Kelston

Kelston Park, BA1 9AE
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Overview

Lancelot “Capability” Brown worked at Kelston in 1767-8, landscaping the park for Sir Caesar Hawkins.

In 1759 the Kelston estate was bought by Sir Caesar Hawkins, a leading surgeon, for £1600 (worth £2,827,000 in 2016). Hawkins created a new mansion (1765-70) and landscape (1767-8), locating the house on the site of a summerhouse on the lip of the southern scarp to exploit the views, and demolished the old manor house. Capability Brown was employed by Hawkins  to landscape the park around the mansion, for which he was paid £500  worth £801,000 in 2016). We don't know much about what Brown did at Kelston but he recorded an inital payment of £200 in his Account Book in July 1767, followed by a further £200 in December that year, with the final payment of £100 on August 20th 1768 "received a balance in full of all accounts".

After Brown

The Hawkins family continued to live at Kelston until 1828 when it was sold to Joseph Neeld who began a programme of building works around the house. In 1844, the estate passed to the Inigo-Jones family, relatives of the Neelds, who erected an entrance lodge and the porch over the main entrance to the house. In 1967 the Neeld Family Trust leased Kelston Park to the Methodist Church for use as a training centre. In 1993 the estate was purchased, in poor condition, by the Andrew Brownsward Collection to be developed into corporate headquarters. Since then the house and lodge have been restored and the restoration of the parkland has begun.

The garden is Grade II* listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

Sources

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1000536

An aerial view of Kelston Park near Bath, Somerset 23rd May 2015 posted by Jon Godfrey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h63k8n6oZnE

https://www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/libraries-at-rhs/collections/library-online