|Built||early 16th century with later additions|
|Governing body||Privately owned|
|Official name: Hardwick House|
|Designated||24 October 1951|
|Official name: Hardwick House dower house|
|Designated||16 August 1985|
|Official name: Hardwick House stables|
|Designated||16 August 1985|
|Official name: Hardwick House wall|
|Designated||16 August 1985|
|Official name: Hardwick House pier|
|Designated||16 August 1985|
Hardwick House is a Tudor-style house on the banks of the River Thames on a slight rise at Whitchurch-on-Thames in the English county of Oxfordshire. It is reputed to have been the inspiration for E. H. Shepard's illustrations of Toad Hall in the book The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, although this is also claimed by Mapledurham House, Fowey Hall Hotel,Foxwarren Park and Fawley Court .
The River Thames, known alternatively in parts as the Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles (346 km), it is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn.
Whitchurch-on-Thames is a village and civil parish on the Oxfordshire bank of the River Thames, about 5.5 miles (9 km) northwest of Reading, Berkshire, in close proximity to Whitchurch Hill. Opposite Whitchurch on the Berkshire bank is the village of Pangbourne.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
King Charles I of England visited the house while he was a prisoner on escort from Oxford.
Charles I was the monarch over the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649.
Hardwick House was bought by Richard Lybbe in 1526; that family ended in an heiress Isabella Lybbe who married Philip Powys in 1730 and their Powys descendants had their home there for a further 130 years. Caroline Powys, wife of Philip Lybbe Powys of Hardwick House maintained a diary from 1756 which recorded the daily social round of her class in gossipy detail. She wrote of visits to neighbouring country houses, the winter balls and assemblies in Henley and the seasons in London and Bath with their plays, concerts and balls.Their great-grandson Philip Lybbe Powys, who later assumed the additional surname of Lybbe, was a rower and MP. He recalled as a child rowing from Hardwick to Mapledurham on Sunday afternoons.
Rowing, often referred to as crew in the United States, is a sport whose origins reach back to Ancient Egyptian times. It involves propelling a boat on water using oars. By pushing against the water with an oar, a force is generated to move the boat. The sport can be either recreational for enjoyment or fitness, or competitive, when athletes race against each other in boats. There are a number of different boat classes in which athletes compete, ranging from an individual shell to an eight-person shell with a coxswain.
Mapledurham is a small village, civil parish and country estate beside the River Thames in southern Oxfordshire. Although the parish borders the large town of Reading, Berkshire, the village has a rural and picturesque character. Significant historic buildings include the Church of England parish church of St. Margaret, Mapledurham Watermill and Mapledurham House.
Charles Day Rose purchased Hardwick House shortly before he was created a baronet of "Hardwick House in the Parish of Whitchurch in the County of Oxford" on 19 July 1909.Rose is said to have been one of the models for "Toad" of Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows. Hardwick House and its surrounding estate have been in the ownership of the Baronets Rose of Hardwick for several generations and the current owner is Sir Julian Rose, 4th Baronet, who succeeded his father in 1966. In 1979 he also succeeded to the Rose Baronetcy of Montreal, and became the 5th Baronet in that line.
Hardwick House is a Grade I listed building,as is the adjacent dower house. The stables, and garden wall and gate pier have their own Grade II listings.
A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.
On an English, Scottish or Welsh estate, a dower house is usually a moderately large house available for use by the widow of the previous owner of the estate. The widow, often known as the "dowager", usually moves into the dower house from the larger family house on the death of her husband if the heir is married, and upon his marriage if he was single at his succession. The new heir occupies the now vacated principal house.
A pier, in architecture, is an upright support for a structure or superstructure such as an arch or bridge. Sections of structural walls between openings (bays) can function as piers.
To Nature in my earliest youth,
I vowed my constancy and truth;
Wherein lie Hardwick's much loved shade,
Enamoured of her charms I strayed,
And as I roved the woods among,
Her praise in lisping numbers sung.— Dean Powys
A little above Mapledurham lock you pass Hardwick House, where Charles I played bowls.
Mapledurham Lock is a lock and weir situated on the River Thames in England. The lock was first built in 1777 by the Thames Navigation Commissioners and the present lock dates from 1908.
