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Dyrham Park

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Not to be confused with Dyrham Park Country Club, Hertfordshire
Lower part of the park and east front of the house and orangery

Dyrham Park is a baroque country house in an ancient deer park near the village of Dyrham in South Gloucestershire, England. The house, attached orangery, stable block and accompanying parish church are Grade I listed buildings, while the park is Grade II* listed on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

The current house was built for William Blathwayt in stages during the 17th and early 18th centuries, on the site of a previous manor house, with the final facade being designed by William Talman. It contains art works and furniture from around the world, particularly Holland, and includes a collection of Dutch Masters. The house is linked to the 13th century church of St Peter where many of the Blathwayt family are buried. The house is surrounded by 274 acres (111 ha) of formal gardens and parkland which supports a herd of fallow deer. The grounds were originally laid out by George London and later developed by Charles Harcourt Masters. They include water features and statuary.

The house and estate is now owned by the National Trust and underwent extensive renovation in 2014 and 2015. It is open to the public on some days and hosts events and attractions including open air concerts. It has also been used as a location for film and television productions.

History[edit]

Royal licence to empark Dyrham granted by king Henry VIII to William Denys, Esquire of the Body, 5 June 1511. Attached is a rare perfect example of the Great Seal of Henry VIII. Collection of Dyrham Park, National Trust

The Manor of Dyrham has been recorded since the Domesday Book. The first lord of the manor to be resident may have been William Denys who was an Esquire of the Body to king Henry VIII and later High Sheriff of Gloucestershire. He was granted the licence to empark 500 acres (200 ha) of Dyrham, around 1511, although not all this area was enclosed.[1] This meant that he could enclose the land with a wall or hedgebank and maintain a captive herd of deer within the park over which he had exclusive hunting rights. The estate was sold to the Wynter family in 1571 and Sir George Wynter was allowed to empark further land in 1620.[2] In 1689 the estate was acquired by marriage by William Blathwayt, who was Secretary at War to William III. He demolished the existing Tudor building and commissioned the current building. The west front of 1692 was commissioned from the Huguenot architect, Samuel Hauduroy,[3] and includes an Italianate double staircase, leading from the terrace to the grounds.[4] The east front of 1704 was designed by William Talman, architect of Chatsworth.[3]

Because of Blathwayt’s royal connections, and his influential uncle, Thomas Povey, Dyrham became a showcase of Dutch decorative arts. The collection includes delftware, paintings and furniture. 18th century additions include furniture by Gillow and Linnell. The interiors have remained little altered since decorated by Blathwayt. The gardens were designed by George London in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.[2]

The Blathwayt family lived at the house until 1956, when the government acquired it. The National Trust acquired it in 1961.[5] In 2015 major renovation work, costing £3.8 million, included replacing the roof. Part of the cost was met from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £85,000.[5] While the repairs were in progress, visitors could view the house from a rooftop walkway.[6][7]

Architecture[edit]

House[edit]

The west front

The limestone building has slate and lead roofs above the attics. The two-storey west front, which was built in the 1690s, has three bays of each side of the central doorway, which has Doric columns, with smaller pavilions at the ends of the wings.[3] One of the wings creates a covered passageway to the church of St Peter.[4] The east front, which was added around 1704, has shallow projecting wings and a central door under a balustrade with an Italianate double staircase leading down to the lawns. A central pedestal is inscribed "virtute et veritate". Above it is an eagle statue, carved by John Harvey of Bath, representing the family crest of the Blathwayt family.[3]

The interior is sumptuously decorated with wood paneling and tiles of Delftware.[4] The collection of artworks and artifacts includes furniture, china and pictures with a strong Dutch influence.[8] The state bed, with crimson and yellow velvet hangings, was made in Anglo-Dutch style around 1704.[4] The entrance hall is hung with bird paintings by Melchior d'Hondecoeter and throughout the house are landscape and still lifes by Abraham Storck, Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten, David Teniers the Younger and other Dutch Masters. Many of these were brought to Dyrham by George William Blathwayt after he inherited the house in 1844.[4] There are also artifacts from Blathwayt's journeys to other parts of the world, particularly Jamaica.[9]

Orangery and stable block[edit]

On the south eastern side of the house is an orangery, which was built as a greenhouse in 1701 and has a glazed roof which was added around 1800 by Humphrey Repton.[10] The orangery hides the view of the servants quarters from the main house.[4] In addition to the designs for the house William Talman also created the large 15 bay stable block.[11] It is now used as a tea room for visitors.[12]

Church[edit]

St Peter's Church

The Anglican parish church of St Peter was originally built in the mid 13th century and had a three-stage tower added in the 15th, however it was extensively restored when the main house was built in the late 17th century. The church consists of a north and south aisle, chancel and south west porch with the tower to the west.[13] In the south aisle are encaustic tiles dating from the 13th century.[14] The font is Norman while the pulpit is Jocabean. There is also a 16th-century Flemish altar triptych.[13]

