The Entrance Facade
The Entrance Facade from a circa 1900 postcard
Detail of the Entrance Porch
The 19th century wing
The Rear and Side Facades
Earlier Houses: There was at least one earlier house on, or near, the site of the current house.
House & Family History: Set on the very edge of Shropshire, where the River Severn cuts though on its journey from Wales, Loton is the seat of the Leightons, one of Shropshire's most ancient families, who have been here since the 14th century. Descended from Welsh princes, the family has a most interesting ancestry, from which the great Victorian painter Frederick, Lord Leighton, sought to make a claim of descent. The current baronet, Sir Michael Leighton, is the stepfather of Guy Ritchie. The original 17th century double-pile mansion still stands today at the heart of the current Janus-like house, with its Tudor and Baroque facades. The Tudor-styled entrance façade, created by two campaigns of building by the architects Edward Haycock and Thomas Jones, to which, on the right-hand side, was added the great theatre or ballroom wing in 1872-73 to Sir Baldwyn Leighton's own design, with input from Bowdler & Darlington of Shrewsbury and later amendments from the noted Victorian architect Philip Webb. On the north-facing garden façade, though, the house's mood turns Baroque, with an elegant early 18th century façade of nine bays and three stories that provides a remarkable contrast. Loton welcomed George IV, and the royal bedroom—along with varied interior styles that chart both family and house's history—can still be seen today. (We are most grateful to Gareth Williams for this history of Loton).
Garden & Outbuildings: The grounds include the early 13th century ruins of Alberbury Castle.
Architect: Smith familyDate: 1703 or 1712
Architect: W. Bowdler (Bowdler of Shrewbury)Date: 1875
Title: Smith of Warwick: Francis Smith, Architect and Master-Builder
Author: Gomme, Andor
Year Published: 2000
Reference: pgs. 222, 537
Publisher: Lincolnshire: Shaun Tyas
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Not Listed
Current Seat / Home of: Sir Michael Leighton (stepfather to Guy Ritchie); Leighton family here since the 14th century.
Past Seat / Home of: Sir Edward Leighton, early 18th century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home