Kingston Russell // Dorchester

Kingston Russell house
Photo: © Chris Downer / CC BY-SA 3.0

Large 17th century manor house and gardens originally the seat of the Russell family

Kingston Russell is a mansion and manor near the village of Long Bredy in West Dorset. The present house dates from the seventeenth century, although in 1730 it was clad in a white Georgian stone facade.

John Russell of Kingston Russell, who died in 1224, was the Constable of Sherborne Castle and Governor of Corfe Castle. The original mansion was built on land granted to the Russell family by King John or his son Henry III. In the eighteenth century the house was let to the family of Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy (of Hardy's Monument), who was born at Kingston Russell in 1769.

The estate remained in the Russell family for several hundred years, growing more and more dilapidated, before it was finally sold off in 1913.