Weston Park
Title Details

256 Pages

29.7 x 21 cm

2 maps, 1 family tree, 204 colour illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

Weston Park

The House, the families and the influence

by Gareth Williams

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Considering its territorial and social influence and the superlative nature of its furnishings and collections, Weston Park is not as well known as one might expect.

The house and contents, with its thousand acre landscape park, was gifted to the nation in 1986 by Richard, 7th Earl of Bradford. Until then, the house had always passed by descent, often through the female line, and it had stood at the centre of an estate with a wide geographical spread, linking it with neighbouring counties and with the urban centres of Walsall, Bolton and Wigan.
Weston Park's owners and staff had a pivotal role in the development of these places, whilst the family were involved in national affairs, in politics, the legal profession, and the military. Their seat at Weston Park provided not only a fitting home, visited by royalty and politicians, but also became a repository of important patronage and of collections. These included, in 1735, the highly significant late seventeenth and early eighteenth century collection of paintings that had been assembled by Francis Newport, 1st Earl of Bradford and his younger son, Thomas.
Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated, this book seeks to tell the story of the house, its setting, extraordinary collections, and the influence that it has had on wider communities through the history of those who have owned and cared for it.
Foreword by HRH the Duke of Gloucester
Introduction
1 Dramatis Personae
2 Powerful Patronage in the Provinces: Lady Wilbraham and Architectural Ambition
3 Civil War, Restoration and the Creation of a Collection: Francis Newport, Earl of Bradford and Thomas Newport, Lord Torrington
4 The Early Bridgemans: A Bishop, a Baronetcy and the Birth of a Dynasty in Lancashire, Warwickshire and Shropshire
5 Georgian Weston: Lunacy and Sociability; Arcadia and Industry
6 The Early Nineteenth Century: Royalty and an Earl's Inheritance
7 A Changing World: The Bradfords, Bolton, Wigan and Walsall
8 The Reign of Victoria - Enrichment, Tragedy and Disraeli
9 Edwardian Weston - an Indian Summer and Dark Clouds of War
10 The Reality of the Twentieth Century: From Private to Public
11 The Weston Park Foundation: Forging a Hospitable Future from the Past
Bibliography
Index
"Authoritative and richly illustrated this account tells not only the story of the House, its setting and extraordinary collections, but also the influence that it has had on wider communities." Shropshire Parks & Gardens Trust
"Williams' beautiful new book, complete with copious illustrations, photographs, and architectural drawings, traces the history of both the house and its inhabitants. It is particularly refreshing to see the female contribution to Weston Park's history fully explored and acknowledged." Historic Houses
"Gareth Williams' book is more than an architectural history. Much is a family history, concluding with an admirably clear account of the transformation of an agricultural and industrial estate (or rather several estates) into the charity of 1986. This transformation has engendered deeper knowledge of the house and particularly of its exceptional contents, so that the book is as much the history of a top-quality collection, pictures, furniture, and porcelain, as anything else. Gareth Williams is the Curator, and his book is consequently the authoritative account." The Georgian

Hardcover

9781783276127

June 2022

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Title Details

256 Pages

2.97 x 2.1 cm

2 maps, 1 family tree, 204 colour illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press