Sezincote is unique. At the heart of a traditional, family-run estate covering 4,500 acres of rolling Cotswold countryside stands a 200-year-old Mogul Indian palace, set in a romantic landscape of temples, grottoes, waterfalls and canals reminiscent of the Taj Mahal. Colonel John Cockerell bought the estate in 1795 on his return from Bengal. After his death in 1798, his youngest brother, Charles Cockerell, inherited the property and then "employed another brother, Samuel Pepys Cockerell, to build him a house in the Indian manner". Samuel Pepys Cockerell worked as surveyor for the British East India Company and as an apprentice to Sir Robert Taylor, where John Nash was also apprenticed.
In spite of his tenure as Surveyor to the East India Company, Cockerell never travelled to India; his encounters with Mughal architecture, a building style that flourished in India in the 16th century, were strictly through the medium of drawings and engravings, such as those by Thomas Daniell (who designed the garden for his "old Indian ally" Sir Charles Cockerell and its temple, bridge, dairy and farm buildings) and his nephews. Cockerell had already experimented cautiously with Indian elements at Daylesford, Gloucestershire, built for Warren Hastings, first governor-general of British India, nearby. Here the style is characterized by a striking revival of Islamic architecture in Northern India, where Persian, Indian, and various provincial styles were fused to produce works of great refinement. Favoured materials included white marble and red sandstone. A notable example is The Taj Mahal, completed in 1648 by the Emperor Shah Jahan.
The architecture of the estate can be described as a British re-interpretation in Georgian architecture of classic Mughal forms. Emperor Akbar, who ruled the empire from 1556 to 1605, "deliberately mixed Islamic and Hindu elements in architecture in an effort to culturally integrate" his kingdom. The interior design is more typical European style. The landscape was designed by Humphry Repton. It is essentially a renaissance-style garden with elements of Hindu style, as seen in the crescent bridge with columns. While not all areas of the house and garden are easily accessible to wheelchairs, we welcome disabled visitors, and are confident that they will satisfied by their visit. No children in the house except by special permission. Assistance dogs are welcome.
Location : Sezincote, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9AW
Transport: Moreton in Marsh (National Rail) then bus. Bus Routes : 803 stops 8 minutes away.
Opening Times House + Gardens: Thursdays, Fridays and Bank Holiday Mondays 14:30 to 17:30.
Opening Times Gardens Only: Thursdays, Fridays and Bank Holiday Mondays 14:00 to 18:00.
Tickets : Adults £10.00
Tickets : Adults £5.00; Children £1.50
Tel: 01386 700422