|What:||Historic Manor House and grounds|
|Where:||Between Bisley and Stroud|
One of the house's earliest owners was Richard (Dick) Whittington, who obtained it as payment of a debt in 1395. The Lypiatt Park estate was broken up and sold in 1919
|Now:||Bought and restored by sculptor, Lynn Chadwick, in the 1950s|
Lypiatt Park is the grandest house in Stroud. It was the manor house of Over Lypiatt manor, first recorded in 1220. It is known that there was a house with gardens here as early as 1324. At this time, the property belonged to the Maunsell family, and it remained in their ownership until 1395, when Richard Whittington, the celebrated Lord Mayor of London, obtained it in satisfaction of a debt. Only the chapel of the house is this early; it was probably built in the late 14th century by one of the last Maunsell owners.
The first pictorial record of the house is an engraving by John Kip of c.1710. This shows an early 16th century house, perhaps constructed by Robert Wye, who owned the estate from c.1505-44. The principal range, containing a hall with service rooms beyond a screens passage to the east, and a three-bay block of living quarters to the west, separated two irregular and incomplete courtyards. The northern court was also defined by the chapel and a now demolished gatehouse.
In 1610, the house was bought by Thomas Stephens, whose descendants lived here for nearly 200 years. On 1 January 1645, the house was captured and burnt by Royalist troops evicting a Parliamentary garrison, but it was later repaired and reoccupied.
The house was sold in 1802 by Thomas Baghot-de la Bere, nephew of the last Stephens owner, to the successful local clothier and banker, Paul Wathen. Wathen, who was High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1810, was knighted in 1812 and changed his name to the more historic Baghott. He employed the fashionable London architect, Jeffrey Wyatt (who was also later knighted and changed his name to Wyatville), to modernise the house and add a new range of family rooms at the west end of the house in a picturesque Tudor style.
Sir Paul Baghott became bankrupt in 1819, caught out by the economic decline which followed the end of the Napoleonic wars. Lypiatt Park was sold in 1824 to William Lewis of Brimscombe, who made some further improvements to the house. These probably included the picturesque "ivy-mantled towers and walls" of the stables, coach-houses and lodge.
In 1841, the house was sold to Samuel Baker, who brought in the Gloucester architect, Samuel Daukes, to make minor alterations. In 1846, it was sold again, this time to J.E. Dorington, whose son Sir John greatly expanded the estate by buying land in Bisley. Sir John also employed T.H. Wyatt to make further major alterations to the house in 1876-77.
The Lypiatt Park estate was broken up and sold in 1919, and the house has changed hands five times in the 20th century. In 1952, there was a real risk of it being demolished, but it was bought by the sculptor, Lynn Chadwick, who restored the house.