Orchardleigh Estate

Last updated

Orchardleigh House
Orchardleigh in Sun-5018505075.jpg
Somerset UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Somerset
General information
Town or city Frome
Country England
Coordinates 51°15′40″N2°19′19″W / 51.2611°N 2.3219°W / 51.2611; -2.3219 Coordinates: 51°15′40″N2°19′19″W / 51.2611°N 2.3219°W / 51.2611; -2.3219
Completed1856
ClientWilliam Duckworth
Design and construction
Architect Thomas Henry Wyatt

Orchardleigh (also spelled Orchardlea) is a country estate in Somerset, approximately two miles north of Frome, and on the southern edge of the village of Lullington. The privately held estate comprises a Victorian country house, the Orchardleigh Lake with its island church, and an 18-hole golf course.

Contents

Orchardleigh is available for weddings and other events. Various accommodation is provided, both in the house itself and at adjacent lodges and cottages in the extensive grounds.

Within the old estate are the Orchardleigh Stones, a probable neolithic burial chamber which was excavated in 1803 and 1804, when human bones and cremation urns were discovered. [1]

The Church of St Mary, Orchardlea, dates from the 13th century and is Grade I listed. [2] The churchyard contains the grave of the poet Sir Henry Newbolt. The Gloucester Lodge gatehouse was built in the early 19th century. [3]

The parish was part of the hundred of Frome. [4]

The old Orchardleigh House was just south of the church. Its heyday was the time of Sir Thomas Champneys, 1st Baronet, High Sheriff of Somerset in 1775, but all that remains of that period is the boathouse, rotunda, the Lullington gateway, and the Tudor lodges dating from the 1820s. The old house was demolished and the present one built in 1856 by Thomas Henry Wyatt for William Duckworth. The new house is described by Pevsner as "picturesque, irregular, and in a mixed Elizabethan style", and is a Grade II* listed building. [5]

The Duckworth family

The Duckworth family at the entrance of Orchardleigh in 1867. Herbert Duckworth is on the left with the gun. Julia is sitting on the step beside him Stephen family at Orchardleigh.jpg
The Duckworth family at the entrance of Orchardleigh in 1867. Herbert Duckworth is on the left with the gun. Julia is sitting on the step beside him

William Duckworth (1795-1876) bought the Orchardleigh Estate in 1855 and built the house in 1856. He was born in 1795 in Manchester. His father was George Duckworth who was lord of the manor in Over Darwen in the parish of Blackburn. [6] When his father died in 1815 William and his brother Samuel inherited his estates. Samuel died in 1847 and as he was unmarried he also left his fortune to William. When William bought the Orchardleigh Estate in 1855 he was an extremely wealthy man and was therefore able to afford the elegant house that still stands today.

Sylvia Duckworth leaving Orchardleigh to go to her wedding 1924. Wedding Orchardleigh 1924.jpg
Sylvia Duckworth leaving Orchardleigh to go to her wedding 1924.
Sylvia Duckworth with her father Arthur Campbell Duckworth, 1924. Sylvia Duckworth with her father Arthur Campbell Duckworth 1924.jpg
Sylvia Duckworth with her father Arthur Campbell Duckworth, 1924.

In 1825 he married Hester Emily Philips who was the daughter of Robert Philips who owned an estate in Prestwich called "The Park". The couple had four sons and one daughter. Their youngest son was Herbert who in 1867 married Julia Prinsep Jackson. They are both shown in the photo on the left shortly after their marriage. The photo was taken by Leslie Stephen [7] the famous author and historian who at this time was a close personal friend of Herbert. They had become friends when they were students at Cambridge University ten years before. Herbert died in 1870 from appendicitis and Julia was left a widow with three young children. She later married Leslie Stephen in 1878 after his wife died. They had four more children one of whom was Virginia Woolf.

William died in 1876 and his son Reverend William Arthur Duckworth inherited the house. He was born in 1829 and was educated at Eton and then went to Cambridge University. In 1859 he married Edina Campbell who was the daughter of John Campbell, 1st Baron Campbell. [8] The couple had five daughters and two sons. The eldest son Major Arthur Campbell Duckworth inherited the house when his father died in 1917. He married in 1897 Viola Davies-Evans who was the daughter of Colonel Herbert Davies-Evans. [9]

The couple had three children one of whom was Sylvia Duckworth. In 1924 she married Major Horton Fawkes and the reception was held at Orchardleigh. The wedding which had over 600 guests was reported in numerous papers with photographs. One paper made the following comments.

