The second (19th century) House from an early 20th century postcard
The first House from the 1725 edition of "Vitruvius Britannicus"
Earlier Houses: There was a 17th century house, built for the 1st Marquess of Hertford, on the site of the current house. Parts of the earlier house were probably incorporated into the 19th century house.
Built / Designed For: Sir Edmund Antrobus
House & Family History: Amesbury Abbey is a palace-style house that is considered a major example of Thomas Hopper's eclectic style, echoing much of the earlier Amesbury House designed by Webb and as illustrated in "Vitruvius Britannicus" (see drawing in "Images" section). The most impressive view of the House is the grand South Facade of nine bays, complete with a giant portico of six composite columns raised on an arcaded rusticated plinth in the form of a porte cochère. The fireplaces in today's Sitting Room and Dining Room were very likely designed by Henry Flitcroft for the earlier Amesbury House. During the 18th century Amesbury was a major center of culture and entertaining, presided over by the 3rd Duke of Queensberry and his Duchess, Kitty. The name of nearby Wilbury Park is believed to derive from the "Wil" of Wilton House and the "bury" of Amesbury House, two houses believed, at the time, to be by Inigo Jones, to whom Benson, the architect of Wilbury, was clearly paying tribute.
Garden & Outbuildings: The House is set in 35 acres of historic parkland through which flows the River Avon.
Architect: Thomas HopperDate: 1834-40 and 1857-59
Architect: William Oldham ChambersDate: 1772
Vitruvius Britannicus: C. III, pl. 7, 1725.
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 2008
Reference: pg. 244
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Classical Architecture in Britain: The Heroic Age
Author: Worsley, Giles
Year Published: 1995
Reference: pg. 23
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: William Seymour, 1st Marquess of Hertford and 2nd Duke of Somerset, 17th century. Richard Boyle, 2nd Earl of Shannon, 18th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Sir Edmund Antrobus, 19th century.
Current Ownership Type: Corporation
Primary Current Ownership Use: Retirement Home
Ownership Details: Today part of the Amesbury Abbey Group of retirement homes.