DiCamillo Companion

Hylands House (Hylands Estate) (Writtle House) (Writtle Hylands Park) (Shaxstones)

  • Earlier Houses: There was an earlier house on the site, parts of which were probably incorporated into the current house.

    Built / Designed For: Sir John Comyns

    House & Family History: During World War II the estate was the site of a German prisoner of war camp, while the house was used by the SAS (Special Air Service) as their headquarters. In 1962 Christine Hanbury, the last private owner of Hylands, died; in 1966 Chelmsford Borough Council purchased Hylands for the people of Chelmsford. The west wing, including the banqueting room, was damaged by a roof fire in 1963, which left it in a perilous condition. The council stabilized the exterior of the house in the 1980s; in 1998 the interiors were restored to their original neo-Greek design, complete with Thorvaldsen reliefs. The firm of A.G. Joy & Son was brought in to rebuild the intricate moldings, most of them in situ, incorporating as much of the original decorative plaster as possible. In 2003 Joy & Son were the recipients of the National Humber Salver Prize for excellence in solid plastering for their work at Hylands. The judges praised the leaves of the chandelier roses and said the paneled pilasters were the finest example of ornamental plaster they had seen that year. Joy & Son worked at Hylands earlier, in 1999, when they restored the plaster ceilings and cornices of the east wing. The final restorations of the house were completed in 2005.

    Collections: Pierre Cesar Labouchère, a Dutch-born merchant banker who owned Hylands in the early 19th century, installed a collection of Neoclassical sculpture in the house, including works by Bertel Thorvaldsen.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: William Atkinson added greenhouses for P.C. Labouchère between 1819 and 1825. The house is set in 574 acres of parkland today.

  • Architect: Humphry Repton

    Date: 1797
    Designed: Landscaping for Cornelius Kortright

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    Architect: William Atkinson

    Date: 1819-25
    Designed: Added portico, single-story wings, and greenhouses for P.C. Labouchère.

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    Architect: John Buonarotti Papworth

    Date: 1842-47
    Designed: Alterations to house for John Attwood; added porte-cochere.

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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: Vol. I, 1818.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 82, 779
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
    Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
    Year Published: 1981
    Reference: pgs. 56-57
    Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
    ISBN: 0850110351
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Georgian: The Magazine of the Georgian Group, The
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: January 1999, pg. 14
    Publisher: London: The Georgian Group
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • "Chasing Liberty" (2004 - as The White House). "The Crown" (2019 - TV series, as The White House).
  • Past Seat / Home of: Sir John Comyns, 18th century; John Richard Comyns, 18th century. Cornelius H. Kortwright, 1797-1815. Pierre Cesar Labouchère, 1816-39. John Attwood, 1839-58. Arthur Pryor, 1858-1904. Sir Daniel Gooch, 1904-20. John Hanbury, 1922-23; Hanbury family here from 1922 until 1962.

    Current Ownership Type: Government

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Wedding & Event Venue

    Ownership Details: The grounds are used as a public park; the house and park are owned by Chelmsford Borough Council.

  • House Open to Public: Limited Access

    Phone: 01245-605-500

    Email: hylands@chelmsford.gov.uk

    Website: http://www.hylandsestateweddings.co.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No