Sezincote, set on high ground in the shelter of the Cotswolds, is an extraordinary mixture of Indian and English styles.
The 'picturesque' building represents the high point of Indian influence on English country house architecture. The estate was purchased in 1795 by Sir Charles Cockerell, who had made a fortune in India.
Sezincote was designed about 10 years later by his brother Samuel Pepys Cockerell, a prosperous London architect and Surveyor to the East India Company. He was helped in this work by Thomas Daniell, a well-travelled topographical artist, who also provided advice on the architectural embellishment of the gardens.
The traditionally English park was designed by Humphrey Repton.
The Prince Regent was a visitor to Sezincote and the house was the inspiration for the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, which was remodelled in Indian style in around 1815. In 1885 the Sezincote estate was purchased by James Dugdale and in 1944 his daughter-in-law sold it to Sir Cyril Kleinwork.
Today Sir Cyril's daughter and her husband still live at the house. From a stone lodge, an avenue of holm oaks leads through Repton's traditionally English park. The house is approached across an Indian-style bridge which spans a steep valley filled with exotic trees and shrubs.
Sezincote has honey-coloured fašades, built of local stone which may have been artificially coloured to give a more authentically Indian appearance. The house is decorated with a profusion of Indian motifs, including a projecting 'chujja' or cornice. At the corners are turrets surmounted by domes and crowning the house is a great onion dome.
To the south is a semi-circular wing which houses the orangery. This ends at an octagonal pavilion and encloses a formal Indian garden, created by Lady Kleinwork in 1968.
Although the outside of Sezincote is Indian, the interior is decorated in classical Greek style . The main rooms are set on the first-floor 'piano nobile', a unusual feature in an early-19th century house.
These rooms are reached by a double-flight staircase resting of exposed iron girders and lit by lunette windows beneath the dome.
The finest room in the house is the Drawing Room which has a curtained bow window overlooking the formal garden. The Dining Room on the ground floor has been decorated with exotic wallpaper by George Oakes.
Sezincote has views over the countryside to the east.
The formal Indian garden at the front of the house has fountains, a temple and great trees, providing shelter and a backdrop for a profusion of exotic shrubs. The semi-circular orangery contains many tender plants.
Sezincote is one of the finest examples of an early-19th century country house still in its original setting