Lucknam Park – Wikipedia

Lucknam Park is a luxury hotel, spa and restaurant in west Wiltshire, England, about 3 miles (5 km) north-west of Corsham and 7 miles (11 km) north-east of Bath. The core of its building is a Grade II listed country house built in the late 17th or early 18th century. The hotel’s restaurant has held one star in the Michelin Guide since 2006.

A farm on the site, about 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Colerne village, was bought in 1688 by James Wallis, a wealthy Trowbridge cloth manufacturer who had also purchased the nearby manors of North Wraxall and Biddestone. He began construction of the mansion which was probably completed by his son Ezekiel.[2] The property later had a succession of owners, including the Methuen family in the late 18th century and the Walmesley family from 1870 to 1918.[3] John Walmesley (c.1775–1873) of Preston, Lancashire married Ellen, daughter of Richard Godolphin Long of Rood Ashton House, Wiltshire; their son Richard (1816–1893), lawyer and JP, is described as “of Lucknam”.[4]

The two-storey Wallis house forms the three-bay centre of the present building.[5] In 1827 it was bought by Andreas Boode (1763–1844), a Dutch-British owner of plantations in Demerara which used enslaved labour.[6] He had the house re-fronted in ashlar, with a ground-floor loggia having four pairs of Doric columns, and greatly enlarged it by adding two-storey wings on both sides: each has three bays and is terminated by a two-storey bowed pavilion.[3] The resulting facade is described by Orbach as “impressively long”.[5]

The whole was remodelled in 1919–20 for Sir Alfred Read, chairman of Coast Lines, the UK’s largest coastal shipping company.[7] The central part was given a three-gabled attic and tall chimneys in Jacobean style, and the rear front and interiors were remodelled. Pevsner called the Jacobean work an “excresence”,[8] but in Orbach’s 2021 updating it is merely “spurious”.[5]

To one side a tall square late-19th-century water tower rises higher than the house. Formerly turreted, its flat parapet and corner urns result from changes designed in 1937 by Oswald Brakspear.[5]

The house was designated as Grade II listed in 1960.[3]

The house was bought in 1987 and opened as a hotel the next year[9] by Lucknam Park Hotels Ltd. The company directors are members of the Laskaridis family,[10] who own Greek shipping companies and hotels in Greece and elsewhere.[11] Facilities include a spa and an equestrian centre.[9]

Associated buildings[edit]

The stables range with two-storey coach house, built of rubble stone in 1834 for J. C. Boode, forms a courtyard with the rear of the house.[12] A 19th-century octagonal dovecote in the kitchen garden is described by Historic England as exceptionally large and of an unusually late date.[13]

The lodge at the north entrance to the estate was built in 1854 in Italianate style:[5] a substantial stone archway is flanked by a two-storey lodge on one side and a taller campanile tower on the other.[14] Middle Lodge, near the main house, was designed in neo-Regency style by Oswald Brakspear.[5]


  1. ^ “Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park”. Michelin Guide. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  2. ^ “Colerne”. Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Historic England. “Lucknam Park (1283410)”. National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  4. ^ “Walmesley, Richard (WLMY835R)”. A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Orbach, Julian; Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (2021). Wiltshire. The Buildings Of England. New Haven, US and London: Yale University Press. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-300-25120-3. OCLC 1201298091.
  6. ^ “Andreas Christian Boode”. Legacies of British Slavery. University College London. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  7. ^ Moss, Michael S. (23 September 2004), “Read, Sir Alfred Henry (1871–1955), shipowner”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/47431, ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8, retrieved 18 May 2022
  8. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (revision) (1975) [1963]. Wiltshire. The Buildings of England (2nd ed.). Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 186. ISBN 0-14-0710-26-4.
  9. ^ a b Arsenault, Bridget (26 March 2019). “Behind-The-Scenes At Lucknam Park One Of The UK’s Prettiest Properties”. Forbes. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  10. ^ “Lucknam Park Hotels Limited: Officers”. Companies House. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  11. ^ Gage, Nicholas (17 June 2013). “Aegean Blues”. Town & Country. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  12. ^ Historic England. “Stable range to north of Lucknam Park (1199381)”. National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  13. ^ Historic England. “Dovecote in kitchen garden to north of Lucknam Park (1363534)”. National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  14. ^ Historic England. “Chippenham Lodge (1022921)”. National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 19 May 2022.

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