The Grange Park Opera – Northington, England

The Grange was originally built as a large Jacobean style country house between 1665 and 1673 by architect William Samuel for its owner, Sir Robert Henley.

In 1809 the structure was completely transformed into the more trendy neoclassical style in order to resemble an ancient Greek temple, by architect William Wilkins.

The estate was sold in 1817 and gradually succumbed to neglect and structural dilapidation.

Facing the threat of demolition, the doors, paneling, flooring and important architectural elements were removed and sold, while the entire structure was completely gutted from ceiling to foundation.

Guardianship of the house was turned over to English Heritage in 1975.

In 2001, an English opera company set about to reinvent the house into a summer setting for operas (a popular trend in Great Britain).

Now thriving in its new role as an opera house, The Grange is seeking to restore original elements to the structure.

Years prior, an original grand staircase from the house was sold at auction and stored away by an architectural historian in hopes that it would one day return to its original home at The Grange.

Ready to be reinstalled into The Grange, the staircase restoration and installation project launched a massive media campaign in order to fund this historic endeavor.

In 2009, with the help of the Arthur and Holly Magill Foundation, American Friends of British Art made a donation of $4,090.00 USD toward the restoration and re-installation of the grand staircase.

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