The church is not owned by the National Trust but is closely associated with the rest of the estate and has the tombs and memorials for many owners of the house.[15] The parish is part of the benefice of Wick with Doynton and Dyrham within the Diocese of Bristol.[16]

Grounds[edit]

Dyrham the Seat of William Blathwait Esq. Engraved by Johannes Kip published 1712 in "The Ancient & Present State of Gloucestershire", by Sir Robert Atkyns(d.1711)

The house is set in 274 acres (111 ha) of gardens and parkland which is home to a herd of 200 fallow deer.[17] Many of the walls and gatepiers were added in the late 18th century.[18][19][20][21][22] The grounds also include statuary including the statue of Neptune, about 200 metres (660 ft) east of the house.[23] Artificial lakes and cascades of water are also a feature.[24]

The gardens were designed by George London in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.[2] These included a formal Dutch water garden, however most of the features were replaced in the late 18th century with designs by Charles Harcourt Masters.[4] The park is listed Grade II* on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.[25]

Public access[edit]

The house and gardens are open to the public on certain days, and the grounds are open all year long. A bus takes visitors from the car park down to the house, gardens, tea room and shop. The bus road can be walked down for access to the house or there is an easy walk to the house down grassy slopes. There is no car parking at the house itself. Dogs are not permitted into the park, but there is an exercise area for dogs near the car park. Events within the park include music concerts, open-air theatre productions, Easter egg hunts, guided tours of the house, park and garden, and Perry Pear Day.[26][27]

Film and television[edit]

Dyrham Park was one of the houses used as a filming location for the 1993 Merchant Ivory film The Remains of the Day (others included Badminton House and Powderham Castle).[28] In 2003, it was the filming location for the BBC One series Servants.[29] An aerial view of Dyrham Park was featured in the opening title sequence of the 2008 film Australia.[30] The house was used for outdoor and garden scenes in the 1999 BBC mini-series Wives and Daughters.[31]

In September 2010, the BBC filmed scenes for the Doctor Who sixth series episode "Night Terrors" at Dyrham Park.[32]

Deer in the park

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dyrham Park, Dyrham and Hinton, Near Bath, England". Parks and Gardens UK. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Dyrham Park, Dyrham and Hinton, Near Bath, England". Parks and Gardens UK. Parks and Gardens Data Services Ltd. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Dyrham House". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Greeves, Lydia (2013). Houses of the National Trust. London: National Trust. pp. 128–129. ISBN 9781907892486. 
  5. ^ a b "Dyrham Park secures Heritage Lottery Fund investment". National Trust. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Dyrham Park rooftop walkway closes as new roof nears completion". Bath Chronicle. 24 December 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Dyrham Mansion near Bath". Integral Engineering. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire (Accredited Museum)". National Trust. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  9. ^ Nelson, Louis (2016). Architecture and Empire in Jamaica. Yale University Press. p. 237. ISBN 9780300214352. 
  10. ^ "Orangery attached to south east of Dyrham House". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  11. ^ "Stable Block attached to south of Dyrham House". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  12. ^ "Dyrham Park tea-room". National Trust. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "Church of St. Peter". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  14. ^ "The Wheel of Life". Weston-super-Mare Archaeological and Natural History Society. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  15. ^ "St Peter's Dyrham". Wick Benefice. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  16. ^ "St Peter, Dyrham". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  17. ^ "Deer at Dyrham Park". National Trust. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  18. ^ "Wall, basin, gate piers and steps about 17 metres east of Stable Block". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  19. ^ "Wall and gates about 200 metres west of Dyrham House". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  20. ^ "4 gate piers and railings forming screen between west elevation of Orangery and east elevation of Stable Block". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  21. ^ "Wall about 200 metres west of Stable Block attached to south of Dyrham House". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  22. ^ "Remains of wall about 200 metres north of Statue of Neptune". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "Statue of Neptune about 320 metres east of Dyrham House". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "Small cascade and 2 lakes about 50 metres west of Stable Block attached to south of Dyrham House". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  25. ^ "Dyrham Park". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  26. ^ "School summer holidays at Dyrham Park". National Trust. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  27. ^ "What's on at Dyrham Park". National Trust. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  28. ^ Bingham, Jane (2010). The Cotswolds: A Cultural History. Oxford University Press. p. 73. ISBN 9780195398755. 
  29. ^ "Productions Filmed in the Area of Bath since 1931" (PDF). Bath Film Office. Bath and North East Somerset. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  30. ^ "Dyrham Park". Nature Conservation. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  31. ^ "The Cotswolds on Film - TV". Loving the Cotswolds. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  32. ^ Golder, Dave (27 August 2011). "Doctor Who "Night Terrors" Preview: Daniel Mays Interview". SFX. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°28′47″N 2°22′17″W / 51.4797°N 2.3715°W / 51.4797; -2.3715