26 September-Sussex Country Visit, Goodwood & Bignor Park-SOLD OUT

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Goodwood may be synonymous with racing, but for Georgians the draw is the house in its magnificent park, its astonishing interiors reflecting over 300 years of collecting by the Dukes of Richmond and handsome stables still in use. From Goodwood’s acquisition in 1697 by Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond the house developed to designs by a roll call of distinguished architects: Colen Campbell (kitchen 1724), Roger Morris, Matthew Brettingham (pedimented SW wing 1750), William Chambers (stables 1760; S elevation and hexastyle portico on two storeys, Greek Doric below, Ionic above), James Wyatt (N wing 1771, demolished 1960s; E wing from 1787 and shallow-domed corner turrets unifying the whole). Goodwood is the family home of the Earl and Countess of March. Bignor Park’s earliest predecessor was built on the site in 1584 and the locality has been occupied since Roman times as the nearby Roman villa indicates. The estate was bought in 1806 by John Hawkins, FRS, archaeologist and traveller, whose father and brother, both MPs, owned the Trewithen estate in Cornwall. Henry Harrison (Richmond Terrace, Whitehall and many smaller country houses) built Hawkins this handsome Greek revival house 1826-29, surrounded by a park and garden by William Sawrey Gilpin. Hawkins’s Johnstone descendants sold Bignor in 1926 to Charles Bigham, 2nd Viscount Mersey, whose great-grandson, the 5th viscount (Ned Bigham the composer) lives there with

his wife and family and is carrying out considerable restoration of the house and park using original plans. Lunch is included and Andrew Wells leads.