Alderman William Beckford

Country house


Fonthill (Wiltshire)

Built 30th Nov -0001 | Occupied 1st Jan 1744 - 1st Jun 1770


In 1744-45 William Beckford purchased Fonthill for £32,000 from Francis, 2nd Baron Cottington. Following a fire in 1755 Beckford built a new and substantial Palladian mansion on the site (which came to be known as 'Splendens'). For Fonthill Abbey, built by his son, William Thomas Beckford, 1798-1807 see entry for William Thomas Beckford.

For a detailed account of the Beckfords and Fonthill see Amy Frost, 'The Beckford era' in Fonthill Recovered. A Cultural History, ed. Caroline Dakers (London, UCL Press, 2081), ch. 4.

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