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The Hawking Party Statue 150m south of The Orangery (formerly listed as Equestrian Statue Group)

List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: The Hawking Party Statue 150m south of The Orangery (formerly listed as Equestrian Statue Group)

List entry Number: 1113801

Location

WREST PARK, SILSOE, CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Central Bedfordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Silsoe

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 10-Jan-1985

Date of most recent amendment: 18-May-2012

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 37740

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

The Hawking Party Statue, dates to c.1835-45 and was carved by Smith, with additions by Terence Farrell, to the designs of Earl de Grey.

Reasons for Designation

The Hawking Party Statue,150m south of the Orangery at Wrest Park, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: It was designed in two phases by Earl de Grey, which adds considerably to its architectural interest; * Artistic interest: Carved by two relatively unknown sculptors, the statue has good quality detailing to the figures and pedestal and has a prominent position on a grass mound; * Group Value: For its contribution to the structural and aesthetic composition of a Grade I Registered Park and Garden and its association with many other listed buildings.

History

Wrest Park belonged to the Grey family from the Middle Ages until the early C20. In 1833, Thomas Phillip Weddell, later Earl de Grey, inherited Wrest, having already spent much time there as a young man demonstrating his early abilities as an amateur architect in the design of the two lodges at Silsoe in 1826 (both Grade II). Although he had great respect for the gardens this did not extend to the house, which he demolished. The present house was constructed approximately 200m north of the old house in 1834-9 by the Earl with the assistance of James Clephan. The stable buildings to the east (Grade II) and the walled gardens (Grade II) to the west were also added between 1834 and 1839. The site of the former house was laid out to include the present parterres and south lawns. The Earl's appreciation of the existing garden’s qualities meant that little else was done to diminish its former appearance. In 1856 'le Petit Trianon' was built for his children and in 1857 an 'American Garden' was laid out north of the bowling green.

The statue was commissioned by Earl de Grey, whose memoirs recall that a man named Smith carved the horse from a sketch by the Earl himself at a cost of £100. The horse (without a rider) was placed originally over the archway on the north side of the stable complex, leading into the stable-yard. The Earl became concerned that the piece could not be seen and became covered in moss, so he sketched a figure of a female rider to sit on it and commissioned an Irish sculptor, Terence Farrell, to carve the woman with her falcon and two pages. Once completed, the piece was set on a plinth and relocated atop a grass mound in its current position to the south of the Orangery.



Details

MATERIALS: Ketton stone pedestal with statue probably in Portland stone.

PLAN: rectangular pedestal set on a plinth with statue above.

DESCRIPTION: the plinth has a low ogee mould to the top edge. It projects at each corner to support large moulded brackets ornamented to the lower, curved, facing edge with a bead decoration. The pedestal has rebated panels to the sides with a scotia to the corners. A thin moulding runs through the upper part of the fascia, forming a frieze and the whole us surmounted by a projecting cap with a broad torus moulding forming the edge.

Smith's statue is of a stallion moving forward with its front left leg raised and its head tilted to its right. Its rear right leg is set forward and its tail, which is carved from a separate piece of stone, is swept around its right flank. Farrells' additions include the woman riding side saddle gazing upwards, her legs on the left side of the horse, on a richly draped saddle. She is wearing a hat and gloves; her right hand is raised and on her left is a hawk. To the right of the horse is an adult male attendant wearing boots, a hat and a belted tunic. He is leaning backwards, with his right leg set forward, and is pointing forwards with his left hand. To the left of a horse is a younger page, dressed in a similar way to the adult, holding his cap by his left side. His raised right arm clasps the haunch of the horse and he is looking upwards.



Selected Sources

Books and journals
Roscoe, I, Hardy, E, Sullivan, M G, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660-1851, ((2009))
Smith, N, Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, English Heritage Guidebook, (2008)
Other
Cole, D, Beresford, C and Shackell, A, Historical Survey of Wrest Park, (2005),
Davies, J P S , Report on the Garden Ornaments at Wrest Park 1700-1917, (2007),
Donald Insall Associates, Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, Conservation Management Plan, (2009),

National Grid Reference: TL0899635207

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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End of official listing