Stable and carriage block, Kingston Lacy, Dorset — the seat of the Bankes family. Grade II listed. Designed by T. H. Wyatt (1807-1880), completed 1880. Brick with stone dressings and slate roofs, with dormers and a bell-tower. The inscription just above the keystone of the central archway bears the initials WRB (Walter Ralph Bankes) and the date 1880. On either side are little sunflower-head roundels, marking the building out as very much of the Arts and Crafts period. Arranged round a quadrangle, it stands to the west of the house's kitchen court, and is now used as a café.
Walter Ralph Bankes (1853-1904) was just sixteen years old when he came into his inheritance, not only the huge estate but also a large amount of money. This he used to develop his interests in various gentlemanly pursuits, including, perhaps most importantly, horse-breeding and horse-racing. Consequently he had a whole new stable block built for his Arab thoroughbreds, his New Forest ponies, and his carriages of various kinds. The existing stables to the east of the house were demolished in 1882. Naturally Bankes chose a top man for the job, with his own fine pedigree: a member of a major architectural dynasty and one who had been a president of the Royal Institute of British architects (RIBA). It was not unusual to select an important architect to design a stable block — another example is James Pennethorne's stable block at Claremont in Surrey.
Photographs and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.
"Kingston Lacy." Historic England. Web. 17 March 2018.
"The Stables — A Lasting Legacy." The Bankes Archive. Web. 17 March 2018.
"Stables and Coach-House at Kingston Lacy House." Historic England. Web. 17 March 2018.
Last modified 5 February 2008