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Home > New Search > Deepdene (The Deepdene)

Deepdene (The Deepdene)  England 
Dorking, Surrey, England

Circa Date: 1836-40 around earlier core

Status: Destroyed
Details: Demolished 1969

Special Info / Location/ Date

Special Info
Phonetic Pronunciation of House Name

District Today
 Historic County
 City / Town / Village

Start Date
Completion Date
Circa Date
1836-40 around earlier core

The East Façade from Neale's Views of Seats, 1826

Click on thumbnail for a larger view

The East Façade from Neale's Views of Seats, 1826
The House from a 19th century engraving
The Great Hall from an 1842 steel engraving on India paper with hand coloring from Brayley's History of Surrey
A circa 1860-80 photograph of the Entrance Façade of the House

Designed   Added South Wing, containing orangeries, conservatories, and sculpture galleries.
Date   1823

Designed   Rebuilt House in Palladian style for Charles Howard, later 10th Duke of Norfolk.
Date   1769-75

Designed   Remodeled House for Thomas Hope
Date   1818-19

Extant / Listed / References

Extant Type
Extant Details
Demolished 1969

House Listed As 
Gardens Listed As  
Country House:  Yes

Vitruvius Britannicus
Vitruvius Scoticus
J.B. Burke (Burke's Visitation of Seats)
2.S. Vol. I, p. 218, 1854.
Country Life
J.P. Neale (Neale's Views of Seats)
2.S. Vol. III, 1826.
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

Current Ownership
Current Ownership Type
Primary Current Ownership Use
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
A Past Seat(s) of
Charles Howard, later 10th Duke of Norfolk, Duke of Norfolk, also Baron Beaumont, Fitzalan Howard family. Sir Charles Merrick Burrell, early 19th century. Thomas Hope, early 19th century, Hope family. Lord Francis Hope-Pelham-Clinton, later 8th Duke of Newcastle, 19th-20th centuries. Lord William Beresford, early 20th century. Almeric Paget, 1911-1914. Madame Coletta, 1918-39.
Possible (Unsure) Seat of
History / Gardens & Park / Movies

Earlier House(s) / Building(s)
House Replaced By
Built / Designed For
House & Family History
The Deepdene was originally part of the Knepp Estate, a property of the Howard family. Charles Howard, later 10th Duke of Norfolk, rebuilt the house in the Palladian style between 1769 and 1775. The House's appearance during this time can be seen in a painting today in the collection of the Marylebone Cricket Club. In 1802, upon his mother's death, Sir Charles Burrell inherited the Knepp Estate. In 1807 Sir Charles was permitted, by an Act of Parliament, to sell the Deepdene (then an entailed part of the Knepp Estate) to Sir Thomas Hope. Hope was a millionaire collector and major trendsetter of style in the early 19th century. He was born in Amsterdam in 1769, the son of a wealthy banking family that had emigrated from Scotland to Holland at the end of the 17th century. By the late 18th century their bank, Hope & Company, was a major influence in the national affairs of Holland and a power throughout Europe (the family fled Holland in 1795, just ahead of Napoleon’s forces, and settled in London). In 1802 Hope & Company, through its London office, helped finance the Louisiana Purchase, despite the fact that Britain was at war with France. Technically, the United States did not purchase Louisiana from Napoleon, but from Hope & Company and Barings Bank. Payment was made in US bonds, which Napoleon sold to Barings at a discount of 87 1/2 per $100. As a result, Napoleon received only $8,831,250 in cash. Alexander Baring, working for Hope & Company, met in Paris with the French Director of the Public Treasury, François Barbé-Marbois, then traveled to the United States to pick up the bonds and deliver them to France. Thomas Hope spent an amazingly long time (1787-95) on the Grand Tour, during which he was almost certainly inspired in his concept of design, particularly his idea of synthesizing many styles into a coherent whole. In 1799 Hope acquired his famous house on Duchess Street in London; the house was built in the 1760s to the designs of Robert Adam as part of the Portland Place development and featured the French style of a courtyard in the front with a garden in the back. Sir John Soane was a known admirer of Hope’s Duchess Street house; Soane’s Lincoln Inn’s Field house (now Sir John Soane’s Museum) is today the closest remnant we have of what Hope’s house was once like (the Duchess Street house was demolished in the 1850s and most of its famous contents moved to The Deepdene). The Duchess Street house had an impressive Picture Gallery that sported four Greek Doric columns, possibly the first use ever of such columns in a domestic British interior. Hope wrote the book "Household Furniture and Interior Decoration" in 1807 and thus coined the phrase interior decoration (in 1809 he authored another influential book entitled "Costume of the Ancients"). He was one of the most ardent proponents for the Greek Revival style in its "original" severe form. Such was Hope's influence, that he successfully maneuvered to get Wyatt's designs for Downing College Cambridge thrown out and replaced by the more "correct" Greek designs of William Wilkins. Hope employed William Atkinson to remodel The Deepdene in 1818; Atkinson was back again in 1823 to add a large South Wing to the House. Thomas Hope died on Feb 2, 1831 at the age of sixty-one. In the 1840s The Deepdene was further remodeled and enlarged in the Italianate style by Hope's son, Henry Thomas Hope, who added an 11-bay front with twin towers, in addition to a 2-story Entrance Hall. Disraeli wrote part of "Coningsby" at Deepdene. On the death of Henry Thomas Hope’s wife, Anne, in 1862, the Deepdene Estate was left to her grandson, Lord Francis Hope-Pelham-Clinton, later 8th Duke of Newcastle. Lord Francis was hopeless at managing his finances and was declared bankrupt in 1894. Subsequently, The Deepdene was leased to Lord William Beresford (the 3rd son of the Marquess of Waterford). From 1911 until 1914 the House was let to Almeric Paget. In 1917 the majority of the Hope Collection at The Deepdene was sold (see more about this in the “Collections” section). In 1920 the House and 50 acres were sold; in 1921 a further 2,200 acres were sold. In the Interwar years the House was operated as a hotel by Madame Coletta, who owned The Deepdene from 1918 until 1939. The Southern Railway Company purchased the House in 1939; the Southern was later nationalized and became a part of BritRail, which occupied the House until 1967, when it was sold to Federated Homes Ltd., a development company. In 1969 the House was demolished -- an office block now stands in its place.
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.
In 1917 the majority of the Hope Collection at Deepdene was sold, with most of Thomas Hope's furniture being purchased by Edward Knoblock, who displayed the furniture at the Beach House in Worthing, where it was a significant spark in the revival of the Regency style. Today the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Royal Pavilion in Brighton contain significant collections of furniture designed by Thomas Hope. The famous Hope Athena, an oversized 1st century AD Roman marble statue of the goddess after a late 5th century BC Greek original was excavated in Rome in 1797 and purchased by Thomas Hope with the idea that it was captured the spirit of the original gold and ivory statue of Athena made for the Parthenon by Pheidias. William Randolph Hearst purchased the statue, from whence it came into the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where it remains today. Henry Philip Hope (died 1839), Thomas's younger brother, was a collector of fine art and gems, and acquired the large blue diamond that was soon to carry his family's name. The Hope Diamond, at 45.52 carats, is the world's largest deep blue diamond and is more than a billion years old. It is today in the collection of The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
In the 19th century the garden designer John Claudius Loudon described Deepdene as "…a group [of buildings] so rich in classic forms and combinations that no one can duly appreciate its beauties whose mind is not thoroughly imbued with Italy and the fine arts. It is in short, an example of what the Germans would call the ecstatic in architecture." David Watkin has called Hope's Deepdene "…the most startling Picturesque country house in England."

