Parking & TOAL: 51.038724, -2.090382
There is free parking to the north of the old castle, but this is with the English Heritage boundary. So I TOAL'd from a passing place in the lane north of the old castle. The new castle (historic building) is approximately 1km northwest of the lane in clear view, but is on private ground.
New Wardour Castle is a Grade I listed English country house at Wardour, near Tisbury in Wiltshire, built for the Arundell family. The house is of Palladian style, designed by the architect James Paine, with additions by Giacomo Quarenghi, who was a principal architect of the Imperial Russian capital city, Saint Petersburg.
The building of the house was begun in 1769 and completed in 1776, with additional buildings being added in the 1970s and 1980s. From 1961 to 1990, it was the home of Cranborne Chase School, an independent boarding school for girls.
New Wardour Castle is approximately 0.75 miles (1.2 km) from Old Wardour Castle, which was left as a landscape feature of the parkland of the new house. This was formerly the home of the Arundell family before it was besieged, damaged and slighted in the Civil War.
After the death in 1944 of John Francis, 16th and last Lord Arundell of Wardour, the building was leased. It was designated in 1951 by Historic England as a Grade I listed building, with its grounds later being Grade II* listed.
In 1946 the property was acquired by the Society of Jesus, who in 1955 licensed it to the Leonard Cheshire Foundation for a trial period. The initial idea of the founder, Group Captain Leonard Cheshire, was to use it as a home for rehabilitating prisoners, but in the event it became a home for those who could not be accepted into other Cheshire Homes in the UK. The home officially opened in January 1956 under warden Colonel Ervine Andrews who used part of the grounds as a pig farm to support the home financially. The number of residents was limited to eight since the charity could only renovate part of the building for the residents to live in; the rest of the property was in poor structural condition. Despite an offer from the Ministry of Works of £40,000 to renovate the property, the trustees of the Leonard Cheshire Foundation could not commit to raising the further £20,000 needed to get the work done. The home closed on 1 January 1957, and the five remaining residents moved out.
In 1961 it became the home of Cranborne Chase School. The school built new classrooms, studio dormitories and a dining-room extension on the south-eastern side of the main house, along with three staff houses to the west. The school eventually closed in 1990.
In 1992 the house – along with five cottages, six tennis courts, and a swimming pool in the walled garden – was sold for under £1 million to Nigel Tuersley, and was converted into 10 apartments by designer John Pawson. The two main floors of the central block, incorporating the rotunda and the original state rooms, form the principal apartment. It has eight reception rooms arranged in a circle around a piano nobile at the top of a 60ft rotunda that rises to a magnificent glazed dome supported by eight composite columns. Conran called the staircase "possibly the best staircase in England, if not the world". Extensions and ancillary accommodation added by the school were mostly demolished.
The house was used in the filming of the television mini-series First Born (1988), and in the filming of Billy Elliot, a film released in 2000.
Land owner permission not required.
View and discuss this location in more detail on Grey Arrows.
Co-ordinates: 51.04172, -2.104301 • what3words: ///weary.gosh.grub