reduced to its west wing,[1] which was remodelled in a Tudor Gothic style by John Biagio Rebecca for Mrs Bulwer-Lytton,[2] and then was transformed in 1843-45 by Henry Edward Kendall, Jr. into the present Tudor Gothic structure.[3] In 1913-1914 it was leased by Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia and his morganatic wife Natalia Brasova.[4] Its most famous resident was Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the Victorian author, dramatist and statesman, who embellished the gardens in a formal Italianate fashion. Much of the interior was redesigned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who simplified the main parterre. A herb garden in an interlaced quincunx design was drawn by Gertrude Jekyll in 1907 but not planted until 1982.

The house today[edit]

The current residents are Henry Lytton-Cobbold and his family.

The house is open to the public together with its surrounding gardens and grounds. The grounds include an adventure playground, mini railway (closed in 2012) and dinosaur park and host various events including classic car rallies, the annual Salvo Fair of architectural salvage and, since 1974, major open air rock and pop concerts from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, Paul McCartney, Genesis, Mike Oldfield, The Beach Boys, Deep Purple, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Dire Straits, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Oasis.[5]

Radio and cinema[edit]

Local radio station 106 Jack FM Hertfordshire broadcasts from the old pump house, which provided water for the house.

Numerous films have been shot at Knebworth, including:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 'Parishes: Knebworth', A History of the County of Hertford: volume 3 (1912), pp. 111-18. Date accessed: 27 August 2007].
  2. ^ Colvin, Howard (1995) A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, 3rd ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, s.v. "John Biagio Rebecca".
  3. ^ Colvin, Howard (1995) A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, 3rd ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, s.v. "Henry Edward Kendall", note.
  4. ^ Donald Crawford, The Last Tsar: Emperor Michael II (Kindle Location 630.) Murray McLellan. Kindle Edition
  5. ^ "Knebworth: The Stately Home of Rock". Knebworth House.com. Retrieved 19 February 2011

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°52′22″N 0°12′53″W / 51.8728°N 0.2148°W / 51.8728; -0.2148