DiCamillo Companion
England

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 1647-51 "The Toilet of Venus" (aka “The Rokeby Venus,” "La Venus del Espejo”), today in the collection of The National Gallery, London, hung at Rokeby from 1813 until 1906 (see photo in “Images” section). The canvas was acquired in the early 19th century by John Morritt, after it was smuggled out of Spain during the Napoleonic wars. In 1906, after a public appeal by The National Art Collections Fund, the painting was purchased for £45,000 and presented to The National Gallery. “The Rokeby Venus” is 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 painting featured in, and lent its name to, the movie "Venus," starring Peter O'Toole; at the same time it starred in The National Gallery's special Velázquez exhibition. Rokeby Hall today 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. The Yale Center for British Art has, in its collection, a watercolor over pencil image entitled "In Rokeby Park" by John Sell Cotman.

  • 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.

    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. 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