This print, engraved by Johannes Kip after a drawing by Leonard Knyff, shows a birds-eye view of Wimpole Hall and estate, located 8½ miles southwest of Cambridge. The image includes the original hall of c.1640, the formal gardens, park and surrounding countryside, which make up the estate. At the time the print was published, the estate was owned by Charles Robartes, second Earl of Radnor (1660-1723), whose family coat of arms can be seen to the lower centre of the print.
Immediately south of the house, the fountains of the water-gardens can be seen. These were swept away in the many subsequent alterations made to the house and estate. Among the architects to have worked on the building are James Gibbs (1682-1754), Henry Flitcroft (1697-1769), Sir John Soane (1753-1837), and Henry Edward Kendall (1776-1875). The landscaping of the grounds was developed by Charles Bridgeman (died 1738) and Capability Brown (c.1716-1783).
The last resident at Wimpole Hall was Elsie Bambridge, the daughter of Rudyard Kipling. In 1976 she bequeathed the estate to the National Trust.
Leendert Knijff, better known as Leonard Knyff, was born in Haarlem in 1650 and followed his brother Jacob (also an artist) to London at some point after 1676. In 1694, Knyff was made a British citizen. He began his career painting still lifes but became better-known in Britain for his views of gardens and country houses. The birds-eye view format, which was popularised in the UK by Knyff, is thought to have first been introduced to the British landscape tradition by his brother, Jacob.
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