Aerial view of Shotover Park, with the two large ponds in the foreground
|Current tenants||Alexander James Sinnott Stanier|
|Client||James Tyrrell, Gen. James Tyrrell|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||William Townsend (possibly)|
|Designated||18 July 1963|
Shotover Park (also called Shotover House) is an 18th-century country house and park in Wheatley, Oxfordshire, England. The house, garden and park are Grade I-listed with English Heritage, and 18 additional structures on the property are also listed. The house is privately owned; the surrounding parkland is open to the public as Shotover Country Park.
The source of the name Shotover is uncertain. It is believed to come from Château Vert ("Green Castle"), a French Norman Royal hunting lodge on the site. Novelist Robert Graves was a proponent of this theory, mentioning it in his classic book A Wife for Mr Milton.
Another alternative is the Old English Scoet Ofer ("steep slope"). Shotover Hill is located 3 miles (4.8 km) to the east of Oxford, which rises to 557 feet (170 m) above sea level. In the Domesday Book of 1068, the location was identified as Scotorne. Up through the 13th century, patent rolls of King John and Henry III refer to Shotover variously as Scotore, Shotore, Shothore, and Shottovere.
The land encompassing Shotover Park was part of the Wychwood royal forest as far back as the Domesday Book. There was an "ancient" house on the site, celebrated as the location that Queen Elizabeth I selected for her reception to close her visit to Oxford in 1566. Oxford orator Roger Marbeck delivered a speech about Oxford University and the queen's valuable support for the university. The queen is recorded as saying upon her departure from Shotover, "Farewell the learned University of Oxford, farewell my good subjects there, farewell my dear scholars; and pray God prosper your studies."
Shotover came into the possession of the Tyrrell family after a freak hunting accident early in the 17th century. The story is that Timothy Tyrrell, Master of the Royal Buckhounds, was holding a dead stag for the teenaged Henry, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King James I. According to a chronicle of the unfortunate accident: "By his employment, [Tyrrell] held the Buck's head for the Prince to cut it off, in doing which His Highness cut the Master of the Buckhounds across the hand, which disabled him of the use of it forever." In compensation, the prince granted the rangership of the Forests of Shotover and Stow Wood to Tyrrell.
In 1613, following Prince Henry's death in 1612, King James confirmed the rangership by letters patent for the duration of the lives of Timothy Tyrrell and his two sons, Timothy (Master of the Buckhounds to King Charles I) and William. On 29 August 1624, King James knighted the elder Timothy Tyrrell at Shotover while attending a sporting hunt. He died in 1632.
Originally from Oakley, Buckinghamshire, the Tyrrell family grew extremely powerful in the 17th century. The royal forest in Oxfordshire extended over Headington, Marston, and parts of 10 other parishes. However, ongoing fighting among the local population, as well as trees felled by the Royalists during the English Civil War, caused the forest to fall into such disarray that in 1660 the woodland was disafforested – no longer subject to royal forest laws.
The Tyrrells lived in a house known as Shotover Lodge or Shotover House, although it is unknown if it was the same house visited by Queen Elizabeth or a different building. Historian and political theorist James Tyrrell, grandson of Sir Timothy the elder, grew up at Shotover before moving to Oakley in 1670 after his marriage. Tyrrell divided his time between Oakley and Shotover. Tyrrell was a close friend of John Locke, whom he met at Oxford in 1658. Locke was a frequent guest at Shotover in the late 1670s and early 1680s, and he stored papers and books there for safekeeping when he was forced to flee to Holland in 1683. Tyrrell eventually sold Oakley and moved back to Shotover after James II forced him out of local governance in Buckinghamshire for refusing to sign the Declaration of Indulgence in 1687.
Sir Timothy the younger died in 1701. The construction of the current Shotover Park began circa 1714–15 under his son James, and was located approximately 200 metres (660 ft) east of the site of the house visited by Queen Elizabeth. In 1717–18, he built a Gothic temple at Shotover. The temple, with corner turrets, arcaded loggia, and battlemented gable, is possibly the first intimation of the Gothic Revival architecture in England. James died the following year and the construction of the building was continued under his son, Lieutenant-General James Tyrrell, an Army officer and MP.
