Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

The Mansion House, Old Warden Park

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Phone  +44 1767 626200
Architect  Henry Clutton
The Mansion House, Old Warden Park
Location  Old Warden, Bedfordshire England
Address  Old Warden Park, Biggleswade SG18 9EA, United Kingdom
Similar  Swiss Garden, Shuttleworth Collection, Wardon Abbey, Rothamsted Manor, High Elms Manor

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The Mansion House in Old Warden Park is managed by Bedford College Services on behalf of the Shuttleworth Trust. The Trust was established in 1944 by Dorothy Clotilda Shuttleworth in memory of her son Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth (1909-1940).

Contents

From 2011 The Mansion House has been the home for The Rhythm Festival, which is an outdoor music festival.

History

The Old Warden estate was bought in the late 17th century by London merchant Sir Samuel Ongley. It passed down in the Ongley family until 1872, when the 3rd Baron Ongley, in financial difficulties, sold it to Joseph Shuttleworth of the Lincoln engineering firm of Clayton & Shuttleworth. It thereafter became better known as the Shuttleworth estate.

The mansion house which stands today was built for Joseph Shuttleworth by Henry Clutton, the prominent Victorian architect, to rival the Shuttleworth mansion at Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire. Built of ashlar in the Jacobean style, it is a three-storey rectangular block which replaced an existing house and is a grade II* listed building.

Clutton's design with its high chimneys and 100 foot high clock tower have defined and distinguished the mansion for over a century. In addition, Clutton designed many of the interior features such as the carved doors, balustrades and chimneypieces.

Gillows of Lancaster made many of the interior furnishings and there are several magnificent examples of 19th-century paintings by prominent artists such as Sir Frank Dicksee, William Leader, George Vicat Cole and Frank Holl.

The Shuttleworth crest and arms illustrate the origins of the Shuttleworth family’s wealth in weaving and wool.

During the Second World War, the house was a Red Cross convalescent home and auxiliary hospital for airmen. It then opened as an agricultural college in 1946. Today, Bedford College Services manage the Mansion and the Shuttleworth College on behalf of the Shuttleworth Trust.

In an adjacent part of the estate the Swiss Garden houses a number of other grade II* listed structures including bridges, the Indian kiosk and a grotto.

References

The Mansion House, Old Warden Park Wikipedia


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