John Rolle, Baron Rolle of Stevenstone

Country house

Bicton House

Bicton (Devon)

Built 30th Nov -0001 | Occupied 1st Jan 1800 - ????


'John Rolle (d 1730) demolished the C16 manor house and began to construct the present mansion on a new site, but this remained incomplete at his death and was not finally completed until c 1800. Formal gardens were developed c 1735 by John Rolle's son, Henry (d 1759), who was created Baron Rolle in 1748. Henry Rolle's brother, Dennis (d 1797) made extensive plantations at Bicton in the mid C18, including 101,394 Scots pines, for which he received a gold medal from the Society of Arts in 1761 (Jacques 1983). John, second Baron Rolle inherited Bicton in 1797, and employed James Wyatt to complete the house (Cherry and Pevsner 1989), and expanded the park, making improvements with the advice of John Webb (1754-1828) and William Sawrey Gilpin (1762-1843). In the 1830s Robert Glendinning (1805-62) was head gardener at Bicton, and was advised on the development of the grounds by James Veitch of Exeter and J C Loudon (Elliott 1986). Glendinning was succeeded in 1839 by James Barnes (1806-77), who remained in office until 1868. Under the supervision of these men, Bicton was recognised as one of the most important gardens in the country, and was praised by Loudon in 1842 (Gardener's Mag). Lord John Rolle's second wife was Louisa Trefusis (d 1885), daughter of the seventeenth Baron Clinton, and after Lord John's death in 1842 Bicton passed to her nephew, the Hon Mark Trefusis, who in 1852 assumed the name of Rolle. The dowager Lady Rolle continued to make improvements to Bicton in the mid C19. On the death of the Hon Mark Rolle in 1907, Bicton passed to his nephew, Charles, twenty-first Baron Clinton (d 1957), for whom the mansion was remodelled in 1908-9.'

No notes

Further Information

James Wyatt