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Brodsworth Hall, South Yorkshire: unexecuted alternative designs for rebuilding, and enlarging the house for Archbishop Robert Hay-Drummond, c1761-65 (8)

c1761-65
The Hon. Robert Hay-Drummond (1711-76) was the second son of the 8th Earl of Kinnoull, a member of the Society of Dilettanti, and Royal Chaplain from 1736. He became Bishop of St Asaph in 1748, and Bishop of Salisbury and Archbishop of York in quick succession in 1761. Horace Walpole described Hay-Drummond as 'a sensible worldly man, but much addicted to his bottle'.

It appears that following his appointment as Archbishop of York in 1761 Hay-Drummond sought to improve his local family seat at Brodsworth. Prior to 1761 he was elsewhere as Bishop of St Asaph and then Salisbury, and so the designs are unlikely to have been made earlier than this date. Adam's designs for Brodsworth comprise, first a total rebuilding of the old house which had been purchased by the 8th Earl in 1713, and second a more modest addition of a wing to the existing fabric. Work on Bishopthorpe Palace - the archbishop's official residence - also began when Hay-Drummond arrived in York, carried out by Thomas Atkinson (c1729-98) in 1763-69. Although Hay-Drummond clearly had grandiose plans for his private residence at Brodsworth, it would seem that the expense of the project at his official residence quickly took priority, and none of Adam's designs were executed.

The archbishop's eldest son, Robert, succeeded his uncle as the 10th Earl of Kinnoull, and Brodsworth was sold by the Kinnoull family at the end of the eighteenth century. The house was rebuilt in 1861-3 by Cavaliere Casentini of Lucca.

See also: Bishopthorpe Palace, North Yorkshire

Literature:
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 5, 92; N. Pevsner, and E. Radcliffe, The buildings of England: Yorkshire West Riding, 1967, p. 148; J. Ingamells, A dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy: 1701-1800, 1997, p. 477; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume II, p. 123; Yale, Horace Walpole's Correspondence, 2011, Volume 28, p. 316

Frances Sands, 2012
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