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Bramham Park

  • Built / Designed For: Robert Benson, 1st Lord Bingley

    House & Family History: Named after the nearby village of Bramham, Bramham Park was begun in 1698 by Robert Benson, later 1st Baron Bingley, and has remained in the ownership of his descendants since its completion in 1710. The architect of the house is unknown, though many noted architects have been suggested, including James Gibbs, William Talman, Giacomo Leoni, James Paine, and Thomas Archer. The only real possibility is Archer, though Bramham clearly shares design elements with nearby Chatsworth, whose south and east facades were designed by Talman. It's most likely that the house was designed by Robert Benson himself, working with the help of a local draftsman. Benson completed his formal education with the Grand Tour in 1697; it is probable that, while in Italy, the designs for a new house began to take shape in his head. Though certainly influenced by Palladio (the house has the feel of a Palladian Florentine villa), Benson was also clearly inspired by the late 17th century French Baroque style of Mansart's Versailles. An unusual feature of the house is the carriage ramp that delivers visitors directly to the piano nobile. Following a severe fire in 1828, Bramham was derelict for 80 years, until it was restored in the early 20th century by Detmar Blow. The two-story Baroque great hall still bears smoke stains from the fire on its stone walls. Bramham Island on the north side of Queen Charlotte Strait in the Central Coast region of British Columbia, Canada, was named for Bramham Park.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The house is surrounded by a landscape park of approximately 400 acres that boasts follies and avenues laid out in the formal 18th century landscape tradition. Because of the layout of its French-style palace gardens, there has been speculation that André le Nôtre, Versailles' landscape architect, may have been involved in the design of Bramham's landscaping. The water gardens, cascades, 25 feet of clipped beech avenues, and vistas spanning 100 acres of geometric woodland pleasure grounds remain unaltered from their original design. The park today is the site of the annual Bramham Horse Trials and the Leeds Festival.

  • Architect: James Paine Sr.

    Date: Circa 1750-60
    Designed: Remodeled The Biggin for Mr. Allison (circa 1750-56). Temple, now Chapel, for George Fox-Lane, 1st Baron Bingley (circa 1760).

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    Architect: John Carr

    Date: Post 1763
    Designed: Obelisk for George Fox-Lane, 1st Baron Bingley

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    Architect: Robert Benson (Bingley)

    Date: Circa 1705-10
    Designed: House for himself
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: John Wood, Sr.

    Date: 1722-24
    Designed: Work for Robert Benson, 1st Lord Bingley, probably formal garden layout (Wood published an engraved plan of the garden).
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Detmar Jellings Blow

    Date: 1906-14
    Designed: Restored House for George Fox-Lane, 1st Baron Bingley

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  • Vitruvius Britannicus: C. II, pls. 81, 82, 1717.

    John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. V, 1822.

    Country Life: L, 416, 448, 1921. Feb 20 & 27, 1958. Jun 12 & 19, 1958.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 120, 229, 770, 771, 1142
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Life and Works of John Carr of York, The
    Author: Wragg, Brian; Worsley, Giles (Editor)
    Year Published: 2000
    Reference: pg. 197
    Publisher: York: Oblong Creative Ltd.
    ISBN: 0953657418
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade I

  • "In Loving Memory" (1969-86? - TV series). "The Dick Francis Thriller: The Racing Game" (1979 - TV series, episode 1.4, "Horses for Courses," as David Chetwyn's mansion). "Stay Lucky" (1989 - TV series, episode 1.2, "The Howling," and episode 1.3, "Fool's Gold," as High Dell, Lord and Lady Winderscale's mansion). "Lost in Austen" (2008 - TV mini series, as Netherfield Park, Meryton village, the Darcy pond scene, and as Longbourn, for which Biggin House was used). "1920" (2008 - Indian production). "Wuthering Heights" (2009 - TV mini series). "The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister" (2010 - TV movie). "Victoria" (2016 - TV series). "Gentleman Jack" (2019-21 - TV series, as exterior of Skelfer House).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Nick and Rachel Lane-Fox; Lane-Fox family here for 300 years.

    Past Seat / Home of: Robert Benson, 1st Lord Bingley (first creation), 18th century. George Fox-Lane, 1st Baron Bingley (second creation), until 1773; George Richard Lane-Fox, 1st Baron Bingley (third creation), 20th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 01937-846-000

    Fax: 01937-846-007

    Email: enquiries@bramhampark.co.uk

    Website: https://www.bramhampark.co.uk/

    Historic Houses Member: Yes