An 1896 illustration of the house from "The Queen's London"
Garden & Outbuildings: A famous, and very elaborate, temporary Neoclassical garden pavilion, designed by Robert Adam for the 12th Earl of Derby, was unveiled on June 9, 1774 for a grand fête-champêtre on the grounds of The Oaks. The 12th Earl (see “Images” section) was great fan of the turf (his racing colors were black with a white cap) and his influence on horse racing was huge: he founded the Oaks and Derby races, the former in 1778 after a dinner party at The Oaks (the first running was the next year and Lord Derby’s horse, Bridget, won the race). Not surprisingly, the estate lent its name to today's Oaks Stakes for three-year-old fillies, run annually at Epsom Downs Racecourse (the race once ran through The Oaks Estate). The Derby Stakes, also known as the Epsom Derby or the Derby, was founded by the earl in 1780 and remains the most prestigious of the five British Classics (Group 1 horse races run during the traditional flat racing season). Though the house was demolished in the 1950s, the bake house, the stableblock, and some outbuildings are extant.
Architect: Robert TaylorDate: Circa 1770
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. IV, 1821. Vol. II, 1819.
Title: Sir Robert Taylor: From Rococo to Neo-Classicism
Author: Binney, Marcus
Year Published: 1984
Publisher: London: George Allen & Unwin
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Demolished
Park Listed: Destroyed
Past Seat / Home of: Thomas Gosling, 18th century. Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby, 18th century. General John Burgoyne, 18th century. Sir Charles Grey, 19th century. H. Berkeley James, late 19th century.
Current Ownership Type: Demolished
Primary Current Ownership Use: Demolished
House Open to Public: No
Historic Houses Member: No