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Speaker Report – Compton Verney 22 Feb 2024

On 23rd February our speaker, Rotarian Laurie Cunningham, regaled the history of Compton Verney House near Kineton.

Although there had been a manor house on the site since 1442, the current Grade 1 listed building was built in 1714 by Richard Verney, 11th Baron Willoughby de Broke.

It was extended by his son George and then re-modeled and the interiors redesigned by Robert Adam for the 14th Baron John in the 1760’s. It’s set in 120 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown.

The estate changed hands a couple of times before it was requisitioned by the army during World War 11.

In 1993, it was bought in a rundown state by the Peter Moores Foundation, a charity supporting music and the visual arts, established by former Littlewoods Chairman Sir Peter Moores. After renovation, it’s now run by the Compton Verney House Trust.

It’s now a well-established art gallery, and has an international reputation with both permanent and visiting art exhibits.

Laurie, who is a volunteer at the house, encouraged us to pay a visit to enjoy the exhibits, walk round the beautiful parklands, discover a range of activities, partake of refreshments in the restaurant – and perhaps to become members of Compton Verney.

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