Saving an Architectural Masterpiece
- The inside story of one of the greatest ever rescues of a country house, which transformed a family seat into a renowned school and National Trust site
- Published to mark the bicentenary of the elevation of the estate’s founder, Lord Cobham, to the Viscountcy in 1818
- Lavishly illustrated, including images by architectural photographer Andy Marshall
- New assessment of the significance of Stowe House by renowned architectural historian Jeremy Musson
- Essays giving perspectives by architects and conservators closely involved in the restoration work
The restoration of Stowe House and development of the surrounding estate by Stowe School, allied to work in the landscape gardens by the National Trust, is one of the greatest rescues of a country house ever achieved. The ancestral home of the Temple-Grenvilles came close to demolition in 1920, when the entire site was put up for sale. The formation of Stowe School in 1923 secured a future use that maintained the traditions of the Enlightenment with its unrelenting quest for knowledge and understanding. The past 94 years have seen innovation in land management with the gifting of the gardens to the National Trust and a renovation programme of truly monumental proportions.
This major new work details the architectural history of the site, tells the story of the restoration through the words of those most closely involved and demonstrates how the School has continued to build in a sympathetic and harmonious manner that preserves the identity and character of the estate as a whole.
Nick Morris is Stowe House’s Chief Executive Officer and has managed restoration work there for the past eight years.