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Renishaw Hall

  • Built / Designed For: George Sitwell, High Sheriff of Derbyshire

    House & Family History: Renishaw, even without its hugely famous 20th century inhabitants, would still be one of the great houses of England. The house boasts work of the finest caliber, from the followers of Robert Adam to Lutyens and John Piper. The Sitwell family, who later produced literary giants, came to Renishaw in 1624. The original house was comparatively modest H-plan house (one of the Sheffield School plaster ceilings remains from the original house is in today's library). Following the death of his father in 1793, Sir Sitwell Sitwell (yes, that really was his name!) set about a thorough rebuilding and extending of Renishaw. Joseph Badger of Sheffield carried out much of the work, including the charming Neoclassical style dining room, with its slightly gawky looking apse. The huge drawing room, which contains the famous Sargent of Sir George and Lady Ida Sitwell and children, leads through Lutyens's stylish billiard room into an equally enormous ballroom, the ceiling of which is said to be by Sir Francis Chantrey. The Sitwell fortune was made as colliery owners and ironmasters from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The Sitwell family have always been avid collectors and patrons of the arts; the history of the family is also filled with writers, innovators, and eccentrics, the most famous of which were the sibling trio of Edith, Osbert, and Sacheverell Sitwell, who played an enormous part in the artistic and literary world in the early 20th century. During World War II Osbert believed that the end of the country house was at hand; he hired John Piper to paint views of his family's ancestral home in the belief that it would soon be gone. Piper made three visits, spanning 1942-44, to Renishaw and painted over 50 views of the house, its grounds, and follies. The Prince Regent, later George IV, visited Renishaw in 1806. A chimneypiece designed by James Paine for Melbourne House, London, was moved to Renishaw Hall in 1803, where it remains today. (We are most grateful to Oliver Gerrish for much of this history of Renishaw).

    Collections: There was a sale of the majority of the art collection in 1847. Perugino's "The Three Maries" was sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1903. John Singleton Copley's "The Sitwell Children," 1787, considered among the most important of the artist's conversation pieces, remains in the collection at Renishaw.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The seven acres of formal gardens in the Italian style were laid out in the late 19th century by Sir George Sitwell, 4th Bt., and are set among 300 acres of parkland. The fine Georgian stableblock is extant.

  • Architect: Joseph Badger

    Date: 1793-1808
    Designed: Enlarged and remodeled House for Sir Sitwell Sitwell and added Stables

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    Architect: Edwin Landseer Lutyens

    Date: 1908
    Designed: Remodeled Billiard Room for Sir George Sitwell

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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. I, p. 16, 1854.

    Country Life: Christopher Hussey in LXXXIII, 506, 1938.

  • Title: In Ruins
    Author: Woodward, Christopher
    Year Published: 2001
    Publisher: London: Chatto & Windus
    ISBN: 070116896X
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pgs. 90, 724
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II*

  • "Jane Eyre" (1973 - BBC TV mini series). "Pride and Prejudice" (1980 - BBC TV mini series, as Pemberley, the home of Mr. Darcy). "The Antiques Roadshow" (2003 - TV series, 2 episodes). "The Curious House Guest" (2006 - TV series, episode 2.5).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Alexandra Sitwell-Hayward; Sitwell family here for over 350 years.

    Past Seat / Home of: George Sitwell, 17th century; Osbert Sitwell, 20th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01246-432-310

    Fax: 01246-430-760

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://renishaw-hall.co.uk/

    Awards: HHA/Christie's Garden of the Year Award 2015.

    Historic Houses Member: Yes


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