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Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire, England

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Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire, England

Aynho Park

Aynhoe Park, is a Grade I listed 17th-century country house rebuilt after the English Civil War on the southern edge of the stone-built village of Aynho near Banbury, Oxfordshire. It overlooks the Cherwell valley that divides Northamptonshire from Oxfordshire. The house represents four architectural periods: Jacobean, Carolean and both the early 18th and 19th centuries. The house is no longer open to the public but can be hired for some private functions.


John Cartwright,purchased the estate and built a house on it in 1615 however this house suffered seriously at the hands of the Royalist forces of the Civil War following the Battle of Naseby and so to a design by Edward Marshall, master mason in the Office of Works ofCharles II it was rebuilt after the Civil War.

In 1707, Thomas Cartwright employed Thomas Archer to enlarge the Jacobean building. At the beginning of the 19th century, Sir John Soane would add further details.

Aynhoe Park is a pedimented main block with lower service blocks on each side forming a courtyard. This dates from the early 18th century when Thomas Archer was commissioned to enlarge the Jacobean house. Archer, who had visited Italy, added unusual late-Baroque detailing, such as the concave surrounds to the central doorways of the service blocks. The middle of the garden front remainly largely unchanged since it was built in the 1660s.

The interiors, created by Archer with the exception of the main staircase, have been remodelled. However, Aynhoe Park has retained the rooms designed by Sir John Soane who was instructed to prepare designs for a thorough remodelling of the interior in 1795—the drawings for this work can be seen in the Sir John Soane's Museum in London. Unfortunately, these interiors were never built. However, Soane did redesign the reception rooms along the garden front in a modest style in 1800–5 and, with the exception of the French Drawing Room. These interiors have survived and illustrate the architect's exploitation of curved surfaces. Soane also created the top-lit staircase with its iron balustrade in the south wing and the "triumphal arches" which link the main block to the service wings.

The surroundings represent an early formal garden with landscape park. Gardens were laid out by Mr Guilliam 1701–14, and the park laid out 1760–63 by Capability Brown. More recently, the Hall was owned by the Country Houses Association until it went into liquidation in 2003. It was remodelled in 2004 by James Perkins, and is now available for weddings and parties.

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