The Staircase Lantern
The view from the garden
Built / Designed For: John Vivian
House & Family History: Perched on a sublime hilltop site, Claverton Manor is a Regency style stone house of the 1820s designed by Jeffry Wyatville. The site was originally occupied by a manor purchased in 1758 by Ralph Allen, the promoter of Bath stone and a prime developer of the city. It was was at Claverton Manor on July 26, 1897, for the Primrose League, that Winston Churchill delivered his first political speech. Today Claverton is home to the American Museum in Britain. The Museum was founded by two antique collectors: an American, Dallas Pratt (1914-94), and a Briton, John Judkyn (1913-63), and opened to the public for the first time on July 1, 1961. Presented as a series of period rooms, the exhibits cover every period of American history, and are particularly strong in rooms and furnishings from New England. Because John Judkyn was a peace-loving Quaker, the Museum contains no militaria.
Garden & Outbuildings: The garden is set into the valley of the River Avon and has fine views over the valley and the Kennet and Avon Canal. The Museum employed Lanning Roper to design a mixed herbaceous border and there is an arboretum with a fine collection of American trees. The Colonial Herb Garden and the Mount Vernon Garden, a recreation of George Washington's Virginia garden, are some of the Museum's primary attractions.
Country Life: CXXIX, 1532, 1961.
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat / Home of: John Vivian, early 19th century.
Current Ownership Type: Charity / Nonprofit
Primary Current Ownership Use: Museum
Ownership Details: Owned by the trustees of the American Museum in Britain.