"The bride wore a gown of white satin boute made very simply and embroidered with long sprays of roses worked in crystal, pearl and silver beads through which was threaded a silver sash loosely knotted at the side. Her train was composed of a very beautiful Brussels lace veil lined with chiffon draped from one shoulder which had been worn at her wedding by the bride’s great aunt Lady Stratheden." [10]

When Arthur Campbell Duckworth died in 1948 his son Arthur Victor Duckworth inherited the property.

After the Duckworths

In 1986, Arthur Duckworth died, and Orchardleigh was soon sold. Work started on redevelopment, but in 1989 the developer's loans were called in by the bank and work ceased for 13 years. In 2002, a new scheme was started to build the current hotels and golf courses.

The boathouse [11] is included in the Heritage at Risk Register produced by English Heritage. [12] The estate also contains a bridge incorporating a sluice, [13] a semicircular bridge, [14] a garden house, [15] a keepers lodge [16] and a stables and coachhouse, [17] which all date from the same period as the main house and are also listed buildings.

Within the grounds, which were landscaped – possibly by Humphrey Repton  – and are included in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, [18] is the Wood Lodge Summerhouse. [19]

The gardens and pleasure grounds are listed, Grade II*, on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England. [20]

Orchardleigh has been used as a filming location, including for the 2009 TV series The Queen and the 1987 episode of Miss Marple, 4.50 from Paddington .

Using public footpaths, there is a pleasant, off-road circuit walk from Orchardleigh House or the Golf Club house around the part of the lake and estate grounds for 1.7 miles

Related Research Articles

Eythrope Hamlet in Buckinghamshire, England

Eythrope is a hamlet and country house in the parish of Waddesdon, in Buckinghamshire, England. It is located to the south east of the main village of Waddesdon. It was bought in the 1870s by a branch of the Rothschild family, and belongs to them to this day.

Stourhead Estate, grade I listed English garden in the United Kingdom

Stourhead is a 1,072-hectare (2,650-acre) estate at the source of the River Stour in the southwest of the English county of Wiltshire, extending into Somerset. The estate is about 4 km northwest of the town of Mere and includes a Grade I listed 18th-century Neo-Palladian mansion, the village of Stourton, gardens, farmland, and woodland. Stourhead has been part-owned by the National Trust since 1946.

Eaton Hall, Cheshire Country house in Cheshire, England

Eaton Hall is the country house of the Duke of Westminster. It is 1 mile (2 km) south of the village of Eccleston, in Cheshire, England. The house is surrounded by its own formal gardens, parkland, farmland and woodland. The estate covers about 10,872 acres (4,400 ha).

Broadlands

Broadlands is an English country house, located in the civil parish of Romsey Extra, near the town of Romsey in the Test Valley district of Hampshire, England. The formal gardens and historic landscape of Broadlands are Grade II* listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The house itself is Grade I listed.

Prior Park Landscape Garden Grade I listed garden in Bath, England

Prior Park Landscape Garden surrounding the Prior Park estate south of Bath, Somerset, England, was designed in the 18th century by the poet Alexander Pope and the landscape gardener Capability Brown, and is now owned by the National Trust. The garden was influential in defining the style known as the "English landscape garden" in continental Europe. The garden is Grade I listed in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.

Barrington Court Tudor manor house in Barrington, Somerset, England

Barrington Court is a Tudor manor house begun around 1538 and completed in the late 1550s, with a vernacular stable court (1675), situated in Barrington, near Ilminster, Somerset, England.

Dinder House

Dinder House, is a Somerset estate with a small country house Grade II Regency listed building in the village of Dinder, in the civil parish of St Cuthbert Out in Somerset. Dinder House was formerly a manor house dating back to the 12th century, but the existing building was constructed between 1799 and 1801 by the Rev William Somerville on the original site. The estate remained as the seat of the Somerville family until the late twentieth century.

Sutton Court Grade II listed building in Stowey, UK

Sutton Court is an English house remodelled by Thomas Henry Wyatt in the 1850s from a manor house built in the 15th and 16th centuries around a 14th-century fortified pele tower and surrounding buildings. The house has been designated as Grade II* listed building.

Holnicote Estate Estate in Selworthy, England

Holnicote in the parish of Selworthy, West Somerset, England, is a historic estate consisting of 12,420 acres of land, much situated within the Exmoor National Park.

Lullington, Somerset Human settlement in England

Lullington is a village and civil parish just across the Mells River from Beckington and 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north east of Frome, in the Mendip district of Somerset, England.

