Lecture: The Geology of Decorative and Building Stones at Kingston Lacy - the William Bankes Palladian Mansion and Park, near Wimborne, Dorset

Speaker: Peter Bath, Dorset Geologists' Association Group

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £5.00

Date and Time

19:30 -


Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Lecture Description

Kingston Lacy Hall is a major, but little known, competitor to Chatsworth for decorative polished stone; notably for foreign stones of Grand Tour Provenance. Two dozen notable rocks from the African Precambrian basement, Mesozoic Sediments and many resulting from the Alpine and Apennine Orogenies have been used extensively. They will be named, described and their provenance explored.

Originally brick built, Kingston Lacy Hall was clad in Chilmark stone by William Bankes in the 1830s while he had the interior re-modelled and decorated in the style of a Venetian Palazzo over another fifteen years. Following extensive Grand Tour travels, during his archaeology in Egypt and later exile in Venice, Bankes acquired from traders and masons both rare and fascinating stone as cladding, historical artefacts and sculptures, which he latterly ‘overlooked’ being loaded and shipped back to Kingston, for finishing and fitting by his steward Seymour. (A visit would not disappoint but beware some National Trust descriptions and early C19th petrology!)

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