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Ston Easton Park

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Ston Easton Park
The south front of the house
Location Ston Easton, Somerset, England
Coordinates 51°17′6″N 2°32′37″W / 51.28500°N 2.54361°W / 51.28500; -2.54361Coordinates: 51°17′6″N 2°32′37″W / 51.28500°N 2.54361°W / 51.28500; -2.54361
Built 1750 to 1760
Listed Building – Grade I
Official name: Ston Easton Park
Designated 21 September 1960[1]
Reference no. 1345108
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official name: Stables to Ston Easton Park
Designated 25 June 1986[2]
Reference no. 1295250
Official name: Ston Easton Park
Designated 1 June 1984[3]
Reference no. 1000128
Ston Easton Park is located in Somerset
Ston Easton Park
Location of Ston Easton Park in Somerset

Ston Easton Park at Ston Easton within the English county of Somerset was built in the 18th century for John Hippisley-Coxe. It is a Grade I listed building and the grounds are listed Grade II on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.[3][1]

The current house was built around 1750 to 1760 on the site of a previous Tudor building for John Hippisley-Coxe. The architect is unsure but may have been Thomas Paty. It was occupied by the descendants of Hippisley-Coxe until 1956. Since then recent owners including William Rees-Mogg and Peter Smedley have been involved in restoring the house. It is now in use as a hotel.

The two-storey house has a symmetrical facade with projecting wings either side of the central doorway with a Tuscan portico. The interior of the stone house is decorated with extensive plaster mouldings to ceilings and fireplaces. The grounds and gardens were laid out by Humphry Repton, but have since been reduced in size.


Arms of Hippisley of Ston Easton, Somerset: Sable, three mullets pierced in bend between two bendlets or[4]

The Hippisley family had been Lords of the Manor of Ston Easton and surrounding areas since the Dissolution of the Monasteries.[5][6] It is unclear whether the family had originally come to England with William the Conqueror or were of Saxon origin, but they brought the rights to several local manors, some in association with William Rosewell.[7][8] The Lord of the Manor, Preston Hippisley left the manor of Ston Easton to his daughter who married John Coxe of Leigh, Wiltshire, who was the member of parliament for Milborne Port and their son John Hippisley-Coxe married a rich woman, Mary Northliegh from Peamore, Exminster and with his increased wealth commence the building of the current house.[8] They moved from the old manor house by the parish church to an old gabled manor house and started to convert it into a Palladian mansion with parkland and gardens incorporating parts of the earlier Tudor building.[8]

Reception Room at Ston Easton Park. The square panel over the fireplace is a trompe-l'oeil painting.

The identity of the architect is not known, and although the design is reminiscent of the work of William Kent modern research tends to suggest Thomas Paty was the architect.[9] It is also not known exactly when the house was built. John Hippisley-Coxe died in 1769 and his sons Richard and Henry further embellished the house and grounds. Henry Hippisley-Coxe employed Humphry Repton to design a landscape park, including driveways and a viaduct similar to his plans for Endsleigh Cottage, although only part of this plan was actually created.[3][10] Henry's widow Elizabeth Anne Horner, of Mells Manor, and her second husband Sir John Hippisley, 1st Baronet, further developed the grounds in about 1814. Elizabeth lived in the house until her death in 1843.[10] The house was then left to Henry's nephew, another Henry, from Lambourn and his descendants lived there until the middle of the 20th century.[8]

John Preston Hippisley inherited the house in 1956 when his father Richard John Bayntun Hippisley died. In order to settle the bill for inheritance tax he sold Ston Easton. Subsequently maintenance of the building was poor and the fabric decayed. In 1958 a Preservation Order was obtained to stop the building being demolished. Restoration was undertaken by William Rees-Mogg who bought the building in 1964.[11] Further restoration and conversion into a hotel was undertaken by the Smedley family who bought it from Rees-Mogg in 1977 or 1978.[12] The house was sold again in 2001 to Von Essen Hotels.[13]


The Yellow Dining Room at Ston Easton Park

The two-storey house has a symmetrical facade with projecting wings either side of the central doorway with a Tuscan portico.[1] The ashlar is dressed with plaster and stone to highlight architectural features. The rear of the building is plainer than the front and is without the plaster dressing.[14] The interior is decorated with plaster mouldings and engravings on the ceilings and fireplaces.[1] The entrance hall leads via mahogany doors to the 32 feet (9.8 m) by 24 feet (7.3 m) saloon. Further highly decorated rooms include the dining room and library.[14] An octagonal bathroom contains a plunge bath used by Lady Hippisley which is believed to have been designed by Sir John Soane or one of his pupils such as George Allen Underwood.[15]

Ston Easton has gardens and landscaped grounds, laid out by Humphry Repton, of around 5 hectares (12 acres) and the remains of a park of between 30 acres (12 ha) and 87 hectares (210 acres).[16][17][18] They include terraces and a pleasure ground in a steep sided valley. The grounds are listed Grade II on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Some of the earlier parkland is now used for agriculture and the Farrington Golf & Country Club.[3]

The single-storey stone stables, which are to the west of the main house were built around 1769. They are in a similar architectural style to the house and include three carriage openings.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ston Easton Park". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Stables to Ston Easton Park". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Ston Easton Park". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Pirie-Gordon 1937, p. ?.
  5. ^ "Papers of the Hippisley Family of Ston Easton". National Archives. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Matthews, Mike. "A Brief History of the Hippisley Family". BodyParts. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Dunning 2002, pp. 58–59.
  8. ^ a b c d Cooke 1957, p. 135.
  9. ^ Priest 2003, p. ?.
  10. ^ a b Dunning 2002, p. 60.
  11. ^ Reid 1979, p. 44.
  12. ^ Raynor, Gordon (7 June 2011). "Millionaire hotelier Peter Smedley named as man whose Dignitas assisted suicide was filmed by BBC". Telegraph. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  13. ^ Campbell, Sophie (18 March 2006). "Who is this man?". Telegraph. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  14. ^ a b Cooke 1957, p. 136.
  15. ^ Bradbury 2015, pp. 214–215.
  16. ^ "Ston Easton Park". Parks and Gardens UK. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Ston Easton Park, near Bath, Somerset". Hotels That Were Not. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  18. ^ "Ston Easton Park". Ston Easton Park. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Hippisley, Alfred Edward (1952). Some notes on the Hippisley family. Wessex Press. ASIN B0000CIBGG. 

External links[edit]