Badminton, England - Encyclopedia


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BADMINTON, or Great Badminton, a village in the southern parliamentary division of Gloucestershire, England, 100 m. W. of London by the Great Western railway (direct line to south Wales). Here is Badminton House, the seat of the dukes of Beaufort, standing in a park some io m. in circumference. The manor of Badminton was acquired in 1608 from Nicolas Boteler (to whose family it had belonged for several centuries) by Thomas, Viscount Somerset (d. 1650 or 1651), third son of Edward, 4th earl of Worcester, and was given by his daughter and heiress Elizabeth to Henry Somerset, 3rd marquess of Worcester and ist duke of Beaufort (1629-1699), who built the present mansion (1682) on the site of the old manor house. It is a stone building in Palladian style, and contains a number of splendid paintings and much fine wood-carving. The parish church of St. Michael stands close to it. This is a Grecian building (1785), with a richly ornamented ceiling and inlaid altarpavement; it also contains much fine sculpture in the memorials to former dukes, and is the burial-place of Field Marshal Lord Raglan, who was the youngest son of the 5th duke of Beaufort. Raglan Castle, near Monmouth, now a beautiful ruin, was the seat of the earls and the ist marquess of Worcester, until it was besieged by the Parliamentarians in 1646, and after its capitulation was dismantled.

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