Manor house complex, Skórnice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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An exceptional, Late Classicist complex enjoying the status of a regional landmark, surrounded by a Romanticised park and a sophisticated system of water bodies featuring a single large pond as well as numerous moats, canals, artificial islets and stone bridges.

History

The village itself is known to have existed at least from the 15th century onwards, with one of the first mentions thereof appearing in the Liber Beneficiorum by Jan Długosz (Johannes Longinus); at that time, the village remained part of the Fałków parish, while its owner was Jan Gizicki. During the 19th century, the village was known under the name of Skórnica. A palace is known to have stood within the boundaries of the village, by the Czarna river. The palace, erected after 1815, provided a source of income for as many as 60 employees; as a result, the village during that period may be classified as a typical auxiliary settlement of which many existed in the area around the town of Końskie. The enterprise which operated from the manor was owned by the Jakubowski family, who erected a new manor house for themselves in Skórnice somewhere around the year 1850, surrounded by a Romanticised park and a number of ponds. The granary, also erected during that period, is believed to have formed part of the manor farm which had existed there. During the interwar period, the manor house complex remained the property of the Kotarski family. During the period of Nazi occupation, the mansion served as a safe house for Leszek Kołakowski between 1940 and 1942, after he was forced to leave his usual place of residence in the city of Łódź. After World War II came to an end, the manor was nationalised, with the mansion itself serving the needs of a variety of institutions, including a civic militia (MO) headquarters in the 1980s. Currently, both the manor house, the granary and the park are privately owned. In years 2002-2012, the façades and interiors of the manor house were subjected to renovation works, the general intent being to adapt the building to serve as a rural guest house. During that period, the historical system of moats and canals was recreated and the existing stone bridges were reinforced. In addition to these works as well as the dredging of the pond in the park, maintenance works have also commenced on the surviving greenery.

Description

The manor house complex is located on the eastern side of the cluster of buildings which forms the nearby village, between the village street and the road from Końskie to Przedbórz. It consists of the manor house itself, the park with a complex system of watercourses as well as the granary forming part of the manor farm at the eastern edge of the park. The single-storey manor house, erected on an artificial islet, was designed on a rectangular floor plan, its silhouette topped with a set of low gable roofs. The design of its main body is enriched by the presence of avant-corps projecting from the side sections of both the front and the rear façade. The only two-storey section of the building is the large south-eastern avant-corps adjoined by a cylindrical turret topped with a roof lantern, its walls pierced with decorative embrasures. The overall style of the turret is a far cry from the Historicist and Classical design of the rest of the palace, veering strongly towards Romanticism. The main entrance is concealed behind the recessed colonnaded portico spanning the space between the two avant-corps at the edges of the façade. The façades of the palace are topped with a restrained entablature and adorned with pilasters. The windows and niches, topped with semicircular arches, are framed with equally plain surrounds. The avant-corps are crowned with triangular pediments. Despite the Late Classicist appearance of the façade, the evidently asymmetrical design of the palace foreshadows the coming decline of this period in architecture. The park surrounding the manor house is a Romanticised complex whose most salient feature is the sophisticated system of moats, canals and ponds, many of them spanned by stone bridges.

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

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, 08-12-2015

Bibliography

  • Record sheet of monuments of architecture, Skórnice Dwór, Spichlerz (Skórnice – manor house and granary), prepared by E. Szelągowska, Kielce 1994, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Kielce.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. III, issue 5, Warsaw 1958.
  • Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich, vol. X, B. Chlebowski, W. Walewski (eds.), Warsaw 1889.

General information

  • Type: manor house
  • Chronology: 1850 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Skórnice
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district konecki, commune Fałków
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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