Sir John Vanrbrugh


Sir John Vanbrugh is responsible for architectural greats such as Blenheim Palace, Castle Howard and our Oxford hotel…

Our luxury hotel in Oxford is a tribute to English architect and dramatist Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726), an outstanding country-house architect
of the early 18th century.

Sir John Vanbrugh

Designer of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard, we see his bold and daring influence throughout our
hotel in Oxford, which he also designed. 

Giles Worsley, the architectural journalist says:

“No one built grander houses than Sir John Vanbrugh, soldier, possible spy, playwright, opera impresario, herald, garden designer and architect. Witty and indiscreet, Vanbrugh was the architect you would most want to have to dinner and it was probably at the dinner table of the Kit Kat Club that Vanbrugh gained many of his commissions.”

Many of his buildings incorporate the elements of castle architecture, such as battlements and towers.  Amusingly his epitaph proclaims: "Lie heavy on him, Earth, for he laid many heavy loads on thee!"

Best known for his boldly abstracted classical style he contributed to the unique layout of our hotel in Oxford where no two rooms are the same size.

Sir John Vanbrugh was the outstanding country-house architect of the early 18th century, who was responsible for Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard as well as Vanbrugh House Hotel. 

Sir John Vanbrugh was known to have no formal training or experience in architecture. However, he did have a close working relationship with Nicholas Hawksmoor, an accomplished clerk of the great architect Sir Christopher Wren. With the aid of his college, Vanbrugh took control of the largest architectural commission in the kingdom; a new house for the Earl of Carlisle, now known as Castle Howard. 

With an impressive project to his name, Sir John Vanbrugh was granted permission to build Vanbrugh house. It was built on the line of the Old Medieval City Wall of Oxford and instead of being terraced like other townhouses of modest size at that time, Vanbrugh house stood on its own, freely.

Kings Weston House

Castle Howard

We stayed in an elegant top floor superior room, tastefully decorated with a very comfortable bed and oodles of space! The staff were so welcoming and catered for our every need. Breakfast we were spoilt for choice - everything looked scrumptious! Highly recommended!


Stay in our luxury Oxford Hotel Bedrooms…

All of our 22 rooms are luxurious and uniquely designed, ensuring you can relax in style.
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Explore our Oxford Hotel history…

To stay at Vanbrugh House Hotel is to live at the heart of Oxford, past and present. Our hotel has a rich history and is named after...
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Indulge in 10% off our Oxford hotel...…

Make your visit to our hotel in Oxford extra special with 10% off when you book direct, simply quote "VHH10"…
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Explore Oxford

Learn more with
our Oxford City Centre Hotel

Oxford, also known as the City of Dreaming Spires is one of the UK’s most popular destinations with over 1000 years of history for you to explore.

This stunning medieval city has something to offer everyone regardless of age or interest.



Your next adventure awaits

Oxford is awash with the promise of romance and inspiration, perfect for the curious traveller staying at our hotel in Oxford.



Take a tour of our Oxford Hotel

Dating back to the 18th century, Vanbrugh offers 22 uniquely designed rooms each with their own unique character and charm.


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