Situated in the district of Stratford- upon-Avon in Warwickshire, the estate contains a wonderful house and gardens and is now a major centre for art.
The house was built in the 18th century by Richard Verney, 11th Baron Willoughby de Broke. Richard was High Sheriff of Rutland in 1682 and High Sheriff of Warwickshire in 1683.
He was elected as ‘Knight of the Shire for Warwickshire’ during the Parliament of 1685. The house and estate was changed by the Verney family from its original design when Robert Adam, a Scottish neoclassical architect and interior designer and Lancelot Brown more famously known as, ‘Capability Brown’ were employed to remodel the house and its grounds.
Capability Brown was an English landscape architect and his work was much sought after and respected by the English nobility. The house overlooks the lovely lakes known as Compton Pools.
In 1958, it was brought by property and night club owner Harry Ellard, a local businessman who used to allow film companies to use the grounds. By the 1980s the estate had become derelict.
Then, in 1993, it was brought in a poor condition by the Littlewoods tycoon, Sir Peter Moores.
Sir Peter being an art collector and philanthropist brought the house and estate through the ‘Peter Moores Foundation,’ which he formed in 1964 to give young people the opportunity to experience the arts and in particular opera, the visual arts and education. He turned the house into a gallery for internationally acclaimed artwork. The building is now called the ‘Compton Verney Art Gallery’ and is run by the Compton Verney House Trust, a charitable foundation.
It exhibits work from all around the world including Northern European medieval art from 1450–1650, British portraits include those of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Edward VI.
A project to remodel the Grade I, listed Georgian mansion and estate cost £45 million to complete; this included building a modern wing to house exhibition space and visitor facilities. The fully restored gallery opened to the public in March 2004. This wonderful art gallery is open seasonally and has good accessibility; the interior has lifts to all floors and the staff are on hand to help when needed. There are hospitality facilities for corporate events and the estate can be hired for private functions.
NOT TOO BE MISSED
It stands in 120 acres of Grade II listed parkland and visitors can see the landscaped gardens designed by ‘Capability Brown.’ Not to be missed is the remarkable ice house – an early form of refrigeration – which was built around 1771 as a practical yet lovely addition to the grounds that would not look out of place in a Tolkien film.
IN THE FRAME
The location is popular with TV and commercial companies and has been used for filming TV programmes such as, the BBC’s Dalziel and Pascoe and Andrew Marr’s The Making of Modern Britain.
During World War II the army made use of the grounds which were used as a top secret experimental station for smoke screen camouflage and was linked to the Camouflage School established at Stratford-upon-Avon. At the end of the war it was evacuated and was not used again as a home.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Chipping Norton Rd, Chadlington, Chipping Norton
Oxfordshire, England, OX7 3PE
+44 (0)1608 641 993
- Address: Compton Hill (Rd), Compton Verney, Warwickshire, England, United kingdom, CV35 9HZ
- GPS: 52.17288869999999,-1.5472555999999713
- Phone: 0044 (0)1926 645 500
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: CV35 9HZ
- Entrance Fees: Charges Apply
- Disabled Access: Excellent
- Visibility from Road: Poor
- Image Credits: James David Photography