The architect of the new house commissioned by Sir Timothy is uncertain, but Shotover Park is believed to have been designed by William Townsend (or Townesend; 1676–1739), an Oxford architect and mason who worked on many buildings at Oxford University, and who was the son of Mayor of Oxford John Townesend. Sir Nikolaus Pevsner wrote in the Oxfordshire edition of his Buildings of England series that Shotover Park has strong similarities with The Queen's College, Oxford, linking it to Townsend. Construction was likely completed by 1720; the date 1718 does appear on rainwater heads. The design of the elder James Tyrrell's Gothic temple has been attributed to Townsend or to James Gibbs.
Shotover Park was constructed of colour-washed limestone ashlar with a roof made of Westmorland and Welsh slate with stone stacks. The house is built to a double-depth plan, consisting of two storeys, plus a basement and attics. The initial house featured a seven-window front. In 1855, it was extended to 15-windows with two wings added on either side in a renovation by Joshua Sims. The Ionic pedimented porch, the arched front doorway and flanking arched windows are likely from the mid-19th century additions. The windows on the ground and first floors feature floating cornices, moulded architraves and sills supported on consoles.
Early outbuildings and features at Shotover Park included three stables, a coach house, a granary, a barn, dairy, work house, a brewhouse, gardener's cottage, several gardens and nurseries with young trees, and six small fishponds. The formal garden on the site dates to 1718, which includes a Grade I-listed walled kitchen garden.
In addition to the Gothic temple built for Sir Timothy, the garden includes a large obelisk and another temple designed by William Kent circa 1735. The obelisk was built to honour the visit of Queen Elizabeth and stands on the site of the ancient house she visited. The Kent temple was badly damaged in the 1980s by falling trees, but it was restored in 1988 with assistance from the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission.
James Tyrrell died in 1742 and left the estate to the family of his friend, the Baron Augustus Schütz, a Hanoverian favourite of King George I, who became Master of the Robes to King George II. It passed to his son, George Frederick Schutz, who was Groom of the Bedchamber to King George III, and in turn to his son, Thomas James Schutz.
When Thomas died, Shotover Park passed into the hands of the Drury family through his youngest sister Mary, who married Sir George Vandeput, 2nd Baronet. They left only one heir, a daughter Frances, who married Richard Vere Drury. Shotover passed to their son, George Vandeput Drury, who died without an heir in November 1849.
In 1850, George Gammie (later Gammie-Maitland) bought Shotover, reportedly with the proceeds of the sale of property he owned in Australia. (His business partner, William Gilbert Rees, named Shotover River in New Zealand for Gammie.) Gammie-Maitland went bankrupt in 1871, when the estate was sold to Colonel James Miller. It stayed in the Miller family until 2006, owned by Alfred Douglas Miller and his son Sir John Miller, Crown Equerry and friend of Queen Elizabeth II. The royal family were frequent visitors to the estate; Princess Anne suffered a broken nose falling off a horse while riding at Shotover at age 15.
Shotover Park has been held in a trust since the death of Sir John Miller in 2006. Sir John's nephew, Sir Belville Stanier, 3rd Baronet, is one of the trustees; his son, Alexander James Sinnott Stanier, lives in a wing of the house. The park and estate cover 2,000 acres. The forest, known as Shotover Country Park, is open to the public and managed by the Oxford City Council.
