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Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

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Halswell House, Somerset

RICHARDS, John Inigo (1731 - 1810)

[image: Halswell House, Somerset]

Date: 1764

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 74.3 x 118.1 cm

Acquired: 1929; Gift; T.J. Coggins

Accession Number: NMW A 510

Collection: Historic Paintings

Richards was a founder member of the Royal Academy and exhibited there regularly. He was principal scene painter at Covent Garden between 1777-1803 and executed several views of country houses. Halswell House was built for Sir Halswell Tynte in 1689. This view of the house and its park includes a round Palladian temple known as the Rotunda, and a horse-drawn garden roller. At the end of the eighteenth century a visitor noted how the park commanded a fine view of '...The Channel... the Steepholm rising in the midst of it very boldly, and beyond these mountains of Wales rise one behind the other.' In 1740 Halswell House was inherited by Charles Kemeys-Tynte of Cefnmably, Glamorgan.

3 comments

Kim Legate on 26 November 2014, 18:57

I would like to query how you arrived at the date (1764) for the John Inigo Richards painting of Halswell. Documentary evidence carried out prior to the recent restoration of the Rotunda indicates that it was not built until 1768. Inigo Richards was working at the nearby estate of Hestercombe the same year for his friend, Coplestone Warre Bampfylde (1720-1791).

I look forward to your reply.

Stephanie Roberts (Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales staff) on 16 October 2014, 16:14

Thank you for your comment. We have now amended the information.

Tess Hampton on 5 October 2014, 21:25

The label in the museum states that the building on the left is the "Temple of Harmony", which it is not; that has been restored and is now managed by the Halswell Park Trust. Neither is it to do with Robin Hood - that is a building up the hill behind the house, now managed by the Landmark Trust. This building is the Rotunda, now surrounded by trees and in great disrepair, but restoration just starting. It is still belongs to the main house, which was bought by a private buyer last year after the previous owner went bust. More info here: http://www.quantockonline.co.uk/quantocks/villages/goathurst/goathurst1.html

I live nearby! And much enjoyed my visit to your museum last Sunday.

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