DiCamillo Companion

The Menagerie at Horton Hall

  • Built / Designed For: 2nd Earl of Halifax

    House & Family History: The Menagerie was originally designed as a folly in the park of Horton House (qv), now demolished. The Earl of Halifax probably would have used the large main room as a banqueting house. Lord Halifax kept a large collection of animals at Horton House, with a moat to prevent their escape. During World War II The Menagerie was used by troops and was then continually vandalized and left in a bad conditino. In the 1970s it was filled with straw, almost to the ceiling, in some rooms. The architectural historian Gervase Jackson-Stops rescued The Menagerie and recreated the amazing plasterwork (the main room contains rococo plasterwork that includes signs of the zodiac). The Menagerie is one of the few extant buildings designed by Thomas Wright.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The gardens created by Ian Kirby include formal ponds, wetlands, bogs, herbaceous borders, and circular, classical, thatched, Gothic and triangular arbors. There is also a mineral and shell-covered grotto showing Orpheus entertaining animals. These gardens were once home to Lord Halifax's animals.

  • Architect: Thomas Wright

    Date: 1750s
    Designed: House (originally a folly) for 2nd Earl of Halifax

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    Architect: Christoper Hobbs

    Date: 1975-77
    Designed: Restored House

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    Architect: Charles Morris

    Date: 1988
    Designed: South Portico

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    Architect: Ian Kirby

    Designed: Gardens, including formal ponds, wetland, bog area

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  • Title: Follies, Grottoes and Garden Buildings
    Author: Headley, Gwyn; Meulenkamp, Wim
    Year Published: 1999
    Publisher: London: Aurum Press Ltd.
    ISBN: 1854106252
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade II

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • Past Seat of: Parr family, until mid-1620s. Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester, 16th-17th centuries; George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax, 18th century; Montagu family here from the mid-1620s until 1781. Sir Robert Gunning, 1st Bt., 18th-19th centuries; Gunning family here until 1888. Pickering Phipps, late 19th century. George Winterbottom, 1899-1935. Mr. W. Storey, 1935-36. Gervase Jackson-Stops, 1972-98. Alex Myers, 1998-2011

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: No

    Phone: 01604-870-957

    Historic Houses Member: No