History

Farnborough Hall, the West Front © Eric Hardy

Farnborough Hall, the West Front

The living past

After acquiring the property in 1684, Ambrose Holbech combined the house and gardens to present an intriguing 18th-century Italian villa. It is almost a time warp, remaining unaltered since the 1740s. It is still a welcoming family home, presenting fine furnishings and sculptures from the reign of William Holbech II.

 

Richness within

William Holbech II succeeded his father, also William in 1717. During his long reign, he had ample time to adapt the rest of the house. The plasterwork is some of the most spectacular in England.

Dignity outside

William's landscaping was on a more elaborate scale. He created one of the most poetic English landscapes. A raised terrace offers long views over the Hanwell valley and the land the Holbechs owned.

Changing design

Early 18th-century design saw the transition from rigid symmetry and formality to informal styles. Explore the terrace, garden and parkland and admire the exquisite design of one man's vision.

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