The Villas

Newby Park



Elevation and plan of Newby Park, North Yorkshire

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Elevation and plan of Newby Park, North Yorkshire
Colen Campbell, 1721
RIBA Library Drawings Collection

Villa Emo RIBA 36214_c

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Villa Emo, Fanzolo
Andrea Palladio, late 1550s
RIBA Library Photographs Collection





Newby Park was begun in 1718 by Colen Campbell for Sir William Robinson, the M.P. for York and former Lord Mayor. It still stands today, although in a slightly altered form, as Queen Mary’s School within Baldersby Park in North Yorkshire.


The house is entered via a temple-like façade. However, here the portico is not free-standing but articulated by engaged half-columns, and it stands directly on the ground, without a rusticated basement. The reason behind this reduction of the portico is not known for sure, although it was probably due to costs.

The plan, apart from the positioning of the stairs, is adapted from Palladio’s Villa Emo at Fanzolo. Built for Leonardo Emo, this formed part of a large farm and is one of the few villas by Palladio completed according to the original plan. It was built with a precision of measurement rare in the Renaissance.

Newby’s square plan is divided into three, with a square hall and saloon dominating the central area. These two rooms are in the ratio 4:5, a proportion recommended by Palladio. For more information on room proportions, see the section on Palladian interiors.

Campbell’s next project was to be Stourhead, where he also took inspiration from Palladio’s writings on proportion.