Basildon Park, Berkshire

Basildon Park, Lower Basildon

Basildon Park, nestled in the picturesque landscape of Lower Basildon, Berkshire, stands as a testament to the enduring elegance of Georgian architecture.

Built in the late 18th century by John Carr of York, one of the leading architects of the time, this Palladian mansion has seen various phases of occupation and restoration, culminating in its current status as a treasured National Trust property.

Architectural Grandeur

The design of Basildon Park adheres to the principles of Palladian architecture, characterized by symmetry and classic proportions inspired by the styles of ancient Rome and Greece.

The house’s fa├žade is imposing yet graceful, featuring the distinctive use of Bath stone that radiates under sunlight. Inside, the mansion is equally impressive with its richly decorated interiors.

The restoration undertaken by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the 1950s was meticulous, aiming to recapture the authentic Georgian spirit.

They sourced period furniture, artworks, and textiles, resulting in a collection that now adorns the rooms, offering visitors a vivid portrayal of aristocratic life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Interior Highlights

The heart of Basildon Park is its staircase hall, boasting a grand staircase and fine plasterwork that exemplifies the craftsmanship of its era.

The octagonal drawing room, another highlight, is adorned with elaborate ceiling roses and detailed cornicing, offering a view of the landscaped gardens through its tall windows.

Each room within the mansion tells a story, from the formal dining room to the intimate library, all meticulously restored to reflect their original splendour.

Gardens and Grounds

The grounds of Basildon Park are as magnificent as the house itself, encompassing over 400 acres of historic parkland. Visitors can explore a variety of landscapes, from formal gardens with intricate flower beds to natural woodlands crisscrossed by walking trails.

These paths offer scenic views and tranquil spots, ideal for picnics or leisurely strolls. The gardens also feature a restored 19th-century pleasure garden, where traditional plant varieties flourish and provide a year-round spectacle of colour and fragrance.

Preservation and Legacy

Today, Basildon Park is a prime example of successful historic preservation, demonstrating the potential of such estates to educate and inspire contemporary audiences.

Its appearance in several films and television series, most notably in “Pride and Prejudice” and “Downton Abbey,” has further cemented its reputation as an iconic location, drawing visitors from around the world.

Address – Lower Basildon, Reading RG8 9NR
Telephone – 01491 672382
Websitehttps://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park

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