DiCamillo Companion

Wrotham Park (Strangeways) (Pinchbank)

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

    Built / Designed For: Admiral John Byng

    House & Family History: Wrotham is a Palladian house designed by Isaac Ware in 1754 to replace an earlier house, Strangeways, which itself was part of an Medieval estate named Pinchbank. The new house was built for Admiral John Byng (fourth son of Admiral Sir George Byng), who was famously executed in 1757 after the failure of his inadequately equipped expedition to relieve Minorca from the French. He was tried by his own government for cowardice and negligence of duty, for which there was a mandatory death sentence (he was executed by firing squad). This act of judicial murder prompted Voltaire's famous phrase "In this country it pays well, from time to time, to kill an Admiral to encourage the others." The house suffered a serious fire in 1883 that gutted the interiors and was rebuilt exactly as it had been before the fire. Wrotham today remains owned by the Byng family and is the largest privately-owned house in the Home Counties. The house is used frequently for the filming of movies and television programs. In the autumn of 2009 Simon Cowell held his 50th birthday party at Wrotham, with entertainment by Earth, Wind & Fire and nearly 400 guests, including Kate Moss, Ryan Seacrest, and Randy Jackson.

    Collections: Pieter de Hooch's "Courtyard of a House in Delft" was sold at Christie's on December 11, 1992 for £4.4 million. A Boulle cabinet-on-stand, made in Paris circa 1680, and once in the collection at Wrotham, is today in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (see "Images" section). The giltwood cabinet features Egyptian style monopodia supports that were added circa 1795 and is an example of the highest level of furniture produced by Andre-Charles Boulle for the court of Louis XIV.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Wrotham is set in an estate of 2,500 acres.

  • Architect: Henry Clutton

    Date: Circa 1854
    Designed: Extended wings and added colonnade and eastern portico for 1st Earl of Strafford

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    Architect: Isaac Ware

    Date: 1754
    Designed: House for Admiral John Byng

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  • Vitruvius Britannicus: C. V, pls. 45, 46, 1771.

    Country Life: XLIV, 404, 458, 462 [Pictures], 1918.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pg. 1023
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Vogue (American magazine)
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Aug 2003, pg. 270
    Publisher: New York: The Conde Nast Publications
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: Movie Locations: A Guide to Britain & Ireland
    Author: Adams, Mark
    Year Published: 2000
    Publisher: London: Boxtree
    ISBN: 0752271695
    Book Type: Softback

