The Entrance Facade from an early 19th century engraving
The Entrance Facade
Pediment of the Entrance Facade
Plasterwork in the Top Hall
The Tapestry Room
The State Dining Room
The State Dining Room
Console table in the State Dining Room
Robert Adam pier tabletop in the Saloon
Detail of wall painting in the Little Dining Room
Robert Adam's Tapestry Room ceiling
The Breakfast Room
The Crimson Room
The Dolls' House
Earlier Houses: There was a 12th century priory on the site of the current house.
Built / Designed For: Sir Rowland Winn, 4th Bt.
House & Family History: The original monastic buildings at Nostell were converted into a house in 1540 at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The Augustinian canons who founded the priory dedicated it to St. Oswald, King of Northumbria, who was killed in battle in 642 (the Winn family title of Baron St. Oswald is taken from this bit of Nostell history). Cardinal Wolsey held a confirmation at the priory in 1530. The Nostell Priory Estate was purchased in 1654 by Sir Rowland Winn, a London alderman and successful textile merchant (the family's fortune was founded by George Wynne [1560-1610] of Gwydir, a Welshman who was appointed draper to Queen Elizabeth I). The House was built for Sir Rowland Winn, 4th Bt., who returned from his Grand Tour in 1729 determined to have a Palladian style house for himself. The design for Nostell Priory was based on Palladio's unbuilt Villa Mocenigo; it's very likely that Sir Rowland was advised in the design of the House by Lord Burlington and Colen Campbell. The actual plans for Nostell were probably done by James Moyser, though they were carried out and altered by James Paine. Paine also did many of the interiors, including the State Bedchamber, the Dining Room, and the two staircases. Robert Adam was employed by Sir Rowland, 5th Bt., to finish off many of the interiors (Adam's state rooms at Nostell are among the finest examples of his interiors). Nostell is particularly famous for its Chippendale furniture; the artist designed and executed over 100 pieces (almost all of which still exist at Nostell) of furniture expressly for the House between 1766 and 1776. The famous six-foot-high 18th century dolls' house, with its original furnishings, was made circa 1735 for the children of the 4th Baronet and is believed to be by Thomas Chippendale. Nostell Priory was given to the National Trust in 1953 by the Winn family. In 1986 the Chippendale furniture and other contents were transferred to the National Trust by the family, with the aid of a £6.1 million grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
Collections: Nostell houses one of England's best collections (and the best documented) of the furniture of Thomas Chippendale, who grew-up nearby, designed especially for the House (the furniture was purchased for the National Trust with National Heritage Memorial Funds of £6,102,360, and remains in situ). There is also an outstanding art collection, with works by Angelica Kauffmann, Holbein's "The Family of Sir Thomas Moore," and Pieter Brueghel the Younger's "The Procession to Calvary." The remarkable 18th century dolls' house, complete with its original fittings and Chippendale-style furniture, is one of the stars of Nostell, as is the John Harrison long-case clock with its extremely rare movement made of wood. Sir Roland Winn, 4th Bt., commissioned a local antiquary to transcribe the "Nostell Act Book," an early 16th century book now housed in the Muniment Room at Nostell. A sale of some contents was held April 30 and May 1, 1990 by Christie's.
Garden & Outbuildings: The Winn family owed its wealth to the coal under the Estate, which was mined for hundreds of years. The grounds were laid out by Stephen Switzer, circa 1731. Robert Adam designed lodges, garden buildings, and gates (he also re-designed the west and south ranges of the Stables). The Adam Gate and Lodge at Featherstone Moor is in the form of a large pyramid, dated 1776. Switzer's Orangery, Greenhouse, and Belvedere have all been demolished. The Menagerie, a little Gothic building, survives today; Robert Adam may have designed two small wings for it. The original Wakefield-Doncaster Bridge was designed by Sir George Savile, a Yorkshire neighbor, in 1761.
Architect: George SavileDate: 1761
Architect: Charles WatsonDate: 1827-29
Architect: James MoyserDate: 1736
Architect: Stephen SwitzerDate: 1730s
Architect: James Pigott PritchettDate: 1827-29
Architect: James Paine, Sr.Date: 1733-50
Vitruvius Britannicus: C. IV, pls. 70-73, 1767.
J.B. Burke: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 218, 1855.
J.P. Neal: Vol. V, 1822.
Country Life: XXI, 594, 1907. XXXVI, 582 plan, 684 [Furniture], 1914. CXI, 1248 [Furniture], 1492, 1572, 1652 plan, 1952. CXII, 1028 [Furniture], 1952.
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
Author: Sayer, Michael
Year Published: 1993
Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Seat of: Charles Rowland Andrew Winn, 6th Baron St. Oswald; Winn family here since 1650.
Past Seat of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: James Blount, 6th Baron Mountjoy, 16th century. Sir Thomas Gargrave, 16th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Sir Roland Winn, 5th Bt., 18th century.
Current Ownership Type: The National Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction