West Wycombe's east portico was in turn built as a homage to Westmorland's artistic taste at Mereworth.
West Wycombe Park, architecturally inspired by the villas of the Veneto constructed during the late-renaissance period, is not one of the largest, grandest or best-known of England's many country houses.
Today, while the structure is owned by the National Trust, the house is still the home of the Dashwood family.
The house is open to the public during the summer months and is a venue for civil weddings and corporate entertainment, which help to fund its maintenance and upkeep.
Among them was Robert Adam, who submitted a plan for the west portico, but his idea was dropped.
Today, the first sight of the house as approached from the drive is this west end of the house, which appears as a Grecian temple.
Dashwood demolished the existing manor house and built a modern mansion on higher ground nearby. Images of the house on early estate plans show a red-brick house with stone dressings and a hipped roof in the contemporary Queen Anne style.
The long building time partly explains the flaws and variations in design: when building commenced, Palladianism was the height of fashion, but by the time of its completion, Palladianism had been succeeded by Neoclassicism; thus, the house is a marriage of both styles.Compared to its Palladian contemporaries, such as Holkham Hall, Woburn Abbey and Ragley Hall, it is quite small, yet it is architecturally important as it encapsulates a period of 18th-century English social history, when young men, known as dilettanti, returning from the nearly obligatory Grand Tour with newly purchased acquisitions of art, often built a country house to accommodate their collections and display in stone the learning and culture they had acquired on their travels.The West Wycombe estate was acquired by Sir Francis Dashwood, 1st Baronet, and his brother Samuel in 1698.Thus the two opposing porticos, east and west, illustrate two architectural styles of the late-18th century: the earlier Roman inspired Palladian architecture and the more Greek inspired Neoclassicism.The principal façade is the great south front, a two-storey colonnade of Corinthian columns superimposed on Tuscan, the whole surmounted by a central pediment.
While the marriage is not completely unhappy, the Palladian features are marred by the lack of Palladio's proportions: the east portico is asymmetrical with the axis of the house, and trees were planted either side to draw the eye away from the flaw.