Dodington Park

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Bath Lodge at the southern entrance to Dodington Park

Dodington Park is a country house and estate in Dodington, Gloucestershire, England. The house was built by James Wyatt for Christopher Bethell Codrington (of the Codrington baronets). The family had made their fortune from sugar plantations in the Caribbean and were significant owners of slaves. It remained in the Codrington family until 1980; it is now owned by the British businessman James Dyson.

The estate comprises some 300 acres of landscaped park with woods, lakes, lodges, a dower house, an orangery, a church, and a walled kitchen garden. Formal gardens adjoin the main house. The house is Grade I listed on the National Heritage List for England and the landscaped park is Grade II* listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.[1][2] The dower house, orangery, and St Mary's Church which all adjoin the house are also each individually Grade I listed, as is the Bath lodge at the southern part of the estate.[3][4][5][6]

The wall, railings and gate piers near the Bath lodge are listed Grade II.[7] Chippenham Lodge and its terrace walls and the northern gateway to Dodington Park are listed Grade II*.[8] The gates and walls surrounding the kitchen garden toward the north of the park are listed Grade II, as is the Garden Cottage.[9][10]

Location[edit]

Dodington Park is in the parish of Sodbury in the county of Gloucestershire in South West England. The village of Dodington adjoins the western entrance of the estate, which is set on the western edge of the southern Cotswolds. The eastern boundary of the estate is the A46 road, which connects Bath to Stroud, with the northern boundaries bordered by the A432 road from Chippenham to Sodbury. A lane connecting Dodington village to the A46 forms the southern boundary of the estate.[1]

History[edit]

The Codrington family acquired the Dodington estate in the late 16th century, when it was home to a large gabled Elizabethan house and adjoining church. In the 18th century the family became extremely wealthy from their sugar plantations in the British West Indies (see History of the British West Indies) and expanded and developed the estate.[11] The grounds of 240 ha were laid out around 1764 by Capability Brown and were modified in 1793 by William Emes and John Webb.[2]

The main house was built by James Wyatt between 1798 and 1816 for Christopher Bethell Codrington. It is built in the Roman classical style from Bath stone and has a slate roof. Each facade is different, the south front having seven bays separated by Corinthian pilasters. From the north west corner of the house, a curving conservatory acts as a covered approach to the church, which was also rebuilt by Wyatt. A formal garden was added in 1930.[2] [12] The interior of the house features decorative plasterwork by Francis Bernasconi.[13]

The house was listed as being 52,000 sq ft in size at the time of its 2003 sale.

A curved orangery with a black and white stone floor adjoins the west of the house, to which it is directly accessed by glass doors.[3] The 1999 Gloucestershire 1: The Cotswolds edition of the Pevsner Architectural Guides, described the placing of the curved orangery in relation to St Mary's church as a "perfect example of Regency picturesque".[14]

The church of St Mary adjoining the house is listed Grade I.[5] The Fishing Lodge, listed Grade II, is to the north west of the house.[15] The bridges to the south and the north of the lodge are both Grade II listed, as are the wall and piers to the west of the Fishing Lodge.[16][17][18]

The walls on the bridge and tunnel entries to the north west of the house are listed Grade II.[19] The lodge to the north west of the house is listed Grade II, as are its gate piers and their gates.[20][21]

The stables are listed Grade I, and a barn to the north of the stables is listed Grade II.[22][23]

The walls, piers, and bridge to the west of St Mary's churchyard entrance are listed Grade II, as are the walls and railings and gates attached to the West of the church.[24] [25]

The Summer House to the south of the Dower House is listed Grade II.[26] The Cascade Building at the eastern end of the lake is listed Grade II*.[27] The ornamental pigeon loft to the east of the cascade building is listed Grade II.[28]

In the formal gardens to the east of the house, a pair of pedestals and urns are listed Grade II, as are an urn and pedestal to the west of the house.[29][30] The garden ornaments on the south of the house are listed Grade II as is the balustrade to the west.[31][32]

Betteshanger School moved to Dodington Park for the duration of the Second World War.[33] Dodington Park was opened to the public in the 1950s due to the increasing financial pressures on the Codrington family of maintaining the estate. The Times listed the house as open from 1 May to 30 September in the summer of 1955 with entry costing 2s and 6d.[34] The house received financial grants for maintenance from the Ministry of Works in 1955.[35]

An adventure playground for children, a carriage museum and a narrow-gauge railway had been built on the site to attract visitors by the 1970s. The local council denied planning permission to build a pleasure park in 1982, with the decision costing the immediate loss of 20 staff. In the wake of the decision Sir Simon Codrington said that "Every generation of Codringtons since the sixteenth century has fought tooth and nail to keep the estate" with Sr Simon and his wife being reduced to occupying only a single bedroom and kitchen in the house with an electric fire for heating.[36]

The estate was put up for sale in October 1983 by estate agents John D. Wood and had sold by the following February at undisclosed price, with offers over £1 million having been sought previously.[37][38] The Codrington archives which documented three generations of the family and their relationship with agriculture and slavery in the West Indies for two centuries were sold in the late 1970s.[39] Dodington Park was the subject of the final episode of the 1981 BBC 2 series Arthur Negus Enjoys in which Arthur Negus and architectural historian John Martin Robinson visited the house.[40]

Post Codringon[edit]

Dodington Park was sold in 1993 to an unnamed property developer.[41]

