Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Princes Risborough Manor House
In 1806 the Magna Britannia mentions the manor thus:-
- The manor was anciently in the families of Giffard and Humet. Having become vested in the Crown, it was given to Richard, Earl of Cornwall, King of the Romans, who died seised of it 1272. King Edward III granted it in 1333 to Henry Lord Ferrars of Groby. It is said to have been not long afterwards the property of Edward the Black Prince, and that he had a palace, supposed to have stood within the site of a spacious moat now dry, which is in a field adjoining the church-yard. This manor was part of the dower of Catharine, the queen of Henry V. King Charles I sold to it to certain citizens of London, who, in 1637, conveyed it to the Chibnalls. It was afterwards successively in the families of Abraham, Adeane, Pelham, and Penton. The Pentons acquired it by purchase in the year 1692, but they had resided at Risborough above a hundred years before that time; for it appears that Queen Elizabeth, after she had left Hampden in her Buckinghamshire progress, called on Mr. Penton at Risborough. It is now the property of John Grubb esq. of Horsendon, by whose family it was purchased of Henry Penton esq. the present member for Winchester, about the year 1765. Walter Giffard, Earl of Buckingham
Today the manor House at Princes Risborough is a red brick house dating from the 17th century. No one is quite sure of the exact date of its construction but the design is of the late Carolean style. The brickwork is a mixture of English and Flemish bond indicating construction in the latter half of the 17th century when Flemish bond newly introduced to England began to compete with the earlier type of brickwork. The house's most famous resident was Sir Peter Lely, court painter to Charles II; this in itself dates the house earlier than the late Stewart.
At the centre of the principal facade is the main pedimented entrance, either side of the front door are two sash windows, the arrangement is repeated above on the next floor. Each of the five bays are divided by small Doric pilasters, typical of the Carolean period of English architecture. They are purely ornamental and serve no structural purpose. The windows originally had mullion and transom crosses. Above the first floor is an attic storey from which project three gabled windows. This principle elevation of the 'L' shaped building faces the high street of the small town, in a similar fashion to the slightly later but larger Winslow Hall also in Buckinghamshire.
The interior has a magnificent oak staircase, contemporary to the design of the house, with an open balustrade of roundels sculpted solid wood, an earlier (1621) but very similar staircase can be found at Radclive Manor House also in Buckinghamshire. The panelled drawing room and other rooms have typical features of the 17th century, such as the intricate plaster moulding of the chimney piece in the main drawing room. The Carolean period saw the first real understanding of interior design and decoration, based on the classical rules of proportion and order.
Owned today by the National Trust, the house is let to tenants as a family home. A small portion the house can be viewed by appointment with the residents.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details