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Home > New Search > Sezincote House (Sesincot)

Sezincote House (Sesincot)  England 
Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, England

Started 1805
Completed 1820

Status: Fully Extant

Special Info / Location/ Date

Special Info
Phonetic Pronunciation of House Name

District Today
 Historic County
 City / Town / Village

Start Date
Completion Date
Circa Date

The House from an 1823 engraving in the publication Neale's Views of Seats

Click on thumbnail for a larger view

The House from an 1823 engraving in the publication Neale's Views of Seats
The Garden
The Orangery
Orangery Interior
The Entrance Façade

Designed   Consulted on landscaping
Date   Circa 1806

Designed   Office Wing for Sir Charles Cockerell, Bt.
Date   1827

Designed   2 lodges for Sir Charles Cockerell, Bt. One built as Worcester Lodge, now called Beehave Lodge.
Date   1823

Designed   House in Indian style for his brother, Sir Charles Cockerell, Bt.
Date   Circa 1805-20

Extant / Listed / References

Extant Type
Fully Extant
Extant Details

House Listed As 
Grade I
Gardens Listed As  
Grade I
Country House:  Yes

Vitruvius Britannicus
Vitruvius Scoticus
J.B. Burke (Burke's Visitation of Seats)
Country Life
LXXXV, 502, 528, 1939.
J.P. Neale (Neale's Views of Seats)
Vol. II, 1819.
Access / Ownership / Seat

Open to Public Please note: Houses listed as being open "By Appointment" are usually country house hotels, B&Bs, or schools.
Historic Houses Association Member
Phone Number If calling from the U.S., delete the first "0" in British numbers.
Fax Number
Voted number 10 in the Top 10 Regal Wedding Venues in the UK in 2011 by "The Times."

Current Ownership
Current Ownership Type
Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use
Private Home
Current Ownership Use / Details

Seat ("Seat" is loosely defined as any family that occupied the house for a period of 2 years or more)
Today Seat of
Edward and Camilla Peake
A Past Seat(s) of
SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Sir William Juxon, late 17th century. Francis North, 2nd Baron Guilford, late 17th-early 18th centuries. Francis North, 1st Earl of Guilford, 18th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: John Cockerell, late 18th century. Sir Charles Cockerell, late 18th-early 19th centuries; Cockerell family here until 1884. James Dugdale, late 19th century. Sir Cyril Kleinwort, mid-20th century.
Possible (Unsure) Seat of
History / Gardens & Park / Movies

Earlier House(s) / Building(s)
The original house at Sezincote was a small 15th century manor house in the Cotswold vernacular style. It was replaced by the current house.
House Replaced By
Built / Designed For
Sir Charles Cockerell
House & Family History
Jan Morris, writing in "Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress": “Sezincote stands in one of the most intensely English parts of England, on the northern slopes of the Cotswold Hills, but it is the most exotically un-English building imaginable.” The name Sezincote is derived from Cheisnecote – “the hillside of the oaks” – “la chene” being French for oak tree, and “cote” meaning hillside in Old English. The original manor house at Sezincote was a small building in the Cotswold vernacular style. It was this house that Sir William Juxon sold to the 2nd Baron Guilford in 1692. In 1795 Colonel John Cockerell, who had made a fortune as an officer in the East India Company, purchased the Sezincote Estate from the 3rd Earl of Guildford. It seems likely that the Estate was found for Cockerell by Warren Hastings, who was building a lavish house at nearby Daylesford to the designs of Cockerell’s brother, Samuel Pepys Cockerell. Hastings was a former Governor-General of Bengal; Cockerell had served on Hastings's military staff in India and the two became friends. At the death of John Cockerell in 1798, his younger brother, Sir Charles Cockerell, who had also made a fortune in India as a nabob of the East India Company, inherited the Sezincote Estate. It was Sir Charles who ramped up the plans for his brother’s house and commissioned “Calcutta in the Cotswolds,” the only Mogul-style building surviving in Western Europe. The House we see today was designed for Sir Charles by another brother, Samuel Pepys Cockerell, who was assisted in his designs by Thomas Daniell, a noted topographical artist who was an authority on Indian design (he had just returned from 10 years in India when he began to work with Cockerell). Sezincote is, architecturally, a mixture of Muslim and Hindu styles, inspired by Akbar, the 3rd Mughal Emperor of India (reigned 1556 to 1605). Stone for the House was mined nearby (probably from Barrington Quarry) and may have been artificially stained to provide it with a rich, orange color. One of the most famous features of the House is its copper-sheathed turquoise onion dome, which stands proudly and exotically over the Gloucestershire countryside. The famous and spectacular semi-circular Orangery sweeps from the south of the House in a great arc to its terminus – a delightful hexagonal aviary. By the mid-20th century the Orangery had become badly eroded by weather, and, in 1955, a mould was taken of the carving and the entire façade was refaced. In 1980, due to further deterioration, another refacing of the Orangery took place. The balancing wing on the north side of the House contains offices and service spaces; this wing was once fronted with another Orangery that led to an octagonal pavilion that was Sir Charles’s famous tent bedroom. Neither the bedroom nor the Orangery survives, but the ornamental wooden spears of Sir Charles’s bed are today incorporated into a modern bed in the main house. In spite of its exotic exterior, the interiors of the House are in a classic, if rich, Georgian style with dramatic spaces. Maintaining the tradition of striking interiors, in 1982 the Peake family commissioned George Oakes to design an enchanting trompe l'oeil mural in the first floor Dining Room. The Estate remained in the Cockerell family until 1884, when James Dugdale, a Lancashireman, purchased it. In 1944 Sir Cyril Kleinwort bought Sezincote from Mrs. Dugdale and it has remained in the Kleinwort’s direct line since. (Sezincote was the Poet Laureate John Betjeman’s favorite country house.)
Collections This field lists art objects that are currently or were previously in the collection of the house.

For information on the history of British currency, click here.  To use a chart that allows you to compare the purchasing power of money In Great Britain from 1264 to any other year, including the present, click here.  To use a currency conversion to see the current value of the British pound, click here.

Gardens & Park
Garden, Park, Follies and Outbuildings
The House sits in a 4,500-acre estate. The gardens are traditionally English in their layout, though they are punctuated by Mogul-inspired fountains and follies, peppered with cast iron Brahman bulls and fibreglass elephants. At the top of the North Garden is the Temple Pool, presided over by the Hindu goddess Souriya, who occupies a stepped pyramid-roofed shrine. From Souriya’s shrine a small stream flows under the Indian Bridge to the Serpent Fountain. Humphry Repton was consulted about the landscaping and became so enthusiastic about the Indian style of architecture that he convinced the Prince of Wales to visit Sezincote in 1807. The Prince was enchanted by what he saw; it was from this visit that the idea of remodeling the Royal Pavilion in the Indian style sprang.
Chapel & Church
In the nearby village of Longborough the parish church of St. James’ contains the Sezincote Chapel, with memorials to the Cockerell and Rushton families.

Location for Movies / TV
"Anna Karenina" (1977 - BBC TV mini series).

Author   Colvin, Howard
Year Published   1995
Reference   pgs. 261, 264

Author   NA
Year Published   NA

Author   Mowl, Timothy
Year Published   2000
Reference   pgs. 37-38

Author   Morris, Jan
Year Published   1993
Reference   pgs. vii, viii

Author   Kingsley, Nicholas
Year Published   1992
Reference   pgs. 225-228

There are no documents associated with this house.

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