DiCamillo Companion

Deepdene (The Deepdene)

  • House & Family History: The Deepdene was originally part of the Knepp Estate, a property of the Howard family. Charles Howard, later 10th Duke of Norfolk, rebuilt the house in the Palladian style between 1769 and 1775. Deepdene's appearance during this time can be seen in a painting today in the collection of the Marylebone Cricket Club. In 1802, upon his mother's death, Sir Charles Burrell inherited the Knepp Estate. In 1807 Sir Charles was permitted, by an Act of Parliament, to sell the Deepdene (then an entailed part of the Knepp Estate) to Sir Thomas Hope. Hope was a millionaire collector and major trendsetter of style in the early 19th century. He was born in Amsterdam in 1769, the son of a wealthy banking family that had emigrated from Scotland to Holland at the end of the 17th century. By the late 18th century their bank, Hope & Company, was a major influence in the national affairs of Holland and a power throughout Europe (the family fled Holland in 1795, just ahead of Napoleon's forces, and settled in London). In 1802 Hope & Company, through its London office, helped finance the Louisiana Purchase, despite the fact that Britain was at war with France. Technically, the United States did not purchase Louisiana from Napoleon, but from Hope & Company and Barings Bank. Payment was made in U.S. bonds, which Napoleon sold to Barings at a discount of 87.50 per $100. As a result, Napoleon received only $8,831,250 in cash. Alexander Baring, working for Hope & Company, met in Paris with the French director of the public treasury, François BarbĂ©-Marbois, then traveled to the United States to pick up the bonds and deliver them to France. Thomas Hope spent an amazingly long time (1787-95) on the Grand Tour, during which he was almost certainly inspired in his concept of design, particularly his idea of synthesizing many styles into a coherent whole. In 1799 Hope acquired his famous house on Duchess Street in London; the house was built in the 1760s to the designs of Robert Adam as part of the Portland Place development and featured the French style of a courtyard in the front with a garden in the back. Sir John Soane was a known admirer of Hope's Duchess Street house; Soane's Lincoln Inn's Field house (now Sir John Soane's Museum) is today the closest remnant we have of what Hope's house was once like (the Duchess Street house was demolished in the 1850s and most of its famous contents moved to The Deepdene). The Duchess Street house had an impressive Picture Gallery that sported four Greek Doric columns, possibly the first use ever of such columns in a domestic British interior. Hope wrote the book "Household Furniture and Interior Decoration" in 1807 and thus coined the phrase interior decoration (in 1809 he authored another influential book entitled "Costume of the Ancients"). He was one of the most ardent proponents for the Greek Revival style in its "original" severe form. Such was Hope's influence that he successfully maneuvered to get Wyatt's designs for Downing College, Cambridge, thrown out and replaced by the more "correct" Greek designs of William Wilkins. Hope employed William Atkinson to remodel The Deepdene in 1818; Atkinson was back again in 1823 to add a large South Wing to the House. Thomas Hope died on February 2, 1831 at the age of sixty-one. In the 1840s The Deepdene was further remodeled and enlarged in the Italianate style by Hope's son, Henry Thomas Hope, who added an 11-bay front with twin towers, in addition to a two-story Entrance Hall. Disraeli wrote part of "Coningsby" at Deepdene. On the death of Henry Thomas Hope's wife, Anne, in 1862, the Deepdene Estate was left to her grandson, Lord Francis Hope-Pelham-Clinton, later 8th Duke of Newcastle. Lord Francis was hopeless at managing his finances and was declared bankrupt in 1894. Subsequently, The Deepdene was leased to Lord William Beresford (the third son of the Marquess of Waterford). From 1911 until 1914 the House was let to Almeric Paget. In 1917 the majority of the Hope Collection at The Deepdene was sold (see more about this in the "Collections" section). In 1920 the House and 50 acres were sold; in 1921 a further 2,200 acres were sold. In the interwar years the House was operated as a hotel by Madame Coletta, who owned The Deepdene from 1918 until 1939. The Southern Railway Company purchased the House in 1939; the Southern was later nationalized and became a part of BritRail, which occupied the House until 1967, when it was sold to Federated Homes Ltd., a development company. In 1969 the House was demolished; an office block now stands in its place.

