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Basildon House, Park and Grotto

Basildon House
Basildon park
Lower Basildon
Berkshire
United Kingdom
Telephone: 0118 984 3040

The grotto at Basildon is something of a mystery. The substantial Grotto House overlooks the Thames at Lower Basildon. It lies outside the National Trust Basildon Park although was once part of the grand estate. The Grotto House is a substantial residential construction following the demolition of the original grotto on this spot. The building has undergone many alterations since its construction. It is thought that the original grotto consisted an elaborate shell room with a separate rock chamber. It was built around 1720 for Lady Fane, who lived at the manor house at Basildon Park. A small house, adjoining the grotto, was built by her husband Charles for her "retirement and pleasure".

The entire Basildon Estate was acquired by the Sykes family in 1771, who demolished the Fanes' manor house in Basildon Park, replacing it with a new grand house, designed by John Carr. This is the Basildon House pictured above and now owned by the National Trust. This mansion lies some distance from the Grotto House. It is highly likely that the Sykes family was responsible for the dismantling of the old shell and rock grotto in the grounds, as these features had become less fashionable towards the end of the 18th century. Basildon House however has a room decorated with ornate shell work. The Trust allows visitors access to the shell work as part of the house tour. The shell work we are told originated from the original grotto although we await confirmation of this point.

We have sought access to the shell work without embarking on the full house tour but, having left details, a response is eagerly awaited.

Picture - The grand house in Basildon Park 2014.




Website: Click Here

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Click for GROTTO.DIRECTORY


Click for GROTTO.DIRECTORY

GREAT BRITISH GROTTO GRADING

Click to go to Grotto.Directory home page











CONSTRAINTS

Open set times only

FACILITIES

Access by Road, Access on Foot, Free Entry, Grotto - just one, Restaurant/Food, Toilets

LANDSCAPE

National Trust Property, Rural

REGION

England - Southern

THE GROTTO GRADING FEATURES PRESENT

+Fossils and/or shells incorporated into the decor, GRADED ONE

(C)Copyright The Spas Research Fellowship. To contact the SRF, email: srf@thespas.co.uk or mail to: Tower House, Tower Road, Tadworth, Surrey. KT20 5QY. UK