DiCamillo Companion

Woodhall Park (Watton Wood Hall)

  • Earlier Houses: There was an earlier manor house near the site of the current house.

    Built / Designed For: Sir Thomas Rumbold, 1st Bt.

    House & Family History: Thomas Rumbold, for whom Woodhall was erected, made his fortune as a nabob in the East India Company. The house that he built between 1777 and 1782 was altered and enlarged in 1794 by Paul Benfield, who purchased Woodhall in 1791. Benfield gave the wings an additional story, added a porch with four pair of unfluted Ionic columns the north side of the house, and converted the former saloon into an entrance hall decorated in the Etruscan style. The east wing contains the coved ceiling print room, decorated by R. Parker in 1782 and called by Pevsner "one of the best of its kind." The walls of the print room are entirely covered with engraved paper reproductions of paintings, complete with frames, ribbons, chains, busts, candelabra, and piers with vases. Since the 1930s the house has been let, through the Trustees of R.M. Abel Smith, to Heath Mount School.

    Collections: An English walnut and pine side table of circa 1775 from Woodhall Park is today in the collection of Buckingham Palace. The table is carved and gilded and has a dove gray marble top inlaid with a checkerboard pattern of 160 squares of specimen marbles. The table may have been designed by Thomas Leverton, who designed Woodhall Park.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: In 1957 the stables were converted into a house and offices, which the Smith family made their new home.

  • Architect: Thomas Leverton

    Date: 1777-82
    Designed: House for Sir Thomas Rumbold

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    Architect: Thomas Arthur Darcy Braddell

    Date: 1957
    Designed: Converted stables into new house

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  • Vitruvius Britannicus: C. New, I, pls. 27, 28, 1802.

    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. 173, 1852.

    Country Life: LVII, 164, 198, 554, 1925. LXVII, 611 [Furniture], 1930. Oct 6, 1977.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pg. 648
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Buckingham Palace and its Treasures
    Author: Harris, John; DeBellaigue, Geoffrey; Millar, Oliver (Contributors)
    Year Published: 1968
    Reference: pg. 118
    Publisher: New York: The Viking Press
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, The
    Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget
    Year Published: 2000
    Reference: pgs. 407-408
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: 0140710078
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II*

  • "Inspector Morse" (1991 - TV series, in the episode "Fat Chance"). "The Lost Prince" (2002 - TV production, used for the Sandringham Estate shoot and marquee).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Smith family; here since 1801.

    Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Butler (Boteler) family, 17th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Sir Thomas Rumbold, 1st Bt., 1777-91. Paul Benfield, 1791-1801. Samuel Smith, 1801-34.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: School

    Ownership Details: The house is let by the Smith family to Heath Mount School. The Smiths converted the Georgian stables into their new seat.

  • House Open to Public: No

    Phone: 01920-830-286

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.woodhallestate.co.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No