DiCamillo Companion

Swakeleys House

  • Built / Designed For: Sir Edmund Wright

    House & Family History: A red brick house laid in English bond on an H-plan, Swakeleys was built by Sir Edmund Wright, a successful merchant from Cheshire who became lord mayor of London in 1640. Sir Edmund purchased the Estate in 1629 and commissioned a house in the Artisan Mannerist style, part of a very cosmopolitan and limited movement that disdained the then-popular Tudor architectural style, but also found the rising Palladian style too cold and severe. Swakeleys and other buildings like it (Cromwell House, London, and Kew Palace, Richmond) blended Renaissance styles with Inigo Jones and a dash of panache. The Great Hall contains its original paneling and the 1655 Harrington Screen. Samuel Pepys dined here in 1665 and described Swakeleys as "a very pleasant place." The House was used for offices for most of the 20th century (the Foreign Office owned the Estate until 1955). Swakeleys was listed for sale in 2015 for £45 million.

    Comments: Swakeleys is considered the most important house in Ickenham and one of the most outstanding Jacobean country houses built in the 1630s.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The grounds are used to stage the gala day and evening events of the Ickenham Festival.

  • 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: Vol. II, p. 121, 1853.

    John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. II, 1819.

    Country Life: XXVI, 526, 1909. LXI, 61 plan, 1927.

  • Title: Times, The (London newspaper)
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Feb 10, 2015
    Publisher: London: Times Newspapers Ltd.
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Newspaper

    Title: Architecture in Britain, 1530-1830
    Author: Summerson; John
    Year Published: 1989
    Reference: pg. 160
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: 014056103X
    Book Type: Softback

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

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • "Great Expectations" (2012 - as the interiors of Pip's Mayfair apartment).
  • Past Seat / Home of: Sir Edmund Wright, 17th century; Thomas T. Clarke, 19th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Unknown

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Unoccupied

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No


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