DiCamillo Companion

Sudbury Hall

  • Earlier Houses: The were probably a number of earlier houses on, or near, the site of the current house (the manor was listed in the "Domesday Book").

    Built / Designed For: George Vernon

    House & Family History: The Vernon family came to Sudbury as a result of the 16th century marriage of Sir John Vernon to Ellen Montgomery, the Sudbury heiress. The house as seen today is largely the creation of George Vernon, who inherited the Sudbury Estate in 1660 and rebuilt the old manor house, probably to his own designs. The house has wood carving by Grinling Gibbons and William Wilson, superb plasterwork by Samuel Mansfield and Robert Bradbury, and Baroque murals and painted ceilings by Louis Laguerre. Considered one of the finest staircases of its date in the country, the circa 1676 Great Staircase (painted white by John Fowler in the 20th century) features a balustrade with luxuriantly carved foliage by Edward Pierce. Between 1840 and 1843 Sudbury was leased by Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV. After the death of the 9th Lord Vernon in 1963 the family offered the house and its principal contents to the nation in lieu of death duties; in 1967 HM Treasury transferred ownership of the Sudbury Estate to the National Trust, through the National Land Fund. Since many of the most important contents had been sold earlier in the 20th century, the National Trust was faced with the challenge of furnishing the house and decorating it; this was accomplished by James Lees-Milne, John Fowler, Christopher Wall, and Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, who worked together to create new interiors for Sudbury Hall. In 1974 Derbyshire County Council created the Museum of Childhood in Devey's Victorian service wing.

    Collections: There is a fine collection of portraits, particularly those of Charles II's mistresses, in the Long Gallery. There were sales of pictures, furniture, and books in 1918 and 1919.

    Comments: Sudbury Hall is considered one of the finest Restoration houses in Britain. Oliver Garnett, writing in the Sudbury guidebook of 2005: "Of all the great houses built in Charles II's reign, Sudbury Hall is one of the most idiosyncratic: a marriage of old-fashioned Jacobean features (particularly on the exterior) with carved stone, wood and plasterwork in the up-to-date classical style of Sir Christopher Wren's City churches." The ceiling of Sudbury's Long Gallery is considered the finest of its kind in England.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: During World War II a U.S. Air Force hospital was based in the park. After the transfer of Sudbury Hall to HM Treasury in 1963 the 10th Lord Vernon built a new house on the estate (in 1965) to the designs of Sir Martyn Beckett; this remains the seat of the Vernon family today.

  • Architect: William Henry Romaine-Walker

    Date: Early 20th century
    Designed: Billiard Room
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Edward Middleton Barry

    Date: 1869-72
    Designed: Alterations

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    Architect: George Devey

    Date: 1872-83
    Designed: Service Wing on East Side, replacing Salvin's wing, and other alterations.

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    Architect: Anthony Salvin

    Date: Circa 1853
    Designed: Service wing and alterations

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    Architect: William Sawrey Gilpin

    Date: 19th century
    Designed: Advised on gardens

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    Architect: Joseph Paxton

    Date: 19th century
    Designed: Advised on gardens

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    Architect: William Andrews Nesfield

    Date: 19th century
    Designed: Advised on gardens

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    Architect: Martyn Gervase Beckett

    Date: 1965
    Designed: New House on the Estate for 10th Lord Vernon

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    Architect: George Vernon

    Date: Circa 1660-70
    Designed: House for himself
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Thomas Gardner

    Date: 1787
    Designed: Lodge for 1st Lord Vernon

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    Architect: Richard Trubshaw

    Date: 1734
    Designed: Work for George Vernon

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  • Country Life: XVII, 486, 1905. LXXVII, 622, 650 plan, 682, 1935. CXLIX, 1428, 1971.

  • Title: Sudbury Hall Guidebook
    Author: Garnett, Oliver; Cornforth, John; Wall, Christopher
    Year Published: 2005
    Reference: pgs. 4, 48
    Publisher: Swindon: The National Trust
    ISBN: 9781843590385
    Book Type: Light Softback

    Title: Belton House Guidebook - 1992
    Author: Tinniswood, Adrian
    Year Published: 1992
    Reference: pg. 8
    Publisher: London: The National Trust
    ISBN: 0707801133
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pgs. 392, 994
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Johansens Historic Houses, Castles & Gardens, 2000
    Author: NA
    Year Published: 1999
    Publisher: London: Johansens Ltd.
    ISBN: 1860177166
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Pride and Prejudice" (1995 - BBC TV mini series, as one of the interiors of Pemberley, Mr. Darcy's home). "In a Land of Plenty" (1999 - BBC TV series, in which the kitchen was used). "Jane Eyre" (2006 - BBC TV mini series, as the red room at Gateshead Hall).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Vernon family (seated at 1960s house)

    Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: Montgomery family, 16th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: George Vernon, until 1702; Henry Vernon, 1702-19; George Venables-Vernon, 1st Baron Vernon, 1719-80; George Venables-Vernon, 2nd Baron Vernon, 1780-1813; Henry Venables-Vernon, 3rd Baron Vernon, 1813-29; George Charles Venables-Vernon, 4th Baron Vernon, 1829-35; George John Venables-Vernon, 5th Baron Vernon, 1835-66; Augustus Henry Venables-Vernon, 6th Baron Vernon, 1866-83; George William Henry Venables-Vernon, 7th Baron Vernon, 1883-98; George Francis Augustus Venables-Vernon, 8th Baron Vernon, 1898-1915; Francis Lawrance William Venables-Vernon, 9th Baron Vernon, 1915-63.

    Current Ownership Type: The National Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01283-585-337

    Fax: 01283-585-139

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No