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Mulgrave Estate

Lythe Church

About Mulgrave Estate

The Mulgrave Estate came into the Phipps family in the early part of the 18th Century, from lands belonging to John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham. The first house there was constructed by his Duchess, Lady Katherine Darnley, the illegitimate daughter of James II.  She left the Estate to her daughter by her first husband, The Earl of Anglesey: Catherine Annesley, who married William Phipps. We have no pictures of this building, except for some tiny images on early 18th Century maps. These show a rectangular three-storey house with a single, lower, two storey extension to the left (looking from the sea).   

In the late 1780s, Constantine John Phipps, 2nd Baron Mulgrave, engaged Sir John Soane, the architect, to remodel and enlarge the mansion. Soane built two new wings and completely reconstructed the interior of the original house, to produce a handsome pedimented Georgian residence in 1786-7. The middle part of the present-day building, with somewhat smaller windows, is what remains of the original house.  Though Soaneā€™s drawing names it Mulgrave Hall, it had been re-named Mulgrave Castle before 1792. Accordingly, the architect William Atkinson added battlements to the roof in 1804-5. By the 1840s the baronial front hall and towers that we see today had gone up, in response to the Gothicizing enthusiasms of the time.