DiCamillo Companion

Witham House (Witham Park)

  • Earlier Houses: There were at least two houses on the site of the 1760s house, both of them incorporating elements of the ruined monastic buildings. The circa 1717 house may have been designed by William Talman or James Gibbs (drawings by both architects are extant). Also surviving are early 18th century proposals by Sir James Thornhill and George Clarke, though it's unlikely either of these were executed.

    House & Family History: What Alderman William Beckford purchased in 1762 was a ruinated house of 1717 that contained sections of the first Carthusian monastery in England, founded in 1178 by Henry II as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas Becket. Likely based on the recommendation of his architect, Robert Adam, the Alderman decided to leave the earlier house a romantic ruin and build a new Palladian house nearby. This new house had a short life, lasting only 30 years; it was demolished in the 1790s.

  • Architect: Robert Adam

    Date: Circa 1762
    Designed: Drew-up plans for new house for Alderman Beckford (never completed)

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  • Vitruvius Britannicus: V, pls. 38-42, 1771. C. II, pls. 91, 92, 1717.

  • Title: William Beckford: Composing for Mozart
    Author: Mowl, Timothy
    Year Published: 1998
    Publisher: London: John Murray
    ISBN: 0719558298
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pgs. 58, 952
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Demolished

    Park Listed: Destroyed

  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: Ralph Hopton, 16th century. Sir William Wyndham, 3rd Bt., early 18th century; Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont, 18th century; Wyndham family here from the 17th century until 1761. SEATED AT 1760s HOUSE: Alderman William Beckford, 18th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Demolished

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Demolished

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No