Thursday, 20 February 2014

DUNCHURCH WARWICKSHIRE

I seem to have started 2014 with an interesting tour of former country mansions.  First Oakley Court near Windsor, The Grove near Watford. Last week it was Dunchurch Park near Rugby.

The estate of Dunchurch, which is a short walk from the village centre and the church was owned by Oxford Union Canal Navigation Company who build the original red brick mansion, the entrance to which is today often draped with wedding parties along the length of its drive way and gardens.



Throughout 19th and 20th century it has been a farmer’s house, a school for the sons of gentlemen and rebuilt in 1908 with extensive remodelling of the gardens. Forty years later Dunchurch Park was purchased by The English Electric Company (later known as GEC Marconi). The company turned into a training college for apprentices. I lodged in what must have then been the accommodation block, paper-thin walls and a tepid shower.

A simply lovely main staircase in rich wood carvings



Dunchurch Park Hotel is heavily promoted as a wedding venue; and with some justification, the setting is quite special. However not everybody’s wedding went off smoothly as reported in the Daily Mail article Are these Britain's worst wedding pictures?