Raynham Hall in Norfolk

CRC 02 Raynham Hall.jpg
CRC 02 Raynham Hall.jpg

Raynham Hall in Norfolk

15.00

Raynham Hall is a country house in Norfolk, England. It is still owned and inhabited by members of the Townshend family - descendants of Sir Roger Townshend who built the house as a family seat after his acquisition of a baronetcy in the early seventeenth century. The hall gave its name to the five estate villages, known as The Raynhams, and is reported to be haunted Its most famous resident was Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1674–1738), leader in the House of Lords. Raynham Hall is one of the most splendid of the great houses of Norfolk. After a false start in 1619 and the accumulation on site of a large quantity of Ketton stone in 1621 it was rebegun in 1622, and by the time of Sir Roger Townshend's death in 1637 it was substantially complete, though apparently some rooms had not been fitted out. For a long time it was supposed that the house owed its neoclassical design to the great architect Inigo Jones, though it now seems more likely that Sir Roger served as his own 'gentleman architect'. By the beginning of the 18th century, the family's fortunes had risen even higher, and Sir Roger's descendant Charles, 2nd Viscount Townshend, set in motion a renovation that would make the interiors of the Hall as spectacular as its exterior. For this he enlisted the help of William Kent, the eminent designer of buildings, gardens and furniture, whose classicising taste would herald the beginnings of what we now understand as Georgian style.

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