The Garden (South) Facade from a 1905 postcard
Built / Designed For: John Damer
House & Family History: Came House is located in Winterborne Came, whose name originates from a winterborne (a stream or river that's dry in the summer months) that runs through the settlement, and from the town of Caen in France (the settlement was once owned by the Abbey of St. Stephen in Caen). With the exception of the circa 1840 Conservatory, Came House is all of a piece, the expression of a single phase of taste, and, in some part, presumably that of architect Francis Cartwright's client, John Damer (1720-83). Damer funded the building of Came House with the fortune created by his grandfather, the Cromwellian Joseph Damer, who decamped to Ireland at the Restoration, where he made a fortune by "usury and speculation." Came is a classically-designed rectangular house faced in Portland stone and topped with balustrades. The palace-like North Facade, facing the park, is dated 1754, but the interiors, by Vile and Cobb of London, complete with lovely English Rococo plaster ceilings, weren't completed until 1762. A service block is connected to the east of the House by a low passageway. The builder, John Damer, was the younger brother of Joseph Damer, who purchased Milton Abbey and became 1st Baron Milton and later 1st Earl of Dorchester (he also built Dorchester House in Mayfair, today the site of the Dorchester Hotel). Among the memorials in the village church of nearby Blandford St. Mary is that of Francis Cartwright, the architect of Came House. Cartwright was so proud of Came that he had the house depicted on the scroll of his memorial.
Comments: Nikolaus Pevsner called Came "The mid-18th century masterpiece of…Francis Cartwright."
Garden & Outbuildings: A conservatory of circa 1840 is extant.
Country Life: CXIII, 490, 572, 1953.
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Reference: pg. 231
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
Title: Country Houses of Dorset
Author: Oswald, Arthur
Year Published: 1935
Publisher: London: Country Life Ltd.
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Country Life: 100 Favourite Houses
Author: Green, Candida Lycett
Year Published: 1999
Publisher: London: Boxtree
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Not Listed
Seat of: Morag MacGregor
Past Seat of: Joseph Damer, 18th century; Col. George Dawson-Damer, 19th century; George Lionel Henry Seymour Dawson-Damer, 5th Earl of Portarlington, 19th century. Lady Christian Martin, 20th century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
House Open to Public: No
Historic Houses Member: No