Ickworth House, Bury St Edmunds

Ickworth House
Bury St Edmunds – Suffolk
52° 13′ 13″ N, 0° 39′ 25″ W

The Ickworth Estate was the seat of the Marquesses of Bristol Hervey family, until it was passed to the National Trust in 1956 as part payment for death duties. The highly Italianate house was built between 1795 and 1829 to designs by architect Antonio Asprucci, a pupil of Nicola Salvi whose most famous work is the Trevi fountain in Rome.

The design of the houses is unique for England, and has rather cruely been compared to an overgrown folly.  A classical corps de logis design created a central rotunda of 105ft radius, with a domed roof suspended on a pilastered facade of Ionic columns at ground floor with Corinthian above, each floor divided by frieze bas-relief.  The central routunda is flanked on both sides by two single-storey symmetrical embracing wings, decorated with blind arches linking the high status house to two Palladian style pavillions.  The East pavillion acted as the living quarters for the family allowing the more formal rooms of the rotunda to be reserved for entertaining and display.  The west pavillion, conceived as an orangery, sculpture gallery and service rooms remained unfinished and was largely used for agricultural use until redevelopment by Hopkins Architects in 2006.

 

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