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Last Tuesday a coffee morning was held for volunteers and staff. Here is a bit more about the morning, written by Ann Thomas, one of our volunteers. 

Coffee mornings at Upton House are a great time to meet up with friends and learn more about the wonderful stories and collection at Upton. After coffee and catching up with friends we haven’t seen in a while, we had a talk given by Stephen Wass on ‘Sanderson Miller’, who was a gentleman architect and landscape designer.

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Volunteers listening to Stephan Wass

Sanderson Miller (1716 – 1780) was born, lived and died at Radway, local to Upton – on the estate bought by his wool merchant father in 1712. Mr Miller, senior, was a former Mayor of Banbury. At the age of eighteen, Sanderson Miller went to further his education at St Mary’s Hall, Oxford, and matriculated from Oriel College in 1734. When at Oxford he built up a network of associates and was particularly friendly with the contingent from Stowe.

Sanderson Miller inherited Radway Grange at the age of twenty-one. A few years later, he started to redesign the Elizabethan house in a Gothic style. He was a pioneer of Gothic revival architecture, and a landscape designer who often added follies or other picturesque garden buildings and features to the grounds of an estate.

Reference was made to Sir William Bumstead and Sir Francis Child, previous owners of Upton House. The picture ‘Upton House from the South’, hanging in the Luggage Lobby, was commissioned by Sir Francis Child. Temple Pool, on which the figures are skating, is still on the Upton Estate (not National Trust).

'Upton house from the South' by Devis

 It was great to find out more about something we have known relatively little about, and now we can pass on this information to visitors when they ask!

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