The house from "Morris's Views of Seats," circa 1875.
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.
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.
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade I
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.