Gervase Jackson-Stops

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Gervase Frank Ashworth Jackson-Stops OBE (b. 26 April 1947 d.2 July 1995, London) was an architectural historian and journalist.

Education[edit]

He was educated at Harrow and later won an exhibition to Christ Church, Oxford and here he was amused that his tutor put down on his list as required reading Burke's Peerage. His grandfather, Herbert Jackson-Stops, founded the eponymous and up-market estate agency.

He trained with a Museums Association Studentship at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1969–71 and as a Research Assistant at the National Trust between 1972 & 75.

National Trust[edit]

He was the Architectural Adviser to the National Trust for over 20 years, earning enormous respect as result of which he broke fresh ground when he fought for the rescue of the decaying Northamptonshire manor-house at Canons Ashby. It was the first time that Government funds, rather than the traditional family endowment, were used to save an historic house.

He was also the curator of various exhibitions including "The Treasure Houses of Britain", held at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC in 1985–86. He also contributed numerous scholarly architectural articles to Country Life magazine between 1973 and 1995. He was appointed an OBE in 1987 and he kept his OBE insignia pinned to a bronze bust of Diana in his home.

The Menagerie[edit]

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Jackson-Stops developed a unique home in The Menagerie, a Grade II listed building at Horton, Northamptonshire, part of the estate buildings for the now demolished Horton House and seat of the Earl of Halifax. The building is a one-storey building with corner pavilions and a raised central area. The surrounding windows are by Gibbs. The work has most recently been attributed to Thomas Wright who undertook work for Lord Halifax in the 1730s. The saving of this unusual building was Jackson-Stops's own private achievement; when he first heard of the property in 1972, he found an architectural dream; here he restored one of the finest English Rococo plasterwork rooms, complete with Father Time, the Four Winds, and above the cornice 12 large-scale medallions of the Zodiac.

Later on in the 4.5-acre (1.8 ha) gardens he added two further follies and, with his friend Ian Kirby, he created a romantic English garden which incorporated both a formal period-design an exciting modern planting.

This house was for him his own country house in miniature, and in the manor of the country house there he gave a succession of parties, often with operas, in the best traditions of the fête champêtre and it was only a week or so before he died that he gave what would be his final party to celebrate the opening of his "shell grotto" with its suggestions of the underworld.

A paint colour, "Gervase Yellow", has been developed by the paint manufacturers Farrow & Ball in Jackson-Stops' memory.

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