DiCamillo Companion

Rokeby Hall (Rokeby Park)

  • Built / Designed For: Sir Thomas Robinson

    House & Family History: Sir Walter Scott visited Rokeby Hall frequently and dedicated his poem, "Rokeby" to his host. Rokeby has one of the earliest print rooms in England.

    Collections: Diego Velazquez's "The Toilet of Venus" (Diego Velázquez "La Venus del Espejo," 1647-51), today in The National Gallery in London, hung at Rokeby from 1813 (acquired by John Morritt, after it was smuggled out of Spain during the Napoleonic wars), until it was purchased in 1906, after a public appeal, for £45,000 by The National Art Collections Fund (www.artfund.org), and presented to The National Gallery (which also refers to the painting as "The Rokeby Venus," reference NG2057, being one of only two surviving nude paintings in all of 17th century Spanish art; it was censored by the Spanish Inquisition). In late 2006 the Rokeby Venus featured in, and lent its name to, the movie "Venus," staring Peter O'Toole; at the same time as it starred in The National Gallery's special Velázquez exhibition, tracing his career and including almost half of his surviving works in existence. The House also contains a unique collection of needlework pictures made in the 18th century by Anne Morritt. It's probable that a pair of George III white-painted and parcel-gilt mahogany side tables sold from Ven House June 21-22, 1999 (by Christie's for £155,500) were originally commissioned for Rokeby by Sir Thomas Robinson. On May 2, 2018 Lyon & Turnbull auctioned a number of pieces of Victorian furniture from Rokeby.

  • Architect: Thomas Robinson

    Date: 1725-31
    Designed: Rebuilt House in Palladian villa style of Lord Burlington for himself

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  • Vitruvius Britannicus: C. III, pl. 90, 1725.

    J.B. Burke: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 221, 1855.

    Country Life: XLII, 276, 300, 1917. CXVII, 1302 plan, 1955.

  • Title: Christie's Auction Catalog: Ven House, 1999
    Author: NA
    Year Published: 1999
    Reference: pg. 110
    Publisher: London: Christie's
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Creating Paradise: The Building of the English Country House, 1660-1880
    Author: Wilson, Richard; Mackley, Alan
    Year Published: 2000
    Reference: pg. 29
    Publisher: London: Hambledon and London
    ISBN: 1852852526
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Seat of: Morritt family; here since 1769.

    Past Seat of: Sir Thomas Robinson, 18th century. John Sawrey Morritt, late 18th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

    Ownership Details: Owned by the Trustees of the Mortham Estate.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01833-695-692

    Email: enquiries@rokebypark.com

    Website: http://www.rokebypark.com

    Historic Houses Member: Yes