W e s t W y c o m b e P a r k
pictures scanned from
the book "Landhäuser in England"
by Barbara & René Stoeltie, Taschen Verlag
|Benjamin Franklin, who was a frequent guest at
West Wycombe Park, called the gardens there "a paradise". Should that great
American return today for a ramble around the swan-shaped lake at Wycombe,
he would find that little has changed: the bridges, waterfalls, temples,
statues and mausoleum are still as they were, and so is the marvellous
Palladian house itself, stallding with its colonnades and porticos in the
hollow of a valley surrounded by the rolling Chilterns.
The house dates back to the 18th century, when it was built by Sir Francis Dashwood, the second baronet, later Lord Despencer. Sir Francis was much influenced in his aesthetic thinking by the Grand Tour he had made through the Low Countries, France, and ltaly. On his return to England he resolved to transform his family seat into a masterpiece of Palladian fantasy, enlisting the architects Roger Morris, lohn Donowell and Nicholas Revett to plan and carry out the work.
The Dashwood family still lives amid the sumptuous
interiors and magnificent ceilings painted by Giuseppe Borgnis in the mid-18th
century. Since 1943 they have received help from the National Trust in
preserving this jewel of unearthly romantic beauty.
National Trust - detailed information for visitors of West Wycombe Park
High Wycombe information