£15 Wanstead House was built by Colen Campbell between 1713-20 for Richard Child, later Viscount Castlemaine and 1st Earl Tylney. The house, furnished by leading designer of the Georgian period, William
Wanstead House was built by Colen Campbell between 1713-20 for Richard Child, later Viscount Castlemaine and 1st Earl Tylney. The house, furnished by leading designer of the Georgian period, William Kent, was recognized as one of the ‘noblest houses in Europe’ and its gardens were associated with leading landscape designers including George London and Henry Wise, Charles Bridgeman, William Kent and Humphry Repton. In June 1822 the entire contents of Wanstead was sold in order to settle significant debts. Two years later, the house was demolished.
This paper charts the rise and fall of this influential Georgian estate and considers how we can reconstruct histories of lost sites. It raises important issues surrounding the complexities of material evidence and questions how the study of a lost house can contribute to our understanding of eighteenth-century estates more broadly. Most importantly, it draws attention to the fact that houses that are lost in actuality should by no means be as lost to studies of the English country house.
Dr. Hannah Armstrong graduated from Birkbeck College, University of London in 2016 with her PhD: ‘The Lost Landscapes and Interiorscapes of Wanstead House: Reconstructing the eighteenth-century estate’. Hannah is currently in the process of writing ‘Wanstead House: East London’s Lost Palace’, due to be published in 2022.
Doors open 6.15pm, talk starts 6.30pm (inc. wine). All welcome
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