Kitemore House was built by a local firm for Thomas Mills Goodlake as a successor to Shellingford Manor in 1867. It is a Victorian Tudor-Gothic revival house and its location was chosen for its fine views of the Berkshire Downs. However, Mills did not live there long, it is said, because he was blind and, being sensitive to sound, could not bear the wind whistling through the chimneys. Instead, he chose to live at his other residence, Wadley House, at Littleworth in Faringdon. His son, Thomas Leinster Mills, lived there for a while, but the place was eventually rented out to tenants: Finlay Campbell, Capt. John Orr-Ewing and then, Llewellyn Parry.
In 1894, the estate was sold to Sir Alexander Henderson (later Lord Faringdon) of Buscot House. Edward Shepherd remained as tenant, until Henderson’s eldest son, Harold, moved in in 1905. He added a large western extension to the building, using stone from the local Bowling Alley Copse Quarry, and stayed in residence for six years. The house was then rented to Col. Gage for a few years before, in 1923, most of the estate land was sold off and the, then unoccupied house, was eventually purchased by Eric Mann. Perhaps it was, by then, in a state of disrepair, for Mann embarked on an extensive programme of building work. He seriously reduced the line of the high pitched roof and the building lost much of its ‘pointy’ gothicity. During the First World War, he allowed the house to be used as military convalescent home. Owen Williams bought the place in 1935, followed by James Twynam in 1961.
Kitemore House is a private residence. It can be seen at a distance, across the fields.
|© Nash Ford Publishing 2002. All Rights Reserved. The location of this country house is now administered by Oxfordshire County Council.|