Mereworth CastleEdit profile
Mereworth Castle is a grade I listed Palladian country house in Mereworth, Kent, England. Originally the site of a fortified manor licensed in 1332, the present building is not actually a castle, but was built in the 1720s as an almost exact copy of Palladio's Villa Rotunda. . It was designed in 1723 by Colen Campbell who had been commissioned by John Fane, 7th Earl of Westmorland. The interior features plasterwork by Giovanni Bagutti and fresco painting by Francesco Sleter. The house is situated in a landscaped park and valley with a number of surrounding pavilions and lodges which are also Grade I listed. The house passed through descent to Barons Oranmore and Browne whose family seat it became. It was sold in 1930 and used as a prisoner of war camp during World War II. In the 1950s and 1960s it was owned by Michael Lambert Tree, a son of Ronald Tree and an heir to the Marshall Field mercantile fortune, and his wife, the former Lady Anne Cavendish, a daughter of the 10th Duke of Devonshire. The Wateringbury Stream passes through the grounds of the castle. It powered a fulling mill at the eastern end of the castle grounds. Mereworth Castle is owned by Mahdi Al-Tajir, the former United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United Kingdom, who purchased it in 1976 for $1.2 million. It is not generally accessible to the public, but does open on rare occasions for guided tours.