Stourhead House Part 2

1 : Introduction to Stourhead
2 : Stourton Village
3 : Stourton Church

4 : Stourhead Gardens
5 : Stourhead Grotto
6 : Stourhead Pantheon

7 : Stable Yards and Kitchen Gardens
8 : Stourhead House

THE HOARE FAMILY AT STOURHEAD (with acknowledgement to the National Trust)

Sir Richard Hoare (1648-1718) The son of a horse-dealer, Sir Richard founded Hoare's bank in 1672. It prospered and he was knighted by Queen Anne. His second son, Henry Hoare I, became a partner in the bank.

Henry Hoare I (1677-1725) Henry Hoare I bought Stourton manor in 1717. He replaced it with the Palladian house we know today - christening it Stourhead. His son, Henry Hoare II, inherited.

Henry Hoare II (1705-1785) Henry Hoare II was a successful partner in the bank. He furnished Stourhead house with paintings and sculpture, much of which remains. He created Stourhead's iconic landscape garden, with its lake, temples and monuments.

Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1758-1838) Henry Hoare II chose grandson, Richard Colt Hoare as heir. He added the Regency library and picture gallery to the house. He also made significant changes in the garden and across the estate.

Sir Henry Hugh Hoare (1762-1841) Sir Henry Hugh Hoare was the fourth owner of Stourhead in its history Colt outlived his sons and Stourhead passed to his half-brother, Henry Hugh. He added the portico to the house and rebuilt the obelisk in Bath stone in his three years at Stourhead.

Sir Hugh Richard Hoare (1787-1857) Sir Hugh Richard Hoare, the fifth owner of Stourhead, was a successful partner in the Hoare bank A partner in the bank, Hugh Richard inherited from his father, Sir Henry Hugh. He retired from the bank in 1845 with a considerable allowance, which he devoted to many improvements across the estate.

Sir Henry Ainslie Hoare (1824-1894) Sir Henry Ainslie Hoare enjoyed shooting and hunting at Stourhead. Ainslie's flamboyant lifestyle forced him to leave the bank and auction Stourhead paintings, furniture and books in 1885. He left Stourhead in 1885.

Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare (1865-1947) Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare was the last owner of Stourhead, before it passed to the National Trust. Succeeding his cousin, Ainslie, he devoted his life to Stourhead.
After a fire in 1902, he oversaw Stourhead's restoration. His son, Henry Colt Arthur Hoare (1888-1917) was killed in the First World War (more details here ). Determined to keep the estate intact, Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare gave Stourhead to the National Trust in 1946 before his death.


Sir Richard Colt Hoare, 2nd Baronet FRS (9 December 1758-19 May 1838) was an English antiquarian, archaeologist, artist, and traveller of the 18th and 19th centuries, the first major figure in the detailed study of the history of his home county, Wiltshire.

He was respectful of family history, moving much of the family portrait collection here. Despite many changes, Colt remained true to his grandfather, Henry Hoare II's, vision for the garden, as a picturesque landscape evoking classical Italy.

Colt's wife, Hester, died in childbirth in 1785 - just two years after their marriage. This was followed by his grandfather's death. Colt was so distraught that he travelled to the continent for six years to escape his grief.

On returning to England, Colt built the library pavilion for his collection of books, diaries and folios. It was completed in 1792 and is a record of his discoveries, making references to the classical and renaissance world he encountered in Italy.

Later, Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare's wife, Alda, formed a lifelong friendship with Thomas Hardy and both of his wives, Florence and Emma. Her collection of his novels fills the Library shelves. The books are crammed with letters, postcards and newspaper clippings.



Henry Hoare II conceived the room as a state bedroom and it became Richard Colt Hoare's bedroom.

Today it explores the relationship between Colt and the son he left behind when he escaped bereavement on a grand tour of Europe, which lasted six years.

Original letters detail how strained their relationship became.

The painting (left) : 'Architectural Capriccio with the Sacrifice of Iphigenia' by Francis Harding.
Date painted: 1745-1754. Oil on canvas.


This was a room for entertaining guests and is filled with a variety of Chippendale styles.

Today, a drugget allows one to walk right into the room, and float above the original 1830s Axminster carpet, for a true feel of the space.


In Richard Colt Hoare's time, this was home to classical and contemporary landscape paintings.

Colt also combined old and new in his development of the garden.

He kept many of the broad-leafed trees planted by his grandfather, but added new species such as tulip trees and rhododendrons.

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