Situated on Gaggle Brook, Bignell was formerly a separate hamlet and records date to the Doomsday book when it was included as one of Kirtlingston's four estates. The origins of Bignell House are recorded as dating to hte 1860's and it was built for two sisters Frances and Agatha Tyrwhitt-Drake. Substantially larger than the current property it was designed by the architect William Wilkinson, who also designed the Randolph Hotel and St. Edwards School in Oxford. Having been sold in 1884 to Charles Twysdon Hoare, a nursery wing was added 1892 (marked on a stone lintel above rear terrace door) and this is the only part of the property which remains today. In 1911 Violet Hoare married Admiral Ruck-Keene. In 1935 both Squire Hoare and Admiral Ruck-Keene died within a couple of months of each other and Bignell House, including 3 tennis courts, cricket ground, 1454 acres of land and 4 farms was sold to Douglas Pain. Having lost her husband in 1951, Mrs Pain continued to live at Bignell House and it was in 1953/4 that the major, original part of the house, including the conservatory, was demolished leaving only the nursery wing, and the servant's hall was converted to a separate house. In 1959 Mrs Pain sold to Thomas Gregory with 16 acres and she moved to Bignell Garden House retaining the land and cottages in the village. The stables and laundry room were converted into houses in the 1960s and it was in 1979 when the current owners purchased Bignell House.
(Source Bignell House A Social History, 2011)
Set in about 20 acres of parkland, Bignell House is constructed of stone below a part slate roof, part flat roof and a copper dome. The property retains many late Victorian original features and, indeed even in the parkland grounds, it exudes the illustrious grandeur of the past.
An entrance hall leads to the principal reception rooms all of palatial proportions. The morning room with decorative ceiling cornice and wooden floors has impressive solid double oak doors leading into both the dining room and drawing room. With views overlooking the south facing gardens, the drawing room has intricate decorative ceiling mouldings, carved oak panelling and an open stone fireplace. The dining room has stone pillars and archway and a large working wood burner set in a stone fireplace. A study is accessed from the dining room. The kitchen has a more contemporary feel with built in work units, granite work surfaces, Aga and other integrated appliances. There is a utility/laundry room and from here access in to the garages. The housekeeper's room with en suite shower room could be used as a play room or den. The octagon' room is used as a second dining area. A ground floor guest room with bedroom/sitting area and bathroom leads down to a lower ground floor music/TV room ideal for entertaining or alternatively for older teenage children wanting space.
On the first floor the principal bedroom, situated over the drawing room, has the same proportions and brightness. With wall to wall fitted wardrobes there is also an en suite bathroom. Two further bedrooms on the first floor share a bathroom and there is another smaller room which offers scope for use as a smaller bedroom, dressing room or conversion to another bathroom.
Gardens & Grounds
Bignell House is approached up a long gravel drive to ample parking. A double garage and work shop are attached to the property.
The landscaped grounds are breathtaking with many different areas and themes to enjoy. Formal terraces with balustrades and steps lead to lawns; Sunken gardens with ornamental pond, statues and lilies; there are two tennis courts, one lawn and one hard court each with ornate stone seats. Fine, mature trees in the grounds include oak, cedar of Lebanon, willow, copper beech, silver birch and Scots pine. The Gaggle Brook feeds the lakes, and with islands, there are bridges and a late Victorian rock pool with stone arches. There is a separate orchard with apple, plum, pear and cherry trees and to the north, with access off the main drive, is a paddock with timber field shelter.
Mains water, electricity and drainage are connected to the property. Oil fired central heating. Security alarm.View payable Stamp Duty for this property