Wotton House, or Wotton, in
The grounds were laid out by
After a fire gutted the main house in 1820
In 1929 it was bought by Major
By 1957 the house had become derelict and was due to be demolished when Elaine Brunner found it and with the help of the architect Donald Insall restored most of the Soane features, her daughter and son-in-law David Gladstone have continued the work she started.
The South Pavilion (the former coach house) was sold separately in 1947. It has had a number of notable owners including
Since the twelfth century there had been a manor house at Wotton Underwood owned by the Grenville family. In 1704 Richard Grenville (1644-?) built Wotton House on a new site on a mound looking down to a natural lake. The design was very similar to that of Buckingham House which was built at the same time and later became
In 1749 Richard Grenville, the elder brother of
A fire destroyed the interior of the house in 1820 but the coach house and kitchen pavilion (the "Clock Pavilion") survived intact. Richard Grenville, Earl Temple (later
With its Soane interiors Wotton had a succession of Grenville occupiers until 1889, when the 3rd Duke of Buckingham, the last direct male heir, died, the house was let to a succession of tenants. It was rented and then bought by
When Beaumont moved to
Elaine (Mrs Patrick) Brunner purchased the main house and the Clock Pavilion from Buckinghamshire County Council for £6,000 in 1957, two weeks before it was scheduled for demolition.
Brunner engaged Donald Insall Associates to carry out extensive work on the house, repairing the dilapidations, undoing most of the Butler alterations and restoring Soane's architectural details. However the central feature of Soane's redesign, the "Tribune", which had been destroyed by Butler, was still unrestored when she died in 1998.
The house passed to April, Brunner's daughter and her husband David Gladstone.[c] The grounds are open to the public at least one day a week during the summer months, but viewing of the house is by appointment only.
In 2007 David Gladstone held a conference at Wotton in an attempt to determine the name of the original architect of the house. The conference generated at least two follow up papers: Howard Colvin (2010) proposed that John Fitch may have been the original architect, and later the same year John Millar (2010) proposed that it may have been Elizabeth Wilbraham (1632–1705).[d]
The original Coach House (later re-christened the South Pavilion) and the walled formal garden were purchased by Tristram Gilbert and Andre DuGuay shortly before Elaine Brunner purchased the main house. They restored both and lived there until about 1965. The walled garden was opened to the public. The South Pavilion was sold to Sir