DiCamillo Companion

Westonbirt House (Weston Birt)

  • Earlier Houses: There was at least one earlier house on, or near, the site of the current house.

    Built / Designed For: Robert Stayner Holford

    House & Family History: Westonbirt was the country house of the great and fabulously wealthy 19th century collector Robert Stayner Holford (1808-92), who collected books, manuscripts, and fine and applied art. Holford's London home was the famous Dorchester House, which was also designed for him by Lewis Vulliamy. In 1928 Westonbirt House became a school, a purpose it continues to serve today.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Robert Stayner Holford also collected trees and shrubs, which he tended at Westonbirt Arboretum, a world-class collection of plants he founded on his Gloucestershire estate in the 19th century. Today the National Arboretum, Westonbirt, is probably the most important and best-known arboretum in Britain. The arboretum is managed by the Forestry Commission.

  • Architect: Lewis Vulliamy

    Date: 1863-70
    Designed: House for Robert Stayner Holford

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  • 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. I, p. 143, 1852.

    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: 2.S. Vol. III, 1826.

    Country Life: XVII, 378, 1905. CLI, 1226, 1310, 1972.

  • Title: Victorian Country House, The
    Author: Girouard, Mark
    Year Published: 1990
    Reference: pg. 423
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300034725
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade I

  • "Brilliant Gardens" (1995 - BBC TV documentary, episode "Westonbirt"). "A Week In The Country" (1996 - BBC TV documentary, part of the episode at the Arboretum). "Two Fat Ladies" (1996 - BBC TV, episode "Meat," cooking at the school). "Country File" (1998, 2001, 2005 - BBC TV, episode segments on the arboretum). "Antiques Roadshow" (1999 - BBC TV, episode 21.1). "Flog It!" (2006 - BBC TV, two "Chippenham" episodes, visiting the arboretum).
  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: Maurice de Gaunt, 13th century. Hugh le Bret, 13th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Robert Stayner Holford, 19th century.

    Current Ownership Type: School

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Mixed Use

    Ownership Details: Since 1928 Westonbirt School; house is available for events and weddings. Westonbirt Arboretum is managed by the Forestry Commission and open to the public.

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 01666-881-400

    Email: admissions@westonbirtschool.uk

    Website: https://westonbirt.org/

    Historic Houses Member: Yes