Bowls or lawn bowls is a sport in which the objective is to roll biased balls so that they stop close to a smaller ball called a "jack" or "kitty". It is played on a bowling green which may be flat or convex or uneven. It is normally played outdoors and the outdoor surface is either natural grass, artificial turf, or cotula.
The Wind in the Willows is a children's novel by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow-moving and fast-paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of Edwardian England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie and celebrated for its evocation of the nature of the Thames Valley.
Kenneth Grahame was a Scottish writer, most famous for The Wind in the Willows (1908), one of the classics of children's literature. He also wrote The Reluctant Dragon. Both books were later adapted for stage and film, of which A. A. Milne's Toad of Toad Hall was the first. The Disney films The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and The Reluctant Dragon are other adaptations.
Hardwick Hall, in Derbyshire, is an architecturally significant Elizabethan country house in England, a leading example of the Elizabethan prodigy house. Built between 1590 and 1597 for the formidable Bess of Hardwick, it was designed by the architect Robert Smythson, an exponent of the Renaissance style of architecture. Hardwick Hall is one of the earliest examples of the English interpretation of this style, which came into fashion having slowly spread from Florence. Its arrival in Britain coincided with the period when it was no longer necessary or legal to fortify a domestic dwelling. Ownership of the house was transferred to the National Trust in 1959. Today, it is fully open to the public.
Fawley Court is a country house, with large mixed-use grounds standing on the west bank of the River Thames at Fawley in the English county of Buckinghamshire. Its former deer park extended east into the Henley Park area of Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire that abuts it to the south. Following World War II, it was run as Divine Mercy College by the Polish Congregation of Marian Fathers, with its associated library, museum and was one of the cultural centres for the Polish minority in the United Kingdom until its closure and sale in the 2009. It is listed at Grade I for its architecture.
Mapledurham Watermill is a historic watermill in the civil parish of Mapledurham in the English county of Oxfordshire. It is driven by the head of water created by Mapledurham Lock and Weir, on the River Thames. The mill was built in the 15th century, and further extended in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. It is a grade II* listed building and is preserved in an operational state.
Mapledurham House is an Elizabethan stately home located in the civil parish of Mapledurham in the English county of Oxfordshire. It is a Grade I listed building, first listed on 24 October 1951.
Burbage Brook is an upper tributary stream of the River Derwent in the Peak District of England.
St Mary's Church is a Church of England parish church in Chaddesden, a suburb of Derby, England. One of the oldest churches in the city, it is a Grade I listed building dating back to the mid-14th century.
The High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, in common with other counties, was originally the King's representative on taxation upholding the law in Saxon times. The word Sheriff evolved from 'shire-reeve'.
Henley Park is a country house and landscape garden in Bix and Assendon civil parish in the Chiltern Hills of South Oxfordshire, England. The house is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of Henley-on-Thames. The park adjoins the county boundary with Buckinghamshire.
Sandhoe Hall, also once known as Sandhoe House, is a 19th-century country house situated at Sandhoe, Northumberland. It is a Grade II listed building.
Sambrooke Freeman FRSA was a member of the prominent Freeman family of Fawley Court near Henley-on-Thames, England. He was a Member of Parliament, for Pontefract in Yorkshire from 1754–61 and Bridport in Dorset from 1768–74.
Sir Charles Day Rose, 1st Baronet was a British-Canadian businessman, race horse breeder, yachtsman, and Liberal politician.
Philip Lybbe Powys Lybbe was an English rower, barrister and Conservative politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1859 and 1865.
Foxwarren Park, at Wisley in Surrey, is a Victorian country house and estate. On sandstone Ockham and Wisley Commons, it was designed in 1860 by the railway architect Frederick Barnes for brewing magnate and MP, Charles Buxton. It is a Grade II* listed building.
Toad Hall is the fictional home of Mr. Toad, a character in the 1908 novel, The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame.
Ovington Square is a garden square in central London's Knightsbridge district. It lies between Brompton Road to the north-west and Walton Street to the south-east.
Whitchurch Rural is a civil parish in Shropshire, England. It contains 15 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, two are listed at Grade II*, the middle of the three grades, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade. The parish is to the south and east of the town of Whitchurch, and contains a number of villages and smaller settlements, including Alkington, and is otherwise rural. The listed buildings consist of houses and farmhouses, two churches, and a pair of limekilns.
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