Obelisk, designed by William Kent, circa 1735
- Grade I: Shotover Park
- Grade I: Shotover park and garden
- Grade II*: Gothic Temple
- Grade II*: Obelisk
- Grade II*: Octagonal Temple
- Grade II: Oxford Gate
- Grade II: Oxford Lodge
- Grade II: Eastern Pier of Gateway
- Grade II: Home Farm, South Range
- Grade II: Home Farm, Central Range
- Grade II: Dovecote
- Grade II: Stables
- Grade II: Steps
- Grade II: Garden Seat
- Grade II: The Grove
- Grade II: Garden Walls and Gardener's Cottage
- Grade II: Ornamental Wellhead
- Grade II: Western Pier of Gateway
- Grade II: Stable Court
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shotover Park.|
- Shotover House Auction Catalogue, 1855 - List of the entire contents of the mansion, which were sold at auction over seven days, pursuant to an order in Chancery (Spickernell v. Hotham and others)
- Historic England. "Shotover Park (Grade I) (1284986)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Shotover (Park and Garden) (Grade I) (1001106)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Koenig, Chris (9 February 2011). "Estate gained in hunting accident". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Simpson, Alan. "The Round Oxford Walk" (PDF). BBC. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Davenport, John Marriott; Davenport, Thomas Marriott (1888). Oxfordshire: Lords Lieutenant, High Sheriffs and Members of Parliament, &c. Clarendon Press. p. 98. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- Baily's Magazine of Sports & Pastimes. 1887. p. 51. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
- Goldie, Mark (2004). "Tyrrell, James (1642–1718)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Rudolph, J. (2002). Revolution by Degrees: James Tyrrell and Whig Political Thought in the Late Seventeenth Century. Springer. p. 27. ISBN 9781403990273. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- Ross, Marion Dean; Potter, Elisabeth Walton (1978). Festschrift, a collection of essays on architectural history. The Society of Architectural Historians Northern Pacific Coast Chapter. p. 3.
- Curl, James Stevens; Wilson, Susan (2015). The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture. OUP Oxford. p. 2144. ISBN 9780191053856.
- "John Townesend II, Mayor of Oxford". oxfordhistory.org.uk.
- Whyte, William (2006). Oxford Jackson: Architecture, Education, Status, and Style 1835-1924. Clarendon Press. p. 157. ISBN 9780199296583.
- "Shotover House > South Oxfordshire". Oxfordshire Gardens Trust. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- Burke, John Bernard (1845). A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. H. Colburn. p. 1091. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- "Shotover in New Zealand". Shotover Preservation Society. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- "Prince Anne's Nose Broken". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 28 April 1966. p. 14.
- Hardman, Robert (3 December 2010). "The doughty baronet and the doggers: Sir Beville's polite war on al fresco liaisons on his estate". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Gothic Temple Approximately 600 Metres To East Of Shotover Park (Grade II*) (1047629)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "The Obelisk Approximately 200 Metres to West of Shotover Park (Grade II*) (1181640)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Octagonal Temple Approximately 250 Metres To South West of Shotover Park (Grade II*) (1047632)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Oxford Gate Approximately 400 Metres North West of Shotover Park (Grade II) (1047590)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Oxford Lodge Approximately 400 Metres North West of Shotover Park (Grade II) (1047591)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Eastern Pier of Gateway (Grade II) (1369237)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Home Farm, Shotover Park, South Range (Grade II) (1369236)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Home Farm, Shotover Park, Central Range (Grade II) (1369235)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Dovecote Approximately 400 Metres to West of Shotover Park (Grade II) (1369216)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Old Stables Approximately 100 Metres to South of Shotover Park (Grade II) (1369215)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Steps Approximately 10 Metres to East of Shotover Park (Grade II) (1369214)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Garden Seat Approximately 20 Metres to South East of Shotover Park (Grade II) (1284992)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "The Grove, Shotover Park (Grade II) (1284906)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Garden Walls And Gardener's Cottage Approximately 200 Metres South East Of Shotover Park (Grade II) (1181482)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Ornamental Wellhead Approximately 50 Metres to North West of Shotover Park (Grade II) (1181615)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Western Pier of Gateway Approximately 1150 Metres South West of Shotover Park (Grade II) (1047592)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Historic England. "Stable Court Approximately 200 Metres to South of Shotover Park (Grade II) (1047630)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2016.