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Kings Weston was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh for Edward Southall (1671-1730), the Secretary of State for Ireland, in around 1710, on the site of an earlier Tudor house. The exterior of Kings Weston remains one of Vanbrugh's best-preserved medium sized works. Edward Southall (III) became Baron de Clifford and employed the architect Robert Mylne to design the stables and Shirehampton Lodge. Mylne was also responsible to the redecoration of the principal rooms at Kings Weston during the 1770's. As an architect Mylne is best remembered for designing Blackfriars Bridge in London. When Edward Southall (IV) died in 1832 without issue the house was sold for the then enormous sum of £210,000 to Phillip John Miles (1773-1845). Miles, like many of his Southall predecessors was to become M.P for Bristol (1835-1837). He had already built the nearby Leigh Court in 1815, which had been designed by Thomas Hopper with grounds laid out by Humphrey Repton. Kings Weston was originally purchased as a house for his daughter. Miles was to become one of the great collectors of the Regency period and was well positioned to buy from the great sales of the era.
He made significant purchases at Wanstead (1822), Erlestoke (1832) and Fonthill (1823) where he bought the Empress Josephine table from Malmaison. He also assembled an extremely fine picture collection on which he spent in excess of £100,000. The picture collection was sold in the 1880's at two landmark sales at Christie's, where the National Gallery acquired no less than five works. When Miles died his estate was valued at more than £1million and his eldest son from his first marriage inherited Leigh Court and Phillip William Skynner Miles (1816-1881), his eldest son from his second marriage, inherited Kings Weston.
When P.W.S Miles died suddenly in 1865, the Estate passed to his son Phillip Napier Miles. Items from the Miles collection at Leigh Court where sold at Christie's London, 'Two Late Regency Collectors, Phillip John Miles and George Byng (1815-45)', 9 June 2005.
Phillip Napier Miles (1865-1935) was a gifted composer and musician and Kings Weston became a focus for many young musicians. Although Napier Miles did not court fame as a composer his output included six operas and he was a close friend of Ralph Vaughan Williams, arranging for the first public performance of 'The Lark Ascending' in 1920. He left his mark on the city of Bristol through his music, organisational abilities and good works. The Miles family sold Kings Weston after Napier Miles' death in 1935.
Possibly acquired by Phillip John Miles (1773-1845) for Kings Weston House, Gloucestershire and thence by descent to Phillip William Skynner Miles (died 1881) before Phillip Napier Miles inherited the Estate of Kings Weston.
|Height||139.00 cm||(54.72 inches)|
|Width||69.00 cm||(27.17 inches)|
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