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Men who made their mark on an historic hall

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: May 17, 2012

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HYLANDS, built for lawyer, Sir John Comyns in 1730, is an elegant two-storey red brick building in Queen Anne style.

Cornelius Kortright a Danish West Indies sugar merchant took it from 1797 to 1814, and hired Humphry Repton, the architect and landscape giant of the age, to redesign it in Palladian style.

Pierre Caesar Labouchère, a Dutch merchant banker, took over in 1814.

After Labouchère's death in 1839 his son Henri sold Hylands House to Mr John Attwood, a former Birmingham ironworks owner and MP for Harwich.

He ran up huge debts, forcing the sale in 1858.

New owner, Arthur Pryor, chairman of Truman, Hanbury and Buxton Brewery, ordered "exuberant" decoration.

He was great grandfather of former 1980s cabinet minister Lord Jim Pryor and rebuilt Widford Church which was then on the estate.

In 1905 Sir Daniel Gooch rented then bought the property, putting in electricity and telephones.

John Hanbury bought it in 1922 but he died within a year and wife Christine remained owner until her death in 1962.

With lottery funding, charges for the V Festival and visitors to the house, £7 million has been spent on revitalising the parkland which is open free all year free and the house which charges around £4 per visitor.

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