Oulton Estate

In the early 18th century the Oulton Estate was home to the Egerton family and comprised a manor house and a formal garden surrounded by farmland in Cheshire, England. Later in the century the farmland was converted into a park. The estate is now the site of the motor racing track called Oulton Park.

Cholmondeley Castle Country house in the civil parish of Cholmondeley, Cheshire, England

Cholmondeley Castle is a country house in the civil parish of Cholmondeley, Cheshire, England. Together with its adjacent formal gardens, it is surrounded by parkland. The site of the house has been a seat of the Cholmondeley family since the 12th century. The present house replaced a timber-framed hall nearby. It was built at the start of the 19th century for George Cholmondeley, 1st Marquess of Cholmondeley, who designed most of it himself in the form of a crenellated castle. After the death of the Marquess, the house was extended to designs by Robert Smirke to produce the building in its present form. The house is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building.

Marston Bigot Human settlement in England

Marston Bigot is a small village in the civil parish of Trudoxhill, near Nunney and 3 miles (5 km) south of Frome in Somerset, England.

Hadspen House

Hadspen House of Hadspen, Somerset, England is built of Cary stone, mined from Hadspen Quarry. The stone is a soft limestone known for its deep burnt-orange colour. It is an inferior oolite of the Garantiana Beds and dates to the Middle Jurassic. The house has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building.

Orchard Wyndham

Orchard Wyndham is a historic manor near Williton in Somerset, centred on the synonymous grade I listed manor house of Orchard Wyndham that was situated historically in the parish of Watchet and about two miles south of the parish church of St Decuman's, Watchet. Parts of the manor house are medieval. It has been owned for more than 700 years by the prominent Wyndham family, who continue there as of 2015.

Pixton Park

Pixton Park is a country house in the parish of Dulverton, Somerset, England. It is associated with at least three historically significant families, successively by descent: Acland, amongst the largest landowners in the Westcountry; Herbert, politicians and diplomats; and Waugh, writers. The present grade II* listed Georgian mansion house was built circa 1760 by the Acland family and in 1870 was altered by Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon (1831–1890). Although Pixton Park is situated within the manor of Dulverton, the manorial chapel relating to Pixton is situated not at Dulverton but within the Church of St Nicholas, Brushford, across the River Barle, as the lordship of the manor of Dulverton was held from 1568 by the Sydenham family seated at Combe House, on the opposite side of the River Barle to Dulverton and Pixton.

Poundisford Park

Poundisford Park north of Pitminster, Somerset, England is an English country house that typifies progressive house-building on the part of the West Country gentry in the mid-16th century. The main house was built for William Hill around 1550 and has been designated as a Grade I listed building.

Church of All Saints, Lullington

The Church of All Saints is a Church of England parish church in Lullington, Somerset, England.

Church of St Mary, Orchardleigh

The Church of St Mary is a 13th-century church in the grounds of the Orchardleigh Estate in Somerset, England.

Banwell Castle

Banwell Castle is a Victorian Gothic Revival mansion in Banwell, Somerset, England. It is a Grade II* listed building.

References

  1. Historic England. "Orchard Leigh Stones (203110)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  2. Historic England. "Church of St Mary, causeway bridge, and gates (1058142)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  3. Historic England. "Gloucester Lodge (1295783)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  4. "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  5. Historic England. "Orchardlea House, forecourt walls and gates (1058140)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007. Historic England. "Church Lodge (1058143)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007. Historic England. "Temple Lodge (1345350)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007.. More generally, see Pevsner N, North Somerset and Bristol, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1958, p 241.
  6. A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, p. 397. Online reference
  7. Woolf Online website. Online reference
  8. John Venn (2011). Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900. Cambridge University Press. p. 346. ISBN   978-1-108-03612-2.
  9. The Peerage webpage. Online reference
  10. Western Daily Press - Friday 12 September 1924, p. 6.
  11. Historic England. "Boathouse (1174399)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  12. "South West England" (PDF). Heritage at Risk. English Heritage. p. 181. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  13. Historic England. "Bridge and sluice at NGR ST 7818 5100 (1345351)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  14. Historic England. "Bridge on approach road to Orchardlea House at NGR ST 7858 5168 (1058144)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  15. Historic England. "Garden House and attached house to rear (1345349)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  16. Historic England. "Keepers Lodge (1058145)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  17. Historic England. "Stables and coachhouse (1058141)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  18. "Orchardleigh". Parks and gardens UK. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  19. Historic England. "Wood Lodge Summerhouse (1295791)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  20. Historic England. "Orchardleigh (1000382)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 9 February 2016.