Gardens & Park
Garden, Park, Follies and Outbuildings
The grounds of The Deepdene were famous in the 17th century. Contemporary references are made to Charles Howard's amphitheater garden, together with grottoes and a subterranean passage. Aubrey and John Evelyn both made visits and praised what they found. During the time of Thomas Hope the grounds were particularly noted for the Theatre of the Arts, which contained a collection of antique marble sculpture. The Hope Mausoleum, the only remaining building on the grounds of The Deepdene, was built and consecrated in 1818 for the burial of Hope’s young son, Charles, who died in 1818; Thomas hope was buried there in 1831, followed by other members of his family. In 1941 the 6th Duke of Newcastle was laid to rest there, the last interment in the Mausoleum. In 1954 the Mausoleum was permanently sealed with concrete and buried with earth up to the level of the roof. The 7th Duke of Newcastle left the Mausoleum and the surrounding land to the town of Dorking in 1960 to be used as a public open space. Sited in a picturesque dell, the large archaic Greek style mausoleum is Thomas Hope’s only extant building; it was neglected for decades, until, in 2003, the idea of excavating and restoring the Mausoleum was proposed by a number of amenity groups, including The Mausolea and Monuments Trust. In 2010 excavation work began, which will be the first stage of restoring the Mausoleum.
Chapel & Church

Location for Movies / TV

Author   Colvin, Howard
Year Published   1995

Author   Harris, John
Year Published   1998

Author   Nairn, Ian; Pevsner; Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (Reviser)
Year Published   1971

Author   Clifton-Mogg, Caroline
Year Published   1991

Author   Worsley, Giles
Year Published   2002
Reference   pgs. 162-165

Author   NA
Year Published   NA
Reference   Oct 25, 2001, pg. 93; Jul 17, 2003, pg. 66

Author   NA
Year Published   NA
Reference   No. 6, Jul 2003, pg. 1; May 2010, pg. 3

Author   Hope, Thomas
Year Published   1971
Reference   pgs. v, vi, viii, x, xiii

Author   Stevens, Matt; Butler, Nola (Editors)
Year Published   2003
Reference   pg. 87

There are no documents associated with this house.

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