William John Bankes

Country house

Kingston lacy


Occupied 1st Jan 1834 - 1st Jan 1855


"commissioned his friend Charles Barry to encase the red brick hall in stone, and enlarge his other property Soughton Hall. Barry remodelled Kingston Lacy between 1835 and 1838. The work involved facing the brick with Chilmark stone, adding a tall chimney at each corner, and lowering the ground level on one side to expose the basement level and form a new principal entrance. He planted Lime tree avenues along the Blandford Road, of which some 2.2 miles (3.5 km) survive. William John Bankes collected most of the house's antiquities. He travelled extensively in the Middle East and the Orient, amassing the world's largest individual collection of Egyptian antiques.[1] Most notable is the Philae obelisk which stands prominently in the grounds of the house. When in Genoa he acquired the portrait of Maria Di Antonio Serra, by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, painted on the occasion of her marriage to Duke Nicolo Pallavicini in 1606. In 1841, after being caught in a homosexual scandal that could have resulted in a trial and his death, William John fled the country for Italy. His art collection was left at Kingston Lacy, where his notes and drawings remained for many years in a cabinet, unpublished and forgotten." [Wikipedia]

Further Information