    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: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
    Author: Sayer, Michael
    Year Published: 1993
    Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
    ISBN: 0859551970
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Love in a Cold Climate" (1980 or 2001? - TV mini series). "Lady Chatterley's Lover" (1981). "Hart to Hart" (1983 - TV series, in the episode "Harts and Hounds"). "Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense" (1984 – in the episode "The Late Nancy Irving," as the hospital). "Half Moon Street" (1986). "Gothic" (1986). "A Hazard of Hearts" (1987 - TV movie, as Sir Giles Staverley's estate). "White Mischief" (1987). "Inspector Morse" (1989 - TV series, episode 3.1, as Hanbury House in the episode "Ghost in the Machine"). "Agatha Christie's Poirot" (1989 - TV series, in episode 1.3, "The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly," as Waverly Court, the country home of Marcus Waverly). "Lovejoy" (1990 – TV series, in the episode "The Italian Venus," Wrotham was Careyholden House). "Jeeves and Wooster" (TV series - in the 1990 episodes "The Hunger Strike" [aka "How Does Gussie Woo Madeline?"] and "Brinkley Manor" [aka "Will Anatole Return to Brinkley Court?," aka "The Matchmaker," aka "Jeeves' Arrival"] Wrotham was used for the interiors of Brinkley Court) and in the 1991 episodes "Jeeves in the Country" [aka "Chuffy"] and "Kidnapped!" [aka "The Mysterious Stranger"]), Wrotham was Chuffnell Hall). "King Ralph" (1991 - as exteriors of Buckingham Palace). "Peter's Friends" (1992). "Lady Chatterley" (1993 - TV movie, as Ragby Hall, home of Sir Clifford and Lady Constance Chatterley). "Jeeves and Wooster" (1993 – TV series, in episode "The Delayed Arrival" [aka "Arrested in a Night Club"] Wrotham was used for the interiors of Brinkley Court). "Princess Caraboo" (1994). "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" (1995). "Stick with Me, Kid" (1995 - TV series). "Victoria and Albert" (1997 or 2001? - TV). "The Governess" (1998). "The Broker's Man" (1998 - TV series, episode 2.4, "Kith and Kin"). "Coming Home" (1998 - TV mini series, as Nancherrow). "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (1999 - TV mini series, as Blakeney Manor). "Blackadder Back & Forth" (1999). "Nancherrow" (1999 - TV mini series, as Nancherrow). "The Cazalets" (2001 - TV series). "Gosford Park" (2001). "Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001 - as the Darcy family home). "The Way We Live Now" (2001). "Daniel Deronda" (2002 - TV mini series). "Nine Lives" (2002). "What a Girl Wants" (2003). "Byron" (2003 - TV mini series, as the home of Sir Ralph Milbanke). "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking" (2004 - BBC TV movie, as interiors of the Duke of Narborough's London home and as the exterior of the palace where the ball took place). "D-Day 6.6.1944" (2004 - TV movie). "Trial & Retribution VIII" (2004 - TV program). "Vanity Fair" (2004 - as the interior of the Gaunt House). "The Line Of Beauty" (2006 - BBC TV mini series, as Lord Kessler's house, the scene of Toby Fedden's 21st birthday party, and the pool scenes at the Fedden's French holiday home of Le Manoir). "Spooks" [aka "MI-5"] (2006 - TV series, episode 5.4, as Havensworth Hotel exteriors). "The Culture Show" (2007 - BBC TV series, episode 6.8, "British Film Special," segment on the movie "Gosford Park"). "Sense and Sensibility" (2008 - TV mini series, as Norland exteriors). "Bones" (2008 – TV series, during two-hour episode when the principal characters visit England). "Poirot" (2008 - TV series; in the episode "The Third Girl" Wrotham is Cross Hedges). "Marple: They Do It with Mirrors" (2009 - TV series, as some interiors of Stoneygates). "The Queen" (2009 - TV mini series). "Spooks" [aka "MI-5"] (2010 - TV series, Vol. 9, Episode 2, as Robert Westhouse's home). "Jane Eyre" (2011 - as Gateshead House). "Hysteria" (2011 - as the location for Dr. Granville's engagement party). "Downton Abbey" (2012 - TV series, as interiors of Duneagle Castle). "Great Expectations" (2012 - as site of ball where Estella dances). "Mr. Selfridge" (2013 - TV series, as the interiors of Lady Loxley's London house). "The Riot Club" (2014 - as the country estate). "Kingsman: The Secret Service" (2014). "And Then There Were None" (2015 - TV movie, for the below stairs and kitchen scenes). "Doctor Thorne" (2016 - Amazon TV series, as interiors of Greshamsbury Park). "The Crown" (2016-20 - TV series, as the room in Buckingham Palace where the queen has audiences with her prime ministers; as Gatcombe Park, Princess Anne's country house; and as interiors of Princess Margaret's apartment at Kensington Palace). "Crooked House" (2017 - as the foyer and staircase of Three Gables). "The Aeronauts" (2019 - for fair scene). "Emma" (2020 - as the home of Mr. Cole). "Belgravia" (2020 - TV series, as Lymington Park, Lord and Lady Brockenhurst's country house). "The King's Man" (2021). "Bridgerton" (2022 - TV series, as Aubrey Hall, the Bridgerton family's country house). "The Diplomat" (2023 - TV series, as the ambassador's residence). "The Gentlemen" (2024 - TV series, as Bridgewater House, the home of Stanley Johnson).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Robert Byng

    Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: Howkins family, 17th century. Thomas Reynolds, 18th century; Francis Reynolds, 18th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Admiral John Byng, 1754-57; George Byng, 1757-89; George Byng, 1789-1847; Field Marshal John Byng, 1st Earl of Strafford, 1847-60; George Stevens Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford, 1860-86; George Henry Charles Byng, 3rd Earl of Strafford, 1886-98; Henry William John Byng, 4th Earl of Strafford, 1898-99; The Rev. Francis Edmund Cecil Byng, 5th Earl of Strafford, 1899-1918; Edmund Henry Byng, 6th Earl of Strafford, 1918-51.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

    Ownership Details: Available for functions and film location filming.

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 02084-410-755

    Fax: 02084-499-359

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: http://www.wrothampark.com

    Historic Houses Member: No