Outline History of Westonbirt

The history of Westonbirt is the history of the manor and estate. The estate fell into the hands of Richard Holford when he married its heiress, Sarah Crewe in 1665. The events described in Part 2 took place under his son, Robert, by his second wife. Robert like his father before him, and his own son after him, was a Master in Chancery, and spent most of his time in London. The estate owes its development to Robert Stayner Holford (1808-1892) who inherited at the death of his uncle in 1838. He was responsible for the initial plantings of the arboretum, and later with his son became involved with orchid cultivation. With Lewis Vulliamy as architect he rebuilt the house starting in 1864 and modelling it on Wollaton House near Nottingham. His London home was Dorchester House in Park Lane. The Dorchester Hotel now stands on the site

His son, George, died without issue in 1926 and the estate was sold by its new owner. The estate covered many acres and hundreds of small properties as far afield as Beverstone and Lasborough. The house became a girls school in 1928.

More information about the house itself can be found in a booklet:
Westonbirt - the Story of a House
by Margaret V. Mason and published by University of London

Last update 11/06/2002