Thursday, 21 May 2020

Dodington Park


The Codringtons have been of ancient standing at Codrington (whence the surname), Gloucestershire, having been established there since the reign of HENRY IV; and we find one of them, John Codrington, filling the honourable post of standard-bearer to HENRY V during his French wars.

In the time of CHARLES I, a younger son,

CHRISTOPHER CODRINGTON, emigrated, with his entire property, to Barbados, and dying there, left two sons,
JOHN, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

JOHN CODRINGTON, Treasurer of Barbados, Colonel of the Lifeguards there, married Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel William Bates, of Barbados, and had two sons, the elder of whom,

WILLIAM CODRINGTON, of Dodington, Gloucestershire, was created a baronet in 1721, designated of Dodington, Gloucestershire.

Sir William espoused, in 1718, Elizabeth, daughter of William Bethell, of Swindon, Yorkshire, and had, with other issue,
WILLIAM, 2nd Baronet;
John Archibald;
EDWARD, of whom we treat;
Caroline; Bridget.
Sir William's fourth son,

EDWARD CODRINGTON (1732-75), married, in 1759, Rebecca le Sturgeon, and had issue,
William John;
Edward (Admiral Sir) GCB;
The eldest son,

CHRISTOPHER BETHELL-CODRINGTON (1764-1843), of Dodington Park, Gloucestershire, MP for Tewkesbury, 1797-1812, who assumed the additional name of 'Bethell', wedded, in 1796, Caroline Georgina Harriet, daughter of Thomas, 2nd Baron Foley, by whom he had issue,
Charlotte Octavia; Emma; Caroline Anna Maria; Georgina Elizabeth.
Sir William Codrington, 3rd Baronet, was completely disinherited by his father, who bequeathed his extensive estates to his nephew, Christopher Bethell-Codrington.

Mr Bethell-Codrington was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM CODRINGTON (1805-64), of Dodington Park, MP for East Gloucestershire, 1834-64, who espoused, in 1836, the Lady Georgiana Charlotte Anne Somerset, daughter of Henry, 7th Duke of Beaufort, and had issue,
George John Granville Christopher;
Alice Emily Georgiana Olivia.
Mr Codrington was succeeded by his eldest son,

GERALD WILLIAM HENRY CODRINGTON JP (1850-1929), of Dodington Park, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1880, who married, in 1887, the Lady Edith Henrietta Sybil Denison, daughter of William, 1st Earl of Londesborough, and had issue,
Edith Georgiana Veronica; Cecilia Grace Adelaide Sybil.
Mr Codrington was created a baronet, in 1876, designated of Dodington, Gloucestershire.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM GERALD HENRY CODRINGTON, 2nd Baronet (1894-1979), of Dodington Park, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1938, who wedded firstly, in 1921, Joan Mary, daughter of Thomas Reginald Hague-Cook, and had issue, an only child,
Sir Christopher espoused secondly, in 1963, Henrietta Desirée Moutray, daughter of Major Beresford Moutray Read.

He was succeeded by his only son,

SIR SIMON FRANCIS BETHELL CODRINGTON, 3rd Baronet (1923-2005), of Dodington Park, who married firstly, in 1947, Joanna, daughter of John William Molineaux; secondly, in 1959, Pamela Joy Halliday, daughter of Major George Walter Bentely Wise, by whom he had issue,
Hugo John.
Sir Simon was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR CHRISTOPHER GEORGE WAYNE CODRINGTON, 4th and present Baronet (1960-), who married, in 1991, Noelle Lynn, daughter of Dale Wilford Leverson, and has issue,
Alexander (1993-2010);

DODINGTON PARK, Gloucestershire, is the principal home of the pre-eminent inventor and designer, Sir James Dyson, OM, CBE, and his family.

Ever since I saw him promoting his inventions on the BBC's Tomorrow's World I've been a great admirer of Sir James's achievements.

Sir Christopher Frayling, a former Rector of the Royal College of Art (RCA), once remarked that
"James wears stylish, elegant clothes: very natty shirts and carefully put together informal outfits. He doesn't like ties in the office. James is passionate about design and engineering and really comes alive when he's talking about them." 
"When he was a student he used to creep out to lectures at Imperial College where they studied engineering. Design wasn't enough; he wanted to know how things work. He's an extremely rare figure on the British scene in that he likes to control all aspects of the production." 
"He is the heir to the Victorian iron-masters who both designed and manufactured - the time of Brunel when Britain was the workshop of the world. But there is now a lot of snobbery in the design world when people get into mass manufacturing." 
"Britain doesn't celebrate him as it should. We were in the senior common room at the RCA and I looked down at the carpet and said, 'James, it would be terrific if we could get a vacuum cleaner.'  
"The next day this surreal thing arrived: pieces of six machines in cut-away slices displayed on a board in a see-through case. About three months later in a speech I made a joke about it, saying that we still haven't got a vacuum cleaner." 
"James was in the audience and the next day he sent one round. But the surrealistic jigsaw is still on display in the common room."
Sir James was born in Norfolk and went to Gresham's School, where his father, Alec, taught classics.

He believes that a great deal of his motivation can be attributed to the sudden death of his father from cancer when he was nine years old:
"The fact that he taught at the school and then he wasn't there any more rubbed it in more. So I felt different and substandard and I knew I would have to fight and I became very competitive."
One of Sir James's first commissions was for Sir Terence Conran's Design Group.

Sir Terence remarked that,
"He has a determination which I think is demonstrated by his success around the world. He is incredibly single-minded but understands equally there needs to be a quality of life." 
"He's not just a workaholic but a very well-rounded person. He goes to a holiday home in France and is very interested in gardening. He's refurbishing the stately home, has a cricket team and likes his Burgundy."
Sir James receiving the Order of Merit from HM The Queen in 2016

MUCH has already been written about Dodington Park by academics and scholars, so I shall condense a few of the more salient details.

There was a previous house on the site of the present Georgian mansion, which dated from the middle to late 16th century.

Sir Robert Atkyns remarked at the time that Sir William Codrington 'hath a large house near the Church, and very large and beautiful gardens, and a great Estate in this Parish.'

Dodington Park today comprises almost 800 acres on the west-facing slopes of the southern Cotswolds, about 2½ miles east of Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire.

The village of Dodington stands immediately outside the west entrance, 300 yards north-west of Dodington Park House, which was designed and built between 1796 and 1816 by James Wyatt.

Work on the exquisite interiors, however, was not completed until the 1820s.

This is a Roman Classical country house, constructed of Bath stone ashlar with a slate roof.

The main entrance front, with its massive portico, faces west, overlooking a forecourt with a late 20th century topiary layout.

The eastern elevation boasts two full-height bow windows at either end.

The south front, facing the main approach, is a plain seven-bay composition defined by Corinthian pilasters.

From the north-west corner of the house a curving conservatory connects to St Mary's church, completely rebuilt by Wyatt.

The large kitchen wing was demolished in 1932.

At the time of its sale in 2003 the mansion was described as being 52,000 square feet in size.

The estate was still owned by the Codringtons until the early 1980s.

In 2003 it was purchased by Sir James Dyson.

Principal sources ~ Parks & Gardens and the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

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