The Entrance Facade
The Entrance Hall
Entrance Hall plasterwork
The Dining Room
Plasterwork in the Saloon
The Chinese Room
Built / Designed For: William Hanbury
House & Family History: Kelmarsh Hall is a fine Palladian house completed in 1732 for William Hanbury, a famous antiquarian. The House was built by Francis Smith of Warwick, working from a design by James Gibbs. Richard Christopher Naylor, a Liverpool banker, cotton trader, and horse-racing enthusiast purchased the Estate in 1864, mainly for its hunting potential. In 1902 George Granville Lancaster bought Kelmarsh; his son, Claude, inherited on his majority in 1924. Ronald Tree and his wife, Nancy Lancaster, took a 10-year repairing lease on Kelmarsh in 1927. Nancy, who became legendary for her interior designs, subsequently married Claude Granville Lancaster and added the Chinese Room and redecorated the interiors in 1928. In 1977 Kelmarsh passed to Claude Granville Lancaster's elder sister, Cicely; she established the Kelmarsh Trust to safeguard the Estate's future after her death (she died in 1996).
Comments: Sir Nikolaus Pevsner described Kelmarsh as "a perfect, extremely reticent design…done in an impeccable taste."
Garden & Outbuildings: Kelmarsh is set within 3,500 acres of farm and woodland. The Estate is noted for its herd of British White cattle.
Architect: Francis SmithDate: 1728-32
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. III, 1820.
Country Life: LXXIII, 198 plan, 1933.
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Reference: pg. 1115
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat / Home of: William Hanbury, 18th century. Richard Christopher Naylor, 19th century. George Granville Lancaster, early 20th century. Ronald Tree and Nancy Lancaster, 20th century.
Current Ownership Type: Preservation Organization
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
Ownership Details: Owned by Kelmarsh Hall Estate Preservation Trust.