House

A statement of fashion and good taste

Stourhead house is an iconic Palladian building from the early 18th century © Stourhead images

Stourhead house is an iconic Palladian building from the early 18th century

The Palladian villa at Stourhead is not the original estate house. The medieval Stourton manor was demolished by Henry Hoare I (1677-1725) swiftly after he purchased it in 1717.

A statement of fashion and good taste

The picture gallery at Stourhead © National Trust

The picture gallery at Stourhead

Henry built Stourhead house as a statement of fashion and good taste between 1721 and 1725, funded by the wealth of the Hoare family banking business, Hoare & Co.

A statement of fashion and good taste

This is one of the finest Regency libraries in the country © Bill Batten

This is one of the finest Regency libraries in the country

It was one of the first houses in the country to be built in the fashionable Palladian style.

Henry Hoare II 'the magnificent' and Sir Richard Colt Hoare, filled the house with furniture and paintings; much of which can be enjoyed today.

Lady Alda Hoare, of Stourhead, with her husband and son © NT Images

Lady Alda Hoare, of Stourhead, with her husband and son

What's the story?

Today, the house tells the story of Harry Hoare and his parents.

The rooms bring to life  what it was like in this family home throughout Harry's childhood until Stourhead was given to the National Trust in 1946.

It tells the story of love, loss and devotion as a family and to Stourhead itself.

Chippendale furniture

Commissioned by Richard Colt Hoare © John Bethell

Commissioned by Richard Colt Hoare

Thomas Chippendale the Younger refurbished the house for Richard Colt Hoare between 1795 and 1820. He created wonderful bespoke furniture, including this writing-desk for the library.

Chippendale went bankrupt in 1804, but thanks to loyal clients such as Colt Hoare, he managed to rebuild his business.
 

Pope's Cabinet

The Pope’s cabinet is an extraordinary work of art with 152 hidden drawers © Stourhead images

The Pope’s cabinet is an extraordinary work of art with 152 hidden drawers

This cabinet was one of Henry Hoare II's most prized possessions. He believed it once belonged to Pope Sixtus V and commissioned the stand from a local craftsman to commemorate the Pope’s architectural achievements in Rome.

Henry's grandson, Colt Hoare, refurbished the cabinet room in 1802 giving the cabinet pride of place.

Paintings

A painting by Poussin © Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665)

A painting by Poussin

Henry Hoare II's Grand Tour of Italy inspired him to collect paintings with classical connections, including Dughet’s idealised Italian landscapes, Wilson’s The Lake of Nemi, with Diana and Callisto and this piece, Poussin’s Choice of Hercules.

These works and many others, influenced the development of the garden we see today.

Discover the family home

Visit Stourhead house and discover the stories and history for yourself.

Download the house plan and find out more about Harry Hoare and his parents.

The family history

Discover the connection between the son of a horse dealer, a family bank and a 'living work of art' at Stourhead.

Picture list

The house has always been a home, not a museum, and because of this the paintings are not labelled. Download our specially-made picture list to find out more about the collection.

Where do we fit in?

Sir Henry Hoare 6th bt and his wife lived at Stourhead for 50 years. They survived a 1902 house fire and the death of their only son in 1917. The property passed to us when the couple died on the same day in 1947.

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