Baroque is a highly decorative and flamboyant architecture style. While the Baroque period has not been very long in the UK, you can find some beautiful baroque houses in England.
English Baroque is an architecture style that was popular in England between the late 17th century and 1730. In these couple of decades, some of England’s greatest architects built spectacular English Baroque country houses and other buildings.
One of the finest examples of English Baroque is St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, which is designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Since the Great Fire of London in 1666, Sir Christopher Wren built 53 churches, many of them with Baroque features.
Though Sir Christopher Wren was the “father of English Baroque”. It was William Talman who designed the first English Baroque country house. He designed Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and the built started in 1687. Chatsworth is still one of the finest Baroque buildings in England. Apart from being one of the grandest (and extremely popular) stately homes in the UK.
Let’s take a look at the English Baroque houses in England, Many of these Baroque stately homes you can visit and I’ll provide you with all the details.
As mentioned above, Chatsworth House is the fist Baroque house to be built in England. Chatsworth is the seat of the Dukes of Devonshire and the house has been owned by the Cavendish family for almost 500 years.
William Talman designed the South and East front of Chatsworth House in English Baroque style for the 1st Duke of Devonshire. The first Duke also created the Baroque State Apartments which can still be seen today. These rooms were designed in anticipation of a visit from King William III and Queen Mary II. They never visited, but luckily the rooms have been preserved.
Chatsworth House is well worthy of a visit. The Baroque house offers a large collection of art that spans 4,000 years. From ancient Rome and Egypt to Old Masters like Rembrandt and Veronese to modern artist like Lucian Freud and David Nash.
The stately home also holds a large collection of furniture, neoclassical sculptures and books. When you visit Chatsworth you can explore 25 rooms, from the Painted Hall to Baroque State Rooms and the Sculpture Gallery.
Many television series and movies have been filmes at Chatsworth. Including Pride & Prejudice, The Duchess, and Peaky Blinders.
Chatsworth House visitor information
Chatsworth House is open daily. The estate includes formal gardens, a children’s playground, several café’s, a shop, and a restaurant.
Address: Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE451PP, United Kingdom
Blenheim is the birthplace of Winston Churchill and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England that holds the title “palace”. The 18th century stately home is built in English Baroque style and it’s one of the largest stately homes in England. And since 1987 it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For 300 years Blenheim was the family home of the Churchill (and Churchill-Spencer) family. But in the 19th century the estate was saved from ruin when the 9th Duke of Marlborough married American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt.
Blenheim Palace is often used as film location. From blockbusters like James Bond, Mission Impossible, and Harry Potter. But also period dramas like Cinderella, A Little Chaos and The Young Victoria. You can download a guide to these filming locations at Blenheim Palace.
Blenheim Palace visitor information
The palace is open daily. You can visit the historic State Rooms, a Churchill Museum and a “Downstairs” Tour. But the grounds have much to offer as well. There are several gardens, a butterfly house and a maze. The estate offers plenty for children as well with fun trails and a miniture train.
Address: Woodstock OX20 1PP, United Kingdom
Castle Howard near York is a historic country house in Baroque style. The stately home is not in fact a castle, but it is built on the site of a former castle.
The Baroque house has been in the Carlisle family for more than 300 years. It was the 3rd Earl of Carlisle that asked his friend John Vanbrugh (who had never built anything) to design Castle Howard. Construction of this massive stately home lasted 100 years.
The house was not complete van John Vanburgh and the 3rd Earl died. The Earl’s son-in-law revisited the Baroque design and added a Palladian West wing. So instead of having a completey Baroque house, it now has an asymmetrical appearance. With one wing in Baroque style and one in Palladian style.
Castle Howard visitor information
The House and gardens are open daily. There are also several café’s and a shop on the estate. For the most recent opening hours you can visit the website.
Address: Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA, United Kingdom
Wentworth Woodhouse is a large country house in South Yorkshire. The stately home consists of two joined houses. The original house (the west front) is in Baroque style. While the East front is in Palladian style.
The built of the English Baroque West front started in 1725. Thomas Watson-Wentworth asked local builder Ralph Tunnicliffe to design and built the grand house. However before the Baroque house was finsihed in 1734 Wentworth’s grandson asked Henry Flitcroft to design the East front extension.
Wentworth Woodhouse is famous for having the longest country house façade in England. It has also been used as a film location for Pride & Prejudice, Darkest Hour, and Downton Abbey.
Wentworth Woodhouse visitor information
The house and grounds can be visited. They offer guided tours and at the moment (november ’21) there is a special exhibition about the Royal visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1912.
Architect John James designed this English Baroque country house on the Isle of Wight. The home belonged to the Worlsey family but in 1855 the estate was sold.
During the First and Second World War troops were billeted at Appuldurcombe House. Unfortunately during the Second World War a German Luftwaffe plane dropped a mine close to the house. It went off and blew out the windows and part of the roof collapsed.