    Collections: In 1917 the majority of the Hope Collection at Deepdene was sold, with most of Thomas Hope's furniture being purchased by Edward Knoblock, who displayed the furniture at the Beach House in Worthing, where it was a significant spark in the revival of the Regency style. Today the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Royal Pavilion in Brighton contain significant collections of furniture designed by Thomas Hope. The famous Hope Athena, an oversized 1st century AD Roman marble statue of the goddess after a late 5th century BC Greek original was excavated in Rome in 1797 and purchased by Thomas Hope with the idea that it was captured the spirit of the original gold and ivory statue of Athena made for the Parthenon by Pheidias. William Randolph Hearst purchased the statue, from whence it came into the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where it remains today. Henry Philip Hope (died 1839), Thomas's younger brother, was a collector of fine art and gems, and acquired the large blue diamond that was soon to carry his family's name. The Hope Diamond, at 45.52 carats, is the world's largest deep blue diamond and is more than one billion years old. It is today in the collection of The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

    Comments: In the 19th century the garden designer John Claudius Loudon described Deepdene as "…a group [of buildings] so rich in classic forms and combinations that no one can duly appreciate its beauties whose mind is not thoroughly imbued with Italy and the fine arts. It is in short, an example of what the Germans would call the ecstatic in architecture." David Watkin has called Hope's Deepdene "…the most startling Picturesque country house in England."

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The grounds of The Deepdene were famous in the 17th century. Contemporary references are made to Charles Howard's amphitheater garden, together with grottoes and a subterranean passage. Aubrey and John Evelyn both made visits and praised what they found. During the time of Thomas Hope the grounds were particularly noted for the Theatre of the Arts, which contained a collection of antique marble sculpture. The Hope Mausoleum, the only remaining building on the grounds of The Deepdene, was built and consecrated in 1818 for the burial of Hope's young son, Charles, who died in 1818; Thomas hope was buried there in 1831, followed by other members of his family. In 1941 the 6th Duke of Newcastle was laid to rest there, the last interment in the Mausoleum. In 1954 the Mausoleum was permanently sealed with concrete and buried with earth up to the level of the roof. The 7th Duke of Newcastle left the Mausoleum and the surrounding land to the town of Dorking in 1960 to be used as a public open space. Sited in a picturesque dell, the large archaic Greek style mausoleum is Thomas Hope's only extant building; it was neglected for decades, until, in 2003, the idea of excavating and restoring the Mausoleum was proposed by a number of amenity groups, including The Mausolea and Monuments Trust. In 2010 excavation work began; in 2016 the magnificent mausoleum was completely restored and triumphantly opened to the public, complete with reproduction Hope furniture.

  • Architect: William Gowan

    Date: 1769-75
    Designed: Rebuilt House in Palladian style for Charles Howard, later 10th Duke of Norfolk.

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    Architect: William Atkinson

    Date: 1823
    Designed: Added South Wing, containing orangeries, conservatories, and sculpture galleries.

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    Architect: William Atkinson

    Date: 1818-19
    Designed: Remodeled House for Thomas Hope

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  • J.B. Burke: 2.S. Vol. I, p. 218, 1854.

    J.P. Neal: 2.S. Vol. III, 1826.

  • Title: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
    Author: Stevens, Matt; Butler, Nola (Editors)
    Year Published: 2003
    Reference: pg. 87
    Publisher: London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.
    ISBN: 0500203601
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Regency Furniture and Interior Decoration: Classic Style Book of the Regency Period
    Author: Hope, Thomas
    Year Published: 1971
    Reference: pgs. v, vi, viii, x, xiii
    Publisher: New York: Dover Publications
    ISBN: 0486217108
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Mausolus: The Journal of The Mausolea and Monuments Trust
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: No. 6, Jul 2003, pg. 1; May 2010, pg. 3
    Publisher: London: The Mausolea and Monuments Trust
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: Country Life (magazine)
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Oct 25, 2001, pg. 93; Jul 17, 2003, pg. 66
    Publisher: London: TI Media
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: England's Lost Houses From the Archives of Country Life
    Author: Worsley, Giles
    Year Published: 2002
    Reference: pgs. 162-165
    Publisher: London: Aurum Press
    ISBN: 1854108204
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Neoclassical Source Book, The
    Author: Clifton-Mogg, Caroline
    Year Published: 1991
    Publisher: New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.
    ISBN: 0847813924
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Buildings of England: Surrey, The
    Author: Nairn, Ian; Pevsner; Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (Reviser)
    Year Published: 1971
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: 140710213
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: No Voice From the Hall: Early Memories of a Country House Snooper
    Author: Harris, John
    Year Published: 1998
    Publisher: London: John Murray
    ISBN: 0719555671
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Demolished

    Park Listed: Destroyed

  • Past Seat of: Charles Howard, 10th Duke of Norfolk, 18th century. Charles Merrick Burrell, early 19th century. Thomas Hope, early 19th century; Lord Francis Hope-Pelham-Clinton, later 8th Duke of Newcastle, 19th-20th centuries. Lord William Beresford, early 20th century. Almeric Paget, 1911-1914. Madame Coletta, 1918-39.

    Current Ownership Type: Demolished

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Demolished

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No