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Honington Hall

  • Built / Designed For: Sir Henry Parker

    House & Family History: Considered one of the most perfect late 17th century houses in England, Honington is a 1680s house built of an exquisite, mellow red brick with stone quoins and carved busts of Roman emperors set into round-headed niches above the ground-floor windows (the garden facade of Castle Hill, Ipswich, Massachusetts, is based on Honington). The Manor of Honington was owned by the Priory of Coventry until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. In 1540 the Manor was granted by the crown to Robert Gibbes. In 1670 Honington was sold by the Gibbes family to Henry Parker, who built the current house. Parker's grandson sold the Estate in 1737 to Joseph Townsend, who carried out extensive work on the House, leaving it as seen today. The interior was lavishly remodeled by Townsend in the 1750s and features an extraordinary display of early Georgian plasterwork of the highest quality, particularly in the breathtaking coffered domed Octagonal Saloon, which was designed for Townsend by his friend, John Freeman. With luscious Rococo garlands on the walls, Kentian doorways, and a ceiling painting attributed to Bellucci, the 1751 Saloon burns brightly as the star of this extraordinary house. The second floor features the early 17th century Chinese Room (so-called because of its wallpaper), which also sports fine stucco work.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Honington is set in 15 acres of grounds.

  • Architect: William Smith

    Date: Circa 1685
    Designed: House for Henry Parker
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Sanderson Miller

    Date: Circa 1755-60
    Designed: Consulted on alterations for Joseph Townsend

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    Architect: John Freeman

    Date: 1751
    Designed: Octagonal domed Saloon for Joseph Townsend

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  • 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: 2.S. Vol. I, 1824.

    Country Life: XV, 942, 1904. XLVIII, 630, 666, 694, 1920. CLXIV, 791, 893, 1082, 1978.

  • Title: Burke's & Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume II: Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire
    Author: Reid, Peter
    Year Published: 1980
    Reference: pgs. 151-153
    Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
    ISBN: 0850110319
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: English Country Houses: Early Georgian, 1715-1760
    Author: Hussey, Christopher
    Year Published: 1955
    Reference: pg. 175
    Publisher: London: Country Life Limited
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Martin Chuzzlewit" (1994 - BBC TV mini series, as the brass-and-copper founder's house). "Our Mutual Friend" (1998 - BBC TV mini series, as the home of the Boffins). "Love in a Cold Climate" (2001 - TV mini series).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Benjamin Wiggin; Wiggin family here since the 1920s.

    Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Robert Gibbes, 16th century; Gibbes family here 1540-1670. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Sir Henry Parker, 17th century; Parker family here 1670-1737. Joseph Townsend, 18th century; Townsend family here 1737-1905. Sir Grey Humberston d'Estoteville Skipwith, 11th Bt., 1905-20s.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: Limited Access

    Phone: 01608-661-434

    Fax: 01608-663-717

    Email: [email protected]

    Historic Houses Member: No


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