DiCamillo Companion

Thame Park

  • House & Family History: Thame is built on the site of an important Cistercian abbey, founded in 1138 by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln. The current house includes the early 16th century abbot's lodgings (to the south) and a small 13th-14th century range on the north, which incorporates arched cloisters. In the mid-18th century these various pieces were linked by a new house built on the west, probably on the site of other monastic buildings. The result is a house with 25,000 square feet of interior space sporting a west facade that's Georgian and a late Gothic south facade, complete with crenellated turrets and mullioned windows. The 16th century interiors are some of the earliest examples of the Italian Renaissance style in England. In 1984 Sir Frank Bowden, whose family made their fortune founding the Raleigh Bicycle Company, sold Thame Park to a Japanese family. The new owners intended to turn Thame into a country house hotel and started work on refurbishing the interiors; however, in 1992 all work came to a stop and in 2000 Thame was put up for sale for £8 million. The Estate sold for £6 million in 2002, the outlying farmland was sold off and the House was restored and converted back into a private home.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Thame has 450 acres of parkland, with 30 acres of gardens that are listed Grade II, complete with a seven-acre lake and a sunken Rose Garden, all set within a 1,200 acre Estate. The Stables are also Grade II-listed. In the early 21st century new greenhouses and potting sheds were built.

    Chapel & Church: There is a fine Grade II-listed Chapel in the Park.

  • Architect: William Smith the Younger

    Date: Circa 1745
    Designed: Rebuilt House for 6th Viscount Wenman
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Henry Bateman Hudson

    Date: 1837
    Designed: Restored The Prebendal House in the Park for Charles Stone

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    Architect: Henry Bateman Hudson

    Date: 1843-45
    Designed: Restored Thame Church

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    Architect: Robert Abraham

    Date: 1836
    Designed: Reconstructed Chapel for Baroness Wenman

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  • Country Life: XXVI, 90, 1909. CXXII, 1092 plan, 1148, 1957.

  • Title: Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, The
    Author: Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus
    Year Published: 1974
    Reference: pg. 809
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: 0140710450
    Book Type: Hardback

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

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pgs. 48, 518, 903
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

    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 I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Lady Chatterley" (1993). "The Madness of King George" (1994). "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (1996). "Emma" (1996 - TV mini series, as Abbey Mill Farm, Hartfield interiors, Donwell strawberry beds, derelict cottages, gypsy camp, and the sea at Weymouth). "Midsomer Murders" (1997 - TV series, hunt scenes in the episode "Death of a Stranger"). "The Governess" (1998). "Saving Private Ryan" (1998 - in the following scenes: storming the machine nest, all the shots of large fields, and the half-track ambush). "Midsomer Murders" (1999 - TV series, as Tye House in the episode "Death's Shadow"). "The Wyvern Mystery" (2000 - TV mini series, as Carwell Grange).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Paul Matthews

    Past Seat / Home of: Philip Wenman, 6th Viscount Wenman, 18th century; Baroness Wenman, 19th century. Charles Stone, 19th century. Mr. W.A. Wykeham-Musgrave, early 20th century. Sir Harold Bowden, 2nd Bt., 20th century; Bowden family here until 1983.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No