ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSES: At home with India Hicks in her mother’s home The Grove near Brightwell Baldwin in England, and a look back at their former home, Britwell House, decorated by India’s father, the famous designer David Nightingale Hicks…
We have several posts relating to India Hicks and her family:
- Family background: From Queen Victoria to India Hicks, via the Battenberg/Mountbatten family tree
- India Hicks: Inspiration and jewellery, bedding and homewares collection
- At home with India Hicks and David Flint Wood in the Bahamas
Britwell House, in Britwell Salome, is now a wedding venue
Built around 1728, David and Pamela Hicks bought the Georgian property (with 20th century additions) shortly after their wedding in 1960. Read more about the structure via this British Listed Buildings record.
The house and its contents were sold in 1979 when his business declined and taxes and maintenance became too costly.
The Grove, circled left, and Britwell house, circled right, in Oxfordshire
THE GROVE AND THE ALBANY
After the auction of Britwell House, the Hicks family moved to The Grove, a smaller house on the estate, in the valley below Britwell.
They also lived in a set of rooms at the Albany, the early-19th-century apartment building in Piccadilly, London which has housed many famous names over the years including Lord Byron, Aldous Huxley, Harold Nicolson, J.B. Priestley and William Henry Fox Talbot.
The Albany, London
David Hicks spent the last 18 years of his life working on the house and garden at The Grove, which remains the Hicks family home today. He died of lung cancer in 1998 (read an obituary here), but went out in style: He designed his own coffin, in which he ‘lay in state’, according to his precise instructions, in the ground-floor room of the Gothick pavilion, also of his own design.
Inspired by the Anglo-French gardens of the early 18th century, he created avenues and vistas of various sizes, forming an intricate sequence of green ‘rooms’, using a combination of rigid formality and lush romanticism.
See it via Google maps here.
Lady Pamela Hicks continues to live at The Grove, and whilst not open to the public, small private groups are occasionally allowed to visit. More information here.
The family also have a house called Savannah on the tiny adjoining island of Windermere (next to Eleuthera), in the Bahamas. Read India Hicks’ own account of the rebuilding work which was done following a hurricane there. The property is now available for rent to private parties via India and David Flint Wood’s website. And you can take a look at India’s own Bahamas home and other guest properties via this Luscious blog post.
Learn more about David Hicks, his life and work, in David Hicks: A Life of Design by Ashley Hicks
The following photos are apparently from The Grove, but I suspect there might be some from Britwell House mixed in there too.
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