DiCamillo Companion

Aldenham Park (Aldenham Hall) (Aldenham House)

  • 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.)

  • Architect: William Taylor

    Date: 1691
    Designed: May have designed Northwest Wing for Sir Edward Acton
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
    View all houses

    Architect: William Baker

    Date: 1750-51
    Designed: Stables for Sir Richard Acton, Bt.

    View all houses
  • 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
    ISBN: 0300072074
    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.

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 01746-714-315

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: http://www.aldenhampark.com

    Historic Houses Member: No