DiCamillo Companion

Tottenham Park (Tottenham House) (Savernake)

  • Earlier Houses: The earlier 16th century house of the Seymour family was replaced by the current house in the 18th century.

    Built / Designed For: Charles, Lord Bruce.

    House & Family History: The Savernake Estate, which has, at its core Tottenham House, was gifted to Richard Esturmy by William the Conqueror in 1067 for his contribution to victory at the Battle of Hastings. The current Tottenham Park, which has over 100 rooms spanning 90,000 square feet, was designed by the 3rd Earl of Burlington for his brother-in-law and is based on the plans of Palladio's Villa Mocenigo. The furnishings of the House were designed by William Kent and Henry Flitcroft. During World War II Tottenham was occupied by American armed forces; in the second half of the 20th century it was home to Hawtrey's Preparatory School, which vacated in 1994. After the school left, Tottenham was occupied by the Amber Foundation, which used it as an unemployment re-training center for troubled young people. Amber was ejected from their lease after the House was vandalized by the residents. In 2014 the House and the 800-acre Park (but not the Estate) was sold by the trustees for £11.25 million to property developer Jamie Ritblat. David Brudenell-Bruce, Earl of Cardigan, the historic owner of the House and Estate, had been fighting a battle for years against his trustees, who believed that the only way to save the partially-derelict house was to sell it. Lord Cardigan lost his battle in October 2014, when three senior judges ruled that it should be sold. In December 2017 plans were submitted to Wiltshire Council to return the House, Stables, outbuildings, and Park to a private family residence. The current earl (who carries the courtesy title of his father, Michael Sydney Cedric Brudenell-Bruce, 8th Marquess of Ailesbury) is an ancestor of James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, who led the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854 during the Crimean War.

    Collections: In 1919 the Ailesbury Library was sold at Tottenham Park. A pair of brackets designed to hold busts in the Library at Tottenham is today in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The House sits in a 4,500-acre estate, Savernake Forest, the only privately owned forest in Britain. The forest is referred to in a Saxon charter from King Athelstan in 934 AD, when it was called Safernoc. The Stableblock is Grade II*-listed and was a virtual ruin when it was sold in 2014. The Banqueting House was demolished in 1824. The Savernake Estate's manor house was once Wulfhall, the childhood home of Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour, made famous by Hilary Mantel's 2010 historical novel, "Wolf Hall." By 1572 the Seymours had moved to the much grander Tottenham Park, leaving Wulfhall abandoned and derelict. By the mid-17th century the House was significantly reduced in size; it was completely demolished in 1723, though some outbuildings and ruins survived until the early 20th century. The famous barn where Henry VIII and Jane Seymour reportedly celebrated their marriage with a wedding feast burned to the ground in the 1920s.

  • Architect: William Kent

    Date: 1720s-30s
    Designed: Furninshings, together with Flitcroft.

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    Architect: Henry Flitcroft

    Date: 1720s-30s
    Designed: Furninshings, together with Kent. Executed Lord Burlington's designs.

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    Architect: Thomas Cundy, Jr.

    Date: 1826
    Designed: Enlarged and remodeled House

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    Architect: Richard Boyle (Burlington)

    Date: 1721-30
    Designed: House, based on plan of Palladio's Villa Mocenigo, for his brother-in-law.

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    Architect: Richard Boyle (Burlington)

    Date: 1743
    Designed: Park buildings, including Banqueting House.
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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  • Title: Stourhead Guidebook - 1990
    Author: NA
    Year Published: 1990
    Reference: pg. 44
    Publisher: London: The National Trust
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 1990
    Author: Kidd, Charles; Williamson, David (Editors)
    Year Published: 1990
    Reference: pg. P 15
    Publisher: London: Debrett's Peerage Limited (New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc.)
    ISBN: 0312046405
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: No Voice From the Hall: Early Memories of a Country House Snooper
    Author: Harris, John
    Year Published: 1998
    Publisher: London: John Murray
    ISBN: 0719555671
    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
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "The Living and the Dead" (2006 - as Longleigh House, home of the Brocklebank family). "Downton Abbey" (2015 - TV series, as Dryden Park, the home Sir Michael Raisby, where Thomas goes for a job interview).
  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Richard Esturmy, 11th century. Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, 16th century; Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford and 1st Baron Beauchamp, 17th century; Seymour family here from 1427 until 1675. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury and 2nd Earl of Elgin, 17th century; George William Frederick Brudenell-Bruce, 2nd Marquess of Ailesbury and 8th Earl of Cardigan, 19th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Unoccupied

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No