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Stokesay Court

  • Earlier Houses: The current house replaced an earlier 18th century house on the site.

    Built / Designed For: John Derby-Allcroft

    House & Family History: One of only three houses ever built by the Victorian architectural theorist Thomas Harris, and the only one to remain in family hands, Stokesay Court is enormously evocative of the last decades of the 19th century. The current House replaced an earlier 18th century house and was built for the wealthy Worcester glove manufacturer John Derby Allcroft (he purchased nearby Stokesay Castle first [in 1867], but decided not to live there because it lacked a good view). Built between 1889 and 1892, no expense was spared – the House alone cost over £100,000, approximately £45 million in 2016 inflation-adjusted values using the labour value commodity index. One side of the Victorian E-shaped House is mock-Elizabethan, with the other being mock-Jacobean, with a further side wing. It is one of the earliest houses in England to have been built with integral electric light (Allcroft's business partner in J&W Dent & Co. bought the ruins of Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, still owned today [2012] by the Dent-Brocklehurst family). In 1893 John Derby Allcroft died and Stokesay passed to his son Herbert, who, in 1900, married Margaret Russell, daughter of Sir William Russell of Charlton Park in Gloucestershire. In 1911 Herbert Allcroft died and Margaret married Brigadier General Sir John Rotton. In the First World War Stokesay was occupied by an Auxiliary Military Hospital for convalescing soldiers. During the Second World War it was used by Lancing College, Sussex, and then served as Western Command Junior Leaders' School. In 1940 Stokesay passed to Herbert's son Russell, and, in 1950, to Russell's sister, Jewell, who, in 1943, had married Sir Philip Magnus, Bt. (who was descended from the Sebag-Montefiore banking dynasty), biographer of Kitchener, Gladstone, and Edward VII. Sir Philip died in 1988. In 1992, upon the death of the childless Lady Jewell Magnus-Allcroft, the 1,000-acre Estate was inherited by her niece, Caroline Magnus (a school friend of Princess Anne), except for Stokesay Castle, which was bequeathed to English Heritage. The balance of Lady Magnus-Allcroft's wealth, including the proceeds from the 1994 Sotheby's auction (the extraordinary contents had been packed away and stored in the attic during the World War II, after which they made a brief reappearance in the rooms before Sotheby's sold them), and the baronetcy, went to Caroline's brother, Laurence. Caroline has devoted an immense amount of time and effort into the restoration and refurnishing of the House and the rehabilitation of its Estate – the results are a triumph. Stokesay is famous today as the main location for the 2007 film "Atonement." (We are grateful to Gareth Williams for contributing much of this history of Stokesay Court.)

    Collections: The contents of Stokesay Court were auctioned on September 28, 29, 30 and October 1, 1994 by Sotheby's, bringing over £3 million.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The gardens were laid out by Edward Milner, overlaying an 18th century landscape design that existed from the earlier house.

  • Architect: Thomas Harris

    Date: 1889-92
    Designed: House for John Derby-Allcroft

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    Architect: Edward Milner

    Designed: Gardens

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  • Title: Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume II: Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire
    Author: Reid, Peter
    Year Published: 1980
    Reference: pg. 116
    Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
    ISBN: 0850110319
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Country Life (magazine)
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Aug 18, 1994, pg. 32
    Publisher: London: Future plc
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Atonement" (2007 - as the neglected Tallis family home, but with the side wing airbrushed out).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Caroline Magnus

    Past Seat / Home of: John Derby-Allcroft, late 19th century; Sir Philip Montefiore Magnus-Allcroft, 2nd Bt., 1951-88.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

    Ownership Details: Stokesay is available for conferences and events. One wing of the House has been converted into a separate rented house.

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 01244-571-208

    Email: info@stokesaycourt.com

    Website: http://www.stokesaycourt.com

    Historic Houses Member: No