Parts of the glasswork and interiors have been recreated. But even though the house is now mainly a shell, it is still an architectural masterpiece.
Appuldurcombe House visitor infortmation
The house is open 6 days a week from April-October. On Saturday the house and grounds are closed because it is also used as an exlusive wedding venue. Visit the website for more infortmation
Address: Appuldurcombe Rd, Wroxall PO38 3EW, United Kingdom
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a Royal Palace built in the 16th century for Cardinal Wolsey. Later the palace was given to King Henry VII and it became one of his favourite palaces. Hampton Court Palace and St. James’ Palaces are the only surviving palaces that were owned by Henry VIII.
Though original a Tudor-style Palace, Hampton Court was rebuilt and expanded by King William III. He wanted Hampton Court to rival Versailles and destroyed much of the Tudor Palace and replacing it with Baroque style. King William III’s work ceased in 1694 and therfor we can now see a unique Tudor and Baroque palace.
Hampton Court visitor information
The Palace and gounds are open for visitors. For up-to-date opening hours you can visit the website.
Address: Hampton Ct Way, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU, United Kingdom
Calke Abbey s a Baroque mansion house in Derbyshire. The house was built between 1701 and 1704 for Sir John Harpur. the house is called an abbey because it sits on the site of a former Augustinian priory.
The Harpur family owned Calke Abbey for nearlt 300 years. But in 1985 the Baroque country houses was transferred to the National Trust. By that time many rooms had been abandoned for decades. The National Trust decided to preserve the rooms as they found them. Making it a unique country house visit.
Calke Abbey visitor information
The gardens, restaurant and shop are open daily. The house is open from Spring-Autumn. Visit the National Trust website for the latest information.
This Baroque country house was built for William Blathwayt in the 17th and 18th century. The house has an extensive furniture and art collection. Including a collection of Dutch masters.
Dyrham Park visitor information
Dyrham Park is part of the National Trust and the house, gardens and tea room can be visited.
Address: Dyrham, Bath, Chippenham SN14 8HY, United Kingdom
Orlean House was a villa designed in 1710 by architect John James for politcian James Johnston. It is named Orleans after the Duc d’Orléans who stayed here in te early 19th century.
The house was in Palladian style but there is a Baroque octagonal room designed by James Gibbs. Most of the house has been demoslished. But the Baroque octagonal room has been preserved.
This Baroque room, with its service wing and a converted stable block is now the Orleans House Art Gallery.
Orleans House visitor information
The art gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday; 10am-5pm
Address: Orleans Rd, Twickenham TW1 3BL, United Kingdom
Petworth House is a late 17th century country house in West Sussex. The house was built for Charles Seymour, the 6th Duke of Somerset. The Baroque country house as inspired by the Palace of Versailles and the Duke wanted Petworth to rival the grand Palaces in Europe.
May of the owners of Petworth House were collectors. This means that there is an expansive art collection at Petworth. Titian, van Dyck, Reynolds and Flaxman can be seen in the state rooms.
During Petworth’s “golden age” many English romantic painters visited Petworth House, including JMW Turner.
Petworth House visitor information
Petworth House is now owned by the National Trust and the house and grounds are open daily.
Seaton Delaval Hall
Seaton Delaval Hall is a Baroque country house in Northumberland. The house was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh in 1718 for Admiral George Delaval. It was the last country house that John Vanbrugh designed and he never saw the finished home.
In 1822 the house was gutted by fire. In the mid 19th century it was partly restored by architect John Dobson when the central block was re-rofer. The interiors however remained a shell.
In the mid 20th century more restorations were completed and after 160 years of unoccopation the 22nd Baron Hastings moved into Seaton Delaval Hall. After his death the Baroque house transferred to the National Trust.
Seaton Delaval Hall visitor information
The Cental Hall, gardens, and stables are open Wednesday-Sunday. The West Wing is currently closed.
Address: The Avenue, Seaton Sluice, Whitley Bay NE26 4QR, United Kingdom
Georgian on the outside but Baroque on the inside. Beningbrough Hall is a stately home in North Yorkshire built in 1716. The Baroque interiors has a cantilevered stairs (or floating stairs), beautiful wood carvings and central corridors that run the lenght of the house.
In the mid 20th century the house was transferred to the National Trust. And today Beningbrough Hall is a gallery, featuring more than hundred 18th century portraits in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery.
Beningbrough Hall visitor information
Currently the hall and galeries are closed for conservation work. But the gardens and restaurant are open for visitors. Go to the National Trust website for the latest information.
Royal Fort House
The Royal Fort House is a historic house in Bristol. The house was built for Bristol merchant Thomas Tyndall and designed in three architecture styles. Three different architects worked on the house; James Bridges, Thomas Paty, and John Wallis.
Three facades of the house are in Baroque, Palladian, and Rococo style. Humphry Repton designed the gardens in English landscape style.
Royal Fort House visitor information
The country house is now owned by the University of Bristol. But the gardens are open daily.