It was subsequently bought in 2003 by the British inventor and businessman James Dyson for a price believed to be £20 million.[11][42] The estate was believed to be 300 acres at the time of the 2003 sale. Dyson constructed an underground swimming pool underneath the orangery without planning permission in 2011. The existence of the pool was subsequently revealed to South Gloucestershire planning officers in 2015 after a tip off, and Dyson was forced to retrospectively apply for planning permission, which was granted in October 2016.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Historic England, "Dodington House (1000566)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 6 October 2017
  2. ^ a b c Historic England, "Dodington House (1211169)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 6 October 2017
  3. ^ a b Historic England, "Orangery attached to North West of Dodington House (1211172)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  4. ^ Historic England, "Dower House (1290138)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  5. ^ a b Historic England, "Church of St Mary (1211173)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  6. ^ Historic England, "Bath Lodge (1214012)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  7. ^ Historic England, "Wall, railings and gate piers about 10 meters West of Bath Lodge (1288729)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  8. ^ Historic England, "North gateway to Dodington Park, sites, quadrant walls and Chippenham Lodge and terrace walls (1135785)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  9. ^ Historic England, "Walls surrounding former kitchen garden and gates at North end of Dodington Park (1211469)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  10. ^ Historic England, "Garden Cottage (1290031)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  11. ^ a b Matthew Parker (2011). The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire and War. Hutchinson. p. 362. ISBN 978-0-09-192583-3.
  12. ^ David Smith (27 February 2005). "Lord Muck". The Observer. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  13. ^ Geoffrey Beard; Jeff Orton; Richard Ireland (6 October 2015). Decorative Plasterwork in Great Britain. Routledge. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-317-74288-3.
  14. ^ David Verey; Alan Brooks (1999). Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds. Penguin Books. p. 91.
  15. ^ Historic England, "Fishing Lodge on North bank of lake (1290029)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  16. ^ Historic England, "Bridge, flanking wall and piers about 25 meters South East of fishing lodge (1211461)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  17. ^ Historic England, "Bridge, flanking wall and piers about 40 meters North East of fishing lodge (1290030)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  18. ^ Historic England, "Wall and piers about 110 meters West of fishing lodge (1211431)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  19. ^ Historic England, "Walls on bridge and tunnel entries about 120 meters North West of Dodingon House (1211177)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  20. ^ Historic England, "Lodge about 120 meters North West of Dodington House (1211176)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  21. ^ Historic England, "Gate piers and gates attached to East of Lodge about 120 meters North West of Dodington House (1211334)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  22. ^ Historic England, "Stables (1290139)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  23. ^ Historic England, "Barn about 12 meters North of stables (1211411)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  24. ^ Historic England, "Walls, piers and bridge about 40 meters West of Entrance to Churchyard of Church of St Mary (1211312)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  25. ^ Historic England, "Walls, piers, railings, gates and overthrow attached to West of Church of St Mary (1211174)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  26. ^ Historic England, "Summer House about 30 meters South of the Dower House (1211350)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  27. ^ Historic England, "The Cascade Building about 80 meters East of Dodington House and railings (1211179)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  28. ^ Historic England, "Ornamental pigeon loft about 80 meters East of Cascade Building (1211429)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  29. ^ Historic England, "Pair of pedestals and urns about 10 meters East of Dodington House (1290132)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  30. ^ Historic England, "Urn and pedestal about 30 meters West of Dodington House (1290135)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  31. ^ Historic England, "Balustrade about 50 meters West of Dodington House (1211171)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  32. ^ Historic England, "Garden ornaments on terrace south of Dodington House (1211170)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 October 2017
  33. ^ "Personal". The Times (48507). 8 January 1940. p. 1. Retrieved 26 February 2018 – via The Times Digital Archive.
  34. ^ "Summer openings of English country houses". The Times (5320OB). 28 March 1955. p. 4. Retrieved 26 February 2018 – via The Times Digital Archive.
  35. ^ "Memory of Keane and Kemble". The Times (53132). 6 January 1955. p. 10. Retrieved 26 February 2018 – via The Times Digital Archive.
  36. ^ Seton, Craig (2 November 1982). "Historic house jobs lost". The Times (60978). p. 25. Retrieved 26 February 2018 – via The Times Digital Archive.
  37. ^ Warman, Christopher (23 October 1983). "Property Buyers Guide". The Times (61673). p. 29. Retrieved 26 February 2018 – via The Times Digital Archive.
  38. ^ Warman, Christopher (15 February 1984). "Property Buyers Guide". The Times (61758). p. 29. Retrieved 26 February 2018 – via The Times Digital Archive.
  39. ^ Michael Wood (2001). In Search of England: Journeys Into the English Past. University of California Press. pp. 292–293. ISBN 978-0-520-23218-1.
  40. ^ "Choice". The Times (60978). 13 July 1981. p. 25. Retrieved 26 February 2018 – via The Times Digital Archive.
  41. ^ Anne Spackman (13 November 1993). "Property: The manor is reborn: Wealthy buyers are rediscovering the advantages, financial and social, of owning an estate, says Anne Spackman". The Independent. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  42. ^ Nicholas Hellen and Josh Boswell (28 December 2014). "Dyson bags a bigger estate than the Queen". The Times. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  43. ^ Simon de Bruxelles (26 October 2016). "Dyson in hot water over marble pool". The Times. Retrieved 9 October 2017.

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′1.5″N 2°21′29″W / 51.517083°N 2.35806°W / 51.517083; -2.35806