DiCamillo Companion

Grange Park (The Grange) (Northington Grange)

  • Earlier Houses: There was at least one earlier house on, or near, the site of the current house, in addition to Medieval monastic buildings that were owned by Hyde Abbey before the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

    Built / Designed For: Sir Robert Henley

    House & Family History: Between 1795 and 1800 Grange Park was let to George, Prince of Wales (later George IV), as a hunting box. In 1934 the estate was sold by the 5th Baron Ashburton to Lewis Wallach, who unsuccessfully tried a number of times to give the house its contents to the nation. During World War II Grange Park was occupied by the British Army; it was during this time that Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower met at the house to plan the invasion of Europe. In 1964, after the death of Lewis Wallach, The Hon. John Baring, later 7th Baron Ashburton, purchased Grange Park, bringing the estate back into the ownership of the Baring family. In 1969 Baring received governmental planning permission to demolish the empty house; in 1972, in anticipation of demolition, John Baring held an auction that sold the house’s fixtures, including fireplaces, doors, staircases, and marble cladding. Protests from conservation groups meant that only the 19th century additions were demolished before an order preventing the house’s destruction was issued. In 1975 the house and a small amount of land around it were taken into guardianship by the government (today English Heritage). The house remained roofless until 1979-80, when the Department of the Environment (the then-owner) restored the roof, the conservatory, and the east section of the main block. Between 1998 and 2016 Grange Park was the home of the famous Grange Park Opera; in 2017 the opera moved to West Horsley Place and was replaced by The Grange Festival.

    Comments: Grange Park is considered one of the first and finest examples in Europe of a Greek Revival house.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The Grange Park Estate, excluding the house and its surrounding grounds, remains owned by the Baring family.

  • Architect: Henry Holland

    Date: Probably late 18th century
    Designed: Alterations
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Robert Adam

    Date: 1764
    Designed: Kitchen block, bridge, and park for 1st Earl of Northington.
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Frederick Pepys Cockerell

    Date: 1852
    Designed: Additions

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    Architect: Charles Robert Cockerell

    Date: 1823-25
    Designed: Alterations and additions, including dining room (demolished 1972) and conservatory, all for 1st Baron Ashburton.

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    Architect: Robert Smirke

    Date: Circa 1817-20
    Designed: Additions (demolished) and work on park for 1st Baron Ashburton

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    Architect: William Samwell

    Date: 1670-73
    Designed: House for Sir Robert Henley

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    Architect: John Cox

    Date: 1868-70
    Designed: Additions and alterations for 4th Baron Ashburton

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    Architect: William Wilkins Jr.

    Date: 1804-09
    Designed: Rebuilt house in Greek Revival style for Henry Drummond II

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  • Country Life: May 8 & 15, 1975.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 264, 896, 935, 1125
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: English Heritage Handbook, 2002
    Author: NA
    Year Published: 2002
    Reference: pg. 59
    Publisher: London: English Heritage
    ISBN: 1850748209
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II*

  • "Onegin" (1999).
  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: Sir Benjamin Tichborne, until 1662. Sir Robert Henley, 1662-70. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Sir Robert Henley, 1670-92; Anthony Henley, 1692-1711; Robert Henley, 1st Earl of Northington, 1745-72; Robert Henley, 2nd Earl of Northington, 1772-86. Henry Drummond I, 1787-95; Henry Drummond II, 1795-1817. Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton, 1817-48; William Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton, 1848-64; Francis Baring, 3rd Baron Ashburton, 1864-68; Alexander Hugh Baring, 4th Baron Ashburton, 1868-89; Francis Denzil Edward Baring, 5th Baron Ashburton, 1889-1934. Lewis Wallach, 1934-64. John Francis Harcourt Baring, 7th Baron Ashburton, 1964-2020.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Other

    Ownership Details: Owned by the Baring family, but under the protection of English Heritage. The house and grounds are used for The Grange Festival.

  • House Open to Public: Limited Access

    Phone: 01962-791-020

    Email: Dining@TheGrange

    Website: https://thegrangefestival.co.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No