DescriptionNashdom is a particularly good example of Lutyens’s fulfilling of his client’s needs. Princess Dolgorouki, the heiress, Miss Wilson, married a Russian prince and was renowned for her love of entertaining. She wanted a house in the Thames Valley for weekend river parties, and it had to provide a luxurious setting suitable for exiled royalty. Lutyens achieved this, not by the expenditure of vast sums of money, but by brilliant manipulation of space and levels. From the garden side, the elevation reflects the division of the house into the prince’s end and the princess’s suites, which can be transformed into a series of rooms over 100 feet long. The entrance loggia and court (reminiscent of Papillon Hall) lead into a double staircase – one being the main stair, the other leading to The Big Room for grand parties. Nashdom is an effective classical villa and one that Nash would have envied. (Amery et al., 1981, cat no.166)
Intended as a large but inexpensive house for entertaining, Nashdom cost £15,000 – over double the original target of £6,000 set by Prince Alexis Dolgorouki. The almost urban, neo-Georgian elevations, considerably simplified in the design stages, are surprisingly pure and bare but that whitewashed brickwork is decorated with apple-green shutters on the south elevation and enlivened above the parapet line by a red-tiled roof from which large, red-brick chimney-stacks, finished with stone cornices, rise confidently.
From the road, the house conceals the dramatic terracing of the steeply sloping site, but the change from a five-storey entrance façade to a three-storey south elevation is not well resolved at the west end. Although appearing as one house in plan the building is divided by three ‘externa’ spaces: the entrance loggia, the apsidal court and the double-height, top-lit winter garden. However, the court is unused and a peripheral entrance route links the suite of reception rooms on the south front round the recessed court to the Tuscan loggia across the north front. (Inskip, 1979, p.63)
1911, by Lutyens for Princess Dolgorouki. Bought by the Anglican Order of Benedictine Monks 1929. Colourwashed stock bricks; machine tiled roof sloping from all sides to lead flat. A symmetrical composition comprising a central single-storeyed entrance bay and 2 flanking bays each of 4 storeys and 5 bays. The entrance bay a portico with Tuscan columns and piers carrying an entablature with balustrade. Inside, doors left and right and an iron gate leading into an open court in front. The flanking bays with sash windows and, in the mezzanine floor, round windows. To the left, a modern red brick extension. Country Life 31.8.1912. (Historic England, list entry 1332673)
BibliographyAmery, C., Richardson, M. and Stamp, G. (1981) Lutyens, the Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): Hayward Gallery London, 18 November 1981-31 January 1982. London: Arts Council of Great Britain.
Inskip, P. (1986) Edwin Lutyens: Architectural Monographs 6>. 2nd edn. London: Academy Editions.
Historic England. NASHDOM. [Online] Available from: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1332673
Also Cited InWeaver, L. (1913) Houses and Gardens by E L Lutyens. London: Country Life.
Aslet, C. (1982) The Last Country Houses. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Butler, A., 1950. The architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens: the Lutyens memorial series. Vol 1: Country Houses, Country Life: London and Scibners: New York.
NASHDOM, NEAR TAPLOW. 1912. Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), 31(800), pp. axiii, axiv, axv.
L, W., 1912. COUNTRY HOMES GARDENS OLD & NEW: NASHDOM, TAPLOW, THE RESIDENCE OF H.H. Princess Alexis Dolgorouki. Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), 32(817), pp. 292-298.
ClientPrince & Princess Alexis Dolgorouki