DiCamillo Companion

Prior Park

  • Built / Designed For: Ralph Allen

    House & Family History: When Prior Park was completed in 1740, it was the longest house in England. The East Wing was finished by Richard Jones to different plans than John Wood's original designs. Alexander Pope was a good friend of Ralph Allen and a frequent visitor to Prior Park, where he would stay for months on end. In 1829 the House became a Catholic Seminary and later a co-educational public (private) Catholic school, which it remains today. A fire in 1836 destroyed most of the interiors, later rebuilt by H.E. Goodridge.

    Comments: Nikolaus Pevsner called Prior Park "the most ambitious and most complete recreation of Palladio's villas on English soil."

  • Garden & Outbuildings: For information on the Gardens and grounds, please see the separate record for "Prior Park Landscape Gardens, Bath."

    Chapel & Church: St. Paul's Church, built circa 1863 by J.J. Scholes, has been called "the most impressive church interior of its date in the county" by Pevsner. The West Pavilion of the House was demolished in 1844 to make way for the Church.

  • Architect: Richard Jones

    Designed: Completed East Wing to different design from Wood's original

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    Architect: Henry Edmund Goodridge

    Date: Post 1829
    Designed: Remodeled wings

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    Architect: Henry Edmund Goodridge

    Date: Post 1836
    Designed: Rebuilt interior after 1836 fire

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    Architect: Joseph John Scoles

    Date: Circa 1863
    Designed: Chapel (West Wing was demolished to make way for Chapel)

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    Architect: John Wood, Sr.

    Date: 1735-48
    Designed: House

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  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 224, 1855.

  • Title: Destruction of the Country House, The
    Author: Strong, Roy; Binney, Marcus; Harris, John
    Year Published: 1974
    Reference: pg. 14
    Publisher: London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.
    ISBN: 0500270052X
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Best Buildings of England, The
    Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus
    Year Published: 1986
    Reference: pg. 184
    Publisher: London: Viking
    ISBN: 0670812838
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade I

  • "Buildings That Shaped Britain" (2006 - TV documentary series by Simon Thurley, episode 5, "Birth Of The Metropolis"). "Secrets of the Stately Garden" (2007 - TV documentary on the garden's water cascade restoration). "Poldark" (2015 - TV series).
  • Past Seat of: Ralph Allen, 18th century. Bishop Baines, 19th century.

    Current Ownership Type: School

    Primary Current Ownership Use: School

    Ownership Details: Today Prior Park College

  • House Open to Public: No

    Phone: 01225-835-353

    Fax: 01225-835-353

    Email: info@priorparkschools.com

    Website: http://www.priorparkcollege.com

    Historic Houses Member: No