Braxted Park


Braxted Park, is a large country house in the Queen Anne style set in a picturesque landscaped 2,000 acre former deer park. The earliest core of the house was built in 1680 by the Darcy family. In 1745, the estate was purchased by Peter Du Cane, a Member of Parliament for Colchester, a Director of the Bank of England and the East India Company. He reconstructed and enlarged the house to make it more symmetrical and classical in style, assisted by Architects Isaac Ware, Thomas James and Robert Taylor in 1752-59. The distinctive octagonal glazing bars to the windows are a characteristic design of the Architect Robert Taylor. Architect John Johnson added the attractive stable courtyard to the side in 1804-06

 

Braxted Park was acquired by Sir William Boulton, 1st Baronet, in 1919. Then The Plessey Company , a famous British-based international electronics, defence and telecommunications company, and their Chairmen, Sir Allen George Clark purchased Braxted in 1947. His descendants Duncan and his wife Nicky Clark live in the house today and run parts of it as an exclusive wedding venue.

 

The house hadn’t changed much since the mid-20th Century, when it was used partially as laboratories and office spaces for The Plessey Company. As such, the kitchen was very basic, being only used by staff almost like a canteen and not a place where the family could sit comfortably, as the heart of the home. In addition the side service entrance, which was now the everyday entrance, wasn’t very welcoming, as it had been enclosed with staff WC blocks and a plan full of narrow corridors added in the Victorian period. The  service wing and side entrance were therefore studies and reworked sensitively to create more attractive and welcoming rooms, as this was to become a significant part of the house, where the family wanted to spend time. We therefore study the dates of all the wings and elements to the service wing to understand their historical significance. We then removed the WC blocks and exposed some of the earlier Georgian side elevation. We design and added a new main side entrance glass door, picking up on details from Johnsons windows adjacent and an existing fanlight above the door. We also designed a remodelled and enlarged kitchen which could be enjoyed by the family and remodelled the adjacent spaces to create a decently proportioned entrance hall and functional spaces.

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