DiCamillo Companion

Amesbury Abbey (Amesbury House)

  • Earlier Houses: There was a 17th century house, Amesbury House (see "Images" section), 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 Hopper

    Date: 1834-40 & 1857-59
    Designed: Second (current) house for Sir Edmund Antrobus

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    Architect: John Webb

    Date: 1660
    Designed: First house

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    Architect: William Oldham Chambers

    Date: 1772
    Designed: Altered or redecorated Chinese Temple for Duchess of Queensberry

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    Architect: Henry Flitcroft

    Date: Circa 1730
    Designed: Alterations and alterations to first house, probably including the addition of wings, for 3rd Duke of Queensbury.

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  • 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
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    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)
    ISBN: 0300058969
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II*

  • Past Seat / Home 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, 3rd Bt., 1840-99.

    Current Ownership Type: Corporation

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Retirement Home

    Ownership Details: Today part of the Amesbury Abbey Group of retirement homes

  • House Open to Public: No

    Phone: 01962-760-573

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.amesburyabbey.com/

    Historic Houses Member: No


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