Wrest Park country estate English Heritage Property
Our visit to Wrest Park
These are my photos of the Wrest Park country estate in Bedfordshire, there are a mixture of colour and black and white pictures. These were all taken on a very short visit as a break from a long journey we were on. We had picked it as we are English Heritage members and thought it was much nicer to stop there instead of some bland motorway services. We were so pleased we did, it’s a beautiful place that we really want to go back and explore properly again one day. It was a shame about the weather, I’m sure it must look even better in nice weather than on a grey day like this one was, but at least it wasn’t raining! I was there with my partner Helen and not forgetting our furbaby Squid the Dog! We joined English Heritage as we live very close to the historic Battle Abbey and members can visit as often as we want, plus most of their places allow dogs, which is important to us as we want our whole family to be welcome!!! I think we would go to Wrest Park on a regular basis for photos and just to chill out in such a beautiful location, if only it wasn’t about 120 miles from us!
The photos are all covered under Creative Commons, so they can be "borrowed" if you want them for something, just as long as you don't make ANY profit from them. This site is 100% non profit and I only want my photos to be used in the same way. The only exception is English Heritage, I am happy for them to use them for anything! :)
Information about Wrest Park
Wrest Park is a country estate located in Silsoe, Bedfordshire, England. It comprises Wrest Park, a Grade I listed country house, and Wrest Park Gardens, also Grade I listed, formal gardens surrounding the mansion.
The present house was built in 1834–39, to designs by its owner Thomas de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey (1781-1859), an amateur architect and the first president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, who was inspired by buildings he had seen on trips to Paris. He based his house on designs published in French architectural books such as Jacques-François Blondel's Architecture Française (1752). The works were superintended as clerk of works on site by James Clephan, who had been clerk of the works at the Liddell seat, Ravensworth Castle in County Durham, and had recently served as professional amanuensis and builder for Lord Barrington.
Although Nikolaus Pevsner previously stated that Clephan was a French architect who designed the present house instead of De Grey the amateur architect, as Charles Read has shown in his biography of De Grey, Clephan (born Clapham) in fact only produced drawings of the service infrastructure, such as plumbing and drainage. The decorative layout and features of the house were produced by De Grey's own hand.
Wrest has some of the earliest Rococo Revival interiors in England. Reception rooms in the house are open to the public.
Wrest Park has an early eighteenth-century garden, spread over 92 acres (37 ha), which was probably originally laid out by George London and Henry Wise for Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent, then modified by Lancelot "Capability" Brown in a more informal landscape style.
The park is divided by a wide gravel central walk, continued as a long canal that leads to a Baroque pavilion banqueting house designed by Thomas Archer and completed in 1711. The interior of the pavilion is decorated with an impressive Ionic columns in trompe-l'œil. Boundary canals were altered to take the more natural shape by Capability Brown, who worked there between 1758 and 1760, and who also ringed the central formal area with a canal and woodland. The gardens and garden houses were mapped by John Rocque in 1735. During the later 18th and 19th centuries, the Bath House, an orangery and marble fountains were added.
A Wellingtonia planted in 1856 was in its earlier years brought into the house annually to serve as a Christmas tree, one of the earliest surviving examples known in the U.K.
Location of Wrest Park
Address: Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire MK45 4HR