Sanderson Miller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mock semi-ruined castle designed by Miller, in the grounds of Wimpole Hall

Sanderson Miller (born 1716, Radway, Warwickshire - d. 23 April 1780, Radway) was a pioneer of Gothic revival architecture, and a landscape designer who often added follies or other Picturesque garden buildings and features to the grounds of an estate.

Early life[edit]

At the age of fifteen, Miller was already interested in antiquarian subjects, and while studying at St Mary Hall, Oxford he continued to develop his interest in England's past, under the influence of William King. He inherited Radway Grange when he was only twenty-one and a few years later started to redesign the Elizabethan house in a Gothic style.

The Octagonal Tower

In the grounds he added a thatched cottage and octagonal tower based on Guy's Tower at Warwick Castle. The tower not only evoked the past visually through its medieval design but it also had strong historical associations of other kinds: for instance, it was intended to house a statue of Caractacus and was sited on the spot traditionally associated with the king raising the standard before the Battle of Edgehill.

Hagley Hall, where George Lyttelton insisted on a classical style for the main house. Miller landscaped the grounds and added a Gothic "ruined" castle.

Patronage and developments[edit]

This work at Radway established Miller's reputation as a gentleman, or amateur, architect and landscape designer. His wide social circle, and contacts developed through his patron George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton, led to many requests for his designs. He produced some classical buildings like the Shire Hall in Warwick and Hagley Hall, Worcestershire, but is more often associated with Gothic revival work, as at Albury Hall, Oxfordshire and the Great Hall at Lacock Abbey. He is especially known for the evocative mock "ruined" castles he created at Hagley, Wimpole Hall and Ingestre Hall, Staffordshire though this last has since been demolished. Other places to which he contributed include Wroxton Abbey, Upton House Sham Castle and Siston Court and Tudor Court, Hanworth Park, the surviving part of a Royal hunting lodge used by Henry VIII.

He married Susanna, daughter of Edward Trotman[nb 1] and they had six children: Fiennes, Charles, Susanna, Mary, Hester and Anna.[2] Miller was born, lived and died at Radway, on the estate bought by his wool merchant[citation needed] father in 1712.[2]

The Wimpole Hall mock castle in its setting

Gallery of work[edit]


  1. ^ Dickins and Stanton claim that Susanna's father was named Samuel.[1]



Further reading[edit]

  • Jennifer Meir, Sanderson Miller and his Landscapes (Phillimore 2006)
  • Michael Cousins, "Wroxton Abbey, Oxfordshire: an eighteenth-century estate", Follies Journal, no 5 (2005), pp. 39–72.
  • Michael Cousins, "The sham ruin, Hagley", Follies Magazine, vol. 10, no. 1 (1998), pp. 3–4.
  • Michael Cousins, "Lady Elizabeth's Grotto [Hagley]", Follies Magazine, #64, pp. 14–16.

External links[edit]