Trip: Jewels in the Crown: Sezincote & Chipping Campden

Date(s) - 21st Sep 2021

Sezincote Estate


Charles Cockerell, who served with the East India Company in Bengal,  inherited the Sezincote estate from his brother John in 1798. Charles, later Sir Charles, employed his own brother, Samuel Pepys Cockerell, as an architect to construct a new house and garden at Sezincote, using as a blueprint the elaborate oriental palaces of Rajasthan.

Cockerell had already been employed creating the nearby estate of Daylesford, but here he was encouraged to create an extravagant house in the Mogul style, with a central dome and minaret, set off in a formal arrangement of a curving orangery and canal garden. Sezincote was used by architect John Nash as a model for the Brighton Pavilion after a visit to the newly completed house by the Prince of Wales in 1807. It is thought that Sezincote is the only mogul building surviving in Western Europe.

Friends of the Wilson will enjoy a private tour of the house, with time to wander through the no less impressive gardens – which include the canals and Irish yews of the South Garden, evocative of Moghul paradise gardens, a curving conservatory, and little pavilion also in Indian style, and all the exceptionally fine planting of the water garden, where many rare plants can be seen.

Please be advised that the garden contains the normal hazards you would expect of a ravine garden with a stream and pools. There are steep banks that become slippery when wet, unfenced pool sides, stepping stones, and uneven stone slab bridges over the stream. Please exercise caution, especially in wet weather. 

Toilets are available. It is unlikely that refreshments will be available on site.  Please feel free to bring your own drinks.

A short onward journey takes us to Chipping Campden. Frequently described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of
the Cotswold towns, this is also one of the best-preserved and most historically significant towns in the area due to its association with wool and wealth. The town is also important to the history of the Arts & Craft Movement as many artists and designers took up residence around 1900.

After free time in the town for lunch and exploration, we will split into two groups to visit Court Barn Museum
for a talk and to view their current exhibition, Pioneers: 101 Years of the Leach Pottery. Court Barn Museum
celebrates the Arts and Crafts movement and is home to the archive of C.R. Ashbee’s Guild of Handicraft.

We are very fortunate to have Mary Greensted to accompany us on this trip. She is a trustee of the Guild of Handicraft Trust and has been working on the archives at Court Barn as part of the museum’s HLF-funded Refresh project.

The museum has toilets and a spacious shop selling books, cards and work by local craftsmen. No cafe, but there are many good eating-places nearby.

We will depart Chipping Campden at about 4.30.

Group Leaders: Martha Alleguen & Adrian Barlow


Pick-up points: Evesham Road (Pump Room bus stop) 09:10, Royal Well Coach Station 09:20, Six Ways (by St Edwards School) 09:30.

If you have any questions please phone Martha on 01242 526601.

Please book using one of the following options:

  • On-line bookings with a debit or credit card can be made using the form below. Alternatively you may reserve your place, select the ‘off-line’ payment option and pay by bank transfer or cheque.
  • Bank transfer – please email and wait for confirmation that places are available before arranging your bank transfer.
  • Cheque – please complete a booking form (download here or available in the Friends’ newsletter) and post it with your cheque.

Places are not confirmed until payment is received.

Bank transfers should be made to Friends of The Wilson (or as much of that as the bank will accept) Sort Code 30-91-87 Account 00005816. The reference must include your surname plus as much of the event title as will fit, for example SMITH Sezincote.

Please make cheques payable to Friends of The Wilson and send with a SAE or clearly written email address to Martha Alleguin,7 Sydenham Road South, Cheltenham GL52 6EF.

Bookings open 7th May.


Bookings are now closed for this event.