The Entrance Facade of the House from an early 20th century postcard
House & Family History: At the end of a grand avenue, seen through the filigree of a wrought iron gate by the celebrated ironsmith Robert Bakewell of Derby, Aldenham Park is an imposing sight. For many years the seat of the Anglo-Neapolitan dynasty of the Acton family, whose name is still commemorated in the Acton Arms Inn in the village of Morville, the House is today the home of James and Hettie Fenwick. Mrs. Fenwick's grandfather, Christopher Thompson, rescued the House from the threat of demolition when the Estate was sold by the late Lord Acton in the middle years of the 20th century. The noted naturalist and great historian, the 1st Lord Acton, built a great library wing onto Aldenham in the 19th century, which was the one sad casualty of the 20th century, although otherwise the House was well-restored to its former grandeur and contains evidence of several different generations' rebuilding on the site. In the 1680s William Taylor, the London master carpenter who is credited with architectural work at Weston Park, mentioned a visit to "Sir Edward Acton's place" and so is associated with Baroque works at the House and may have been responsible for much of the present South and East Facades, although there is also evidence of 18th century alterations on each. The interiors' paneled rooms also appear to survive from this late 17th century work, although Aldenham is now dominated internally by the top-lit hall of the early 19th century, which provides a grand classical space at the center of the House. (We are extremely grateful to Gareth Williams for this history of Aldenham Park.)
Country Life: CLXI, 1734, 1802, 1977. CLXII, 18, 1977.
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Reference: pg. 969
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Grade II
Current Seat / Home of: James and Hettie Fenwick
Past Seat / Home of: Sir Edward Acton, 17th century; John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, 1854-1902. Christopher Thompson, 20th century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
Ownership Details: The House is available for events and weddings.