Manor house complex, Nagłowice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The manor house complex is an example of a well-preserved spatial composition formed over the course of a few hundred years, its origins being inextricably linked with the Rej family of the Oksza coat of arms, including the most famous of all members of this family, the renowned poet Mikołaj Rej.

History

Nagłowice is a village which can trace its roots to at least the 13th century; it has also been confirmed that it was acquired by the Rej family of the Oksza coat of arms as far back as the first half of the 15th century. The most well-known member of the Rej family is undoubtedly Mikołaj Rej (1505-1569), one of the first Renaissance poets and prose writers, who created his works in the Polish language. Mikołaj Rej resided in Nagłowice for some time, having inherited the manor following the death of his uncle, Piotr; later on, he moved to the nearby town of Oksza (known as Oksa today) – a town which he himself established – and erected an impressive manor house for himself. The fragment of a stone lintel adorned with the Oksza coat of arms originally forming part of the structure of that manor house is kept at the Mikołaj Rej Museum at the Nagłowice mansion. A wooden manor house erected by Kacper Walewski, a deputy of the Four-Year Sejm and the chamberlain of the last king of Poland, is known to have stood among the ancient oaks on the site of the present building as recently as 1846. It was around that manor house that its owner’s wife, Maria Walewska, formed an extensive park in the early 19th century, designed in the English style according to the fashion of the day, although parts of the earlier, Italian-style geometric garden from the late 17th/early 18th century were incorporated into the new design as well. The existing manor house was erected at least after 1862, with the most likely period of its construction being after the year 1878. The building was constructed by Józef Kosicki, whose mother acquired Nagłowice through the division of family inheritance. He also remodelled the surroundings of the palace, transforming them into a naturalistic landscape park. A new outbuilding was also erected, while the existing utility buildings were subjected to renovation works. Kosicki was also a co-founder of the existing Gothic Revival church, consecrated in 1914. That same year, the Kosicki family sold the Nagłowice manor to the Radziwiłł family. During the interwar period, duke Michał Radziwiłł substantially expanded the residence, erecting a sizeable palace on the south-eastern side of the Kosicki family mansion in 1938. A single-storey connecting section linking the palace and the manor house was also erected during that period; it was later demolished in the years 1985-1987. The Radziwiłł family lost Nagłowice and the surrounding lands in 1945 as a result of agricultural reform; soon afterwards, the manor house and the palace were adapted to serve as a state-owned orphanage. In 1969, on the 400th anniversary of the death of Mikołaj Rej, a bust of the poet was placed in front of the main façade. In addition, a memorial hall dedicated to Rej was arranged inside the manor house, with various clean-up works being performed in the surrounding park. Both the palace and the manor house underwent a comprehensive restoration in the years 1985-1987, with further revitalisation works being performed in the years 2005-2011. In years 2003-2010, various works were carried out in the park, intended to ensure the preservation of its layout as well as of the valuable examples of old trees. Today, the manor house serves the needs of various cultural institutions maintained by the local government, including the Communal Public Library; it also houses a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Mikołaj Rej, focusing on both his biography and the literature which he created. The nearby palace continues to serve as the Irena Mrożewska State Child and Family Support Centre.

Description

The manor house complex has a total surface in excess of 10 hectares and consists of the residential section with the Kosicki manor house and the Radziwiłł palace, an extensive landscape park as well as a number of preserved administrative, utility and manor farm buildings, most of which originate from the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century; these include the administrator’s house, the smithy, the gardener’s house and two stables. Most of these buildings, however, are deprived of any distinctive features indicative of any specific architectural style. All of the buildings are made of limestone and brick.

The manor house is situated in the eastern part of the park, among a stand of ancient oaks, in an area traditionally considered as having once formed the site of Mikołaj Rej’s manor house. The mansion itself is a single-storey edifice with a tall gable roof, its surfaces punctuated with dormer windows. The manor house features a pair of corner extensions projecting ahead of its western façade and is a rather restrained yet elegant example of a Neoclassical country house of the type so popular among the landed gentry. Both the front façade and the garden façade are preceded by colonnaded porticos supported by Tuscan columns, above which rise wall dormers topped with triangular pediments. The portico preceding the front façade is flanked by two low terraces with stone balustrades; similar balustrades also surround the terrace adjoining the northern façade as well as the balconies above each portico. The façades of the manor house, framed with plain corner lesenes, are devoid of decorative flourishes, with the exception of a few profiled window surrounds. The interiors of the manor house were thoroughly remodelled in the second half of the 20th century.

The Neoclassical palace erected by Michał Radziwiłł on the south-western side of the manor house is an impressive, two-storey edifice standing on a tall socle and featuring a monumental colonnaded portico in the middle of the front façade, with two pairs of massive Tuscan columns supporting a plain, triangular tympanum. All of the building’s interiors – with the exception of the entrance vestibule with its central pillar – have been substantially remodelled throughout the years.

Another notable feature of the complex is the extensive landscape park with traces of the original, Italian-style formal garden layout, featuring a group of old oaks and chestnuts as well as a number of rare tree species, including the European smoketree – a species seldom seen anywhere else in Poland.

The site is accessible to visitors during the opening hours of the host institutions.

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, 03-12-2015

Bibliography

  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture, Nagłowice, Zespół dworski, Pałac, Dwór (Nagłowice, manor house complex – palace and manor house), prepared by A. Myślińska, 1999, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Kielce
  • Borkiewicz S., Linowski Z., Monografia historyczna i gospodarcza powiatu jędrzejowskiego, Kielce 1937.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. III, issue 3, Warsaw 1957.

General information

  • Type: manor house
  • Chronology: 1878 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kacpra Walewskiego 7, Nagłowice
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district jędrzejowski, commune Nagłowice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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