History

Taplow House as it currently stands was built in 1751 and altered in 1800 and again around 1840. Although earlier records are vague, whatever preceded the existing building was completely burnt down in about 1660. The cellars still bear scorch marks from that fire.

The house appears to have been first mentioned in 1598 and records show that is was given to Hampson by James I. In 1749, Byrom wrote to his wife: “I passed an evening with Mr Vigor, who has left London, and taken or bought a house near Maidenhead.” This was Taplow House, in Berry Hill, built in the 1740s after the original manor was burned down in 1660. It was a substantial property with stables, garden, orchards, and several acres of arable land and meadow. Many well-known Quakers had settled in that area of Buckinghamshire, near Jordans, one of the oldest established Quaker Meeting Houses, where William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, and other early Quakers are buried.

Vigor was a great friend of the Penns and is named as an executor in the will of Penn’s grandson, Richard. The Vigors lived in Taplow for the rest of their married life and, after William died in 1767, Jane stayed on until 1774 when she let the house to William Mowbray, and moved to Windsor.

       Pascoe Grenfell
In 1794 a famous and very wealthy family called the Grenfell’s purchased the house. Mr Grenfell was the MP for Great Marlow and Penrhryn in 1794. Sadly Mr Grenfell died in 1838 and the house was sold to the Marquees of Thormond.

Two years later many enlargements and alterations were carried out by George Basevi, an architect of some repute. The Doric columns in the entrance hall were probably erected by Basevi, who was also possibly responsible for the staircase with its elaborate chiselled brass balusters and exquisite wrought ironwork.
In 1875 Taplow House was again on the market, and the estate agents sale by auction booklet mentions some interesting features. Not least is the beautifully marbled and tessellated floor in the outer and inner halls, as well as the superb fireplace, which, with marble hearth and carved wood mantel, dominated (and still does) the Louis XVI –style drawing room.

The 1875 auction details show many small outhouses and interior rooms, which are sadly, no longer in evidence. There was a thatched outer larder, for example, as well as a conical icehouse and a butler’s room complete with fireproof strongbox.
       William O'Brien
      George Basevi
However, no history of the house would be complete without mention of the grounds, which are famous for a number of reasons. It was during the reign of the Grenfell’s that the garden was created by their gardener, Springall. He lived in a thatched cottage on the roadside which can still be seen there today. Although he was not responsible for the numbers of enormously interesting trees in the grounds, he was nevertheless the proud creator of the basic layout, which remains virtually unchanged today.

The real feature of Taplow House grounds are the Tulip Trees, they are thought to be the tallest and fattest in Europe. Moving on to the end of the century, the then resident, Mr J Fryer, commissioned a well-known landscape gardener to prepare a scheme for the grounds.

Some historical figures reputed to have visited Taplow House include Queen Elizabeth I and Oscar Wilde.

Taplow House Hotel in Buckinghamshire remains a beautifully maintained country house which has undergone a great deal of sympathetic restoration by its present owner.

Rooms from

GBP
115
.

A touch of period charm...