Thomas Hibbert (1744–1819), a wealthy merchant and landowner, bought Chalfont House, Buckinghamshire, in 1791 after his return in 1780 from Jamaica, where he was a prominent slave-owner. The house had been built in 1755 by John Chute (1701–76) for General Charles Churchill (c.1720–1812) in the ‘Strawberry Hill’ Gothic style, but this must have seemed old-fashioned by the 1790s, and around 1799 Hibbert commissioned John Nash (1752–1835) to remodel the house in a more picturesque idiom. The grounds, which earlier had been landscaped by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716–83) and his assistant, were also remodelled at this time by Nash’s partner, Humphry Repton (1752–1818). Hibbert commissioned two views of the house from Girtin (TG1564 and TG1565), as well as two more of the Lodge (TG1561 and TG1563), though it is not clear whether the artist visited the estate or worked from architectural drawings. Thomas Hibbert bequeathed the watercolours, as well as the estate, to his brother Robert Hibbert (1750–1835).
Chalfont House, from the North East, with Fishermen Netting the Broadwater
Chalfont House, from the North West
The North Front of Chalfont Lodge, Seen from the Lake
The South Front of Chalfont Lodge, Seen from across the Lawn