The Hoare family at Stourhead

Portrait of 'Henry the Magnificent'

Stourhead was created in the 18th century by a banking family, the Hoares. The bank was originally created in the 17th century by Sir Richard Hoare. Its funds aided the development of Stourheads garden, house and estate under seven owners from the Hoare family, until it passed to us in 1947. These seven owners had varying levels of input, both in the family bank and at Stourhead. Find out about each mans influence at Stourhead and how they shape the place we know today.

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The Hoares, a banking family, built Stourhead house and garden in the 18th century. They passed it to us in 1947. Follow the line of succession to find out how they shaped Stourhead.

Sir Richard Hoare (1648-1718)

The son of a horse-dealer, Sir Richard founded Hoare’s bank in 1672. It prospered and he was knighted by Queen Anne. His second son, Henry Hoare I, became a partner in the bank.

Henry Hoare I (1677-1725)

Henry Hoare I, 'Good Henry', bought Stourton manor in 1717. He replaced it with the Palladian house we know today - christening it Stourhead. His son, Henry Hoare II, inherited.

Henry Hoare II (1705-1785)

Henry Hoare II, 'Henry the Magnificent', was a successful partner in the bank. He furnished Stourhead house with paintings and sculpture, much of which remains. He created Stourhead’s iconic landscape garden, with its lake, temples and monuments.

Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1758-1838)

Henry Hoare II chose grandson, Richard Colt Hoare as heir. He added the Regency library and picture gallery to the house. He also made significant changes in the garden and across the estate.

Sir Henry Hugh Hoare (1762-1841)

Sir Henry Hugh Hoare was the fourth owner of Stourhead in its history

Colt outlived his sons and Stourhead passed to his half-brother, Henry Hugh. He added the portico to the house and rebuilt the obelisk in Bath stone in his three years at Stourhead.

Sir Hugh Richard Hoare (1787-1857)

Sir Hugh Richard Hoare, the fifth owner of Stourhead, was a successful partner in the Hoare bank

A partner in the bank, Hugh Richard inherited from his father, Sir Henry Hugh. He retired from the bank in 1845 with a considerable allowance, which he devoted to many improvements across the estate.

Sir Henry Ainslie Hoare (1824-1894)

Sir Henry Ainslie Hoare enjoyed shooting and hunting at Stourhead. He sold many heirlooms in the house in 1883 Hugh Richard's nephew, Sir Henry Ainslie Hoare inherited Stourhead. Ainslie's flamboyant lifestyle forced him to leave the bank and auction Stourhead paintings, furniture and books. He left Stourhead in 1885.

Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare (1865-1947)

Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare was the last owner of Stourhead, before it passed to the National Trust in 1947 Succeeding his cousin, Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare devoted his life to Stourhead. After a fire in 1902, he oversaw Stourhead's restoration. His son was killed in the First World War. Determined to keep the estate intact, he gave Stourhead to us.

Visit Stourhead house to discover more about the family and see these portraits for yourself.