Regular readers of this blog will recall mentions of Stowe Gardens on a number of occasions. Today it’s the turn of the house within the gardens.
Stowe Gardens are owned by the National Trust. These extensive gardens, laid out by Capability Brown with lakes, follies and temples scattered across the sweeping landscape, are the backdrop to an extraordinary Country House.
Stowe House had its origins in the seventeenth century and rose to be a seat of power and influence in the reign of Queen Victoria before extravagance, and debt led to the near bankruptcy of the estate. Much of the content was sold in 1922 and in 1923 the House became a school for 99 boys. It is now one of the most well known of British Public Schools whose alumni include David Niven, George Melly and Richard Branson (Virgin Atlantic etc).
The façade of the main building is huge and impressive and the image above is just the central portion. The exterior of the main building is part way through a programme of extensive restoration.
At the heart of the house is the grandest room – The Marble Saloon – based on the Pantheon. An elliptical room with a domed ceiling 56ft high this is a magnificent grand room built in the 1770s.
Visitors are allowed into the building for guided tours of the principal rooms during term time. During school holidays, as well as guided tours, visitors are allowed to roam the principal rooms at their leisure.
Click here for the Wikipedia entry about Stowe House.