Manor house complex, Kwilina
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The manor house is an example of a nobleman’s country residence from the late 19th/early 20th century, designed in the Historicist style and possibly incorporating the remnants of an even earlier structure.

History

The first written references confirming the existence of a manor house in Kwilina date back to the first half of the 15th century, when the village in question – along with the nearby village of Kossów – remained the property of the Lis noble family; however, it is only in the Liber beneficiorum, written by the chronicler Jan Długosz (Johannes Longinus) somewhere around 1470-1480, that the first direct mention of the manor house can be found; in his work, Jan Długosz describes the manor house of the Lis family as “exceptional”, which may suggest that the mansion had the features of a fortified residence. Other references to the manor house can be found in documents dating back to the early 16th century; later on, however, such mentions are entirely absent right until the late 18th century. It is only in the inspection documents compiled during the era of the Four-Year Sejm (years 1789 and 1791) that a manor house – most likely a new, early modern structure – is mentioned once again. In the first half of the 19th century, a wooden manor – the centre of an extensive grange – is known to have existed in the village of Kwilina. The last private owner of the village and the accompanying manor was Jerzy Morstin; whose daughters are known to have resided at the manor house well into World War II.

It is now generally accepted that most of the structure of the middle section of the existing manor house dates back to the late 18th century; somewhere around the late 19th/early 20th century, this section is believed to have undergone a comprehensive redesign, including the addition of two pronounced corner extensions. However, the fact that reports from 1847 point towards the existence of a wooden manor house in Kwilina would seem to contradict this assumption. This means that further research is needed to determine the exact chronology of the middle section of the manor house as well as of its corner extensions; the existing building should, until such research is completed, be considered as having been constructed somewhere around the late 19th/early 20th century. In 1950, the manor house began serving as a primary school. In 1992, the successors in title of the last owners of the manor house – the Morstin family – reached an agreement with the local commune authorities and donated the manor house complex to the Mother Theresa Czacka Foundation for the Blind in Cracow, which remained the tenant of the manor house until ca. 2008. From 2012 onwards, the manor house complex has once again been in private hands.

Description

The existing manor house is a brick building with stone foundations. The main, middle section of the manor house is a single-storey structure designed on a rectangular floor plan and covered with a gable roof. A portico supported by a pair of rectangular pillars and topped with a triangular pediment projects from the middle of the front (southern) façade. The pediment itself is adorned with plasterwork friezes as well as a profiled blind window. The windows feature slightly splayed reveals, their surrounds adorned with shallow plasterwork mouldings. The crowning cornice at the top of all façades of the middle section as well as the corner extensions – which may have been added to the mansion at a slightly later date – likewise features a shallow profile. Both the entrance porch and the terrace overlooking the gardens feature lavishly decorated, cast iron balustrades. The corner extensions adjoining the gable-end walls of the main body of the house are likewise single-storey structures, albeit covered with tall mansard roofs, each of which conceals a habitable attic. The window surrounds are identical as those of the main body of the manor house, with the architectural articulation of the walls being enriched through the addition of corner pilasters and a crowning cornice, the latter being a simple extension of the cornice gracing the middle section of the house. Apart from the friezes which adorn the gable rising above the main entrance as well as the cornice and window surrounds – all of which exhibit simplified Neoclassical influences – the façades of the manor house are virtually devoid of any features pointing towards a specific architectural style. The two Tuscan columns partially integrated with the engaged pillars flanking the main drawing room entrance likewise echo the Neoclassical inspirations which guided the building’s design. The drawing room itself also features a decorative fireplace surround made of polished Chęciny marble. The fireplace surround can only be described as Baroque in style and is believed to originate from the late 17th century or the first half of the 18th century; although the relatively recent date of completion of the entire manor house makes any such conclusions open to debate, it is nevertheless likely that the fireplace surround was originally part of the fixtures and fittings of an earlier manor house. Another notable feature are the original doors with 19th-century locks, door handles and hinges.

The manor house is surrounded by the remnants of a once-beautiful park – a naturalistic complex with surviving relics of Romanticised promenades, established in the second half of the 19th century, although traces of an even earlier, formal garden can be found there as well.

The Kwilina manor house can be described as a Neoclassical take on the manor house architecture of the Włoszczowa region, blending harmoniously with its immediate surroundings and the local landscape despite its fairly simplified overall design.

The building is not accessible to visitors (private property).

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, 23-11-2015

Bibliography

  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture, Kwilina, dwór (manor house in Kwilina), prepared by G. Leśniewski, 1993, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Kielce.
  • Katalog parków i kompozycji krajobrazowych województwa kieleckiego, Kwilina, pow. włoszczowski, Cracow 1970, typescript available at the Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Kielce.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. III, issue 12, Warsaw 1955.
  • Hadamik C., Zabytki powiatu włoszczowskiego, Kielce-Włoszczowa 2010.
  • Wiśniewski J., Historyczny opis kościołów, miast, zabytków i pamiątek w powiecie włoszczowskim, Marjówka Opocz. 1932.

General information

  • Type: manor house
  • Chronology: przełom XIX/XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kwilina 37
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district włoszczowski, commune Radków
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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