Even though we are moving along to the north portion of Staffordshire today I wanted to mention just a couple of other properties you might want to get a quick look at if you wanted to linger a little longer around Stafford. Make a day or two of it ! – The Castle Lady
Milford Hall borders Shugborough’s grounds and even though it is privately owned and not open to the public a mention is in order here because the Levett side of the ancestral Milford estate are directly related to the Anson family and currently sit on the board for Shugborough Hall. Today’s Levett Haszard family is Richard Byrd and his wife Sarah ne’e Scott of Highfield House (which is on the island of Jersey) and their three children. The Byrds inherited the estate from the Levetts who acquired the property in 1749 from Rev. Richard Levett who married Lucy Byrd, the actual heir of Milford.
Richard’s mother Dyonese Rosamond married his father, Colonel Gerald Fenwick Haszard, in 1928 and became an amateur historian and wrote a book about the history of the Levett family. It was published privately but contains a thorough account of their history including ‘family foibles as well as accomplishments’. The Byrd family can trace back to an ancestry in Cheshire but the Levetts who were originally from Sussex trace all the way back to Normandy before the 11th century and Milford Hall contains ancient illuminated pedigree accounts with heraldic arms. One Sir Richard Levett became a well-to-do merchant and Lord Mayor of Landon with Kew Palace as his seat at one time. He was the son of Rev. Levett and his brother William became courtier to King Charles I, accompanying him to imprisonment at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight and remained his groom until his execution in London. There are additional illustrious members of this family through a couple of centuries which are quite impressive for people who came from the small French village named Livet, now Jonquerets-de-Livet.
The mansion which exists today was built in Georgian style by the Reverend which has three storeys, two bayed double story wings and a five bay enclosed orangery attached to the south front. It is not clear when the central doorway was rebuilt in the classic style with a pediment sporting ionic pilasters but extensions were created in 1817 by his son whose name was also Richard and it is supposed that these were added and later removed when the main entrance was moved again to the west front.
At Tixall, northwest of Shugborough and Milford, Ingestre Pavilion has been beautifully restored by the Landmark Trust’s Philip Jebb by subdividing the interior into six rooms. This bi-level Georgian Classical antechamber façade of the demolished Ingestre Hall, once the seat of the Chetwynd-Talbot family ( distant cousins of the Earls of Shrewsbury-who gained ownership of Alton Towers and Castle when they contested a will left by the de Verdun family), is small but a marvel of construction in its detail as a former grand entrance hall. The upper and lower saloon is octagonal and completed by wonderful arched windows with a view of which Capability Brown drew up a plan for a lawn during the time that the 2nd Viscount Chetwynd was in control. That was around 1756 but the pavilion was most likely originally constructed in 1752. It has been suggested that the plasterwork may have been on the design of Christopher Wren, who is certainly the architect of the nearby Ingestre Church !
Execution of the work was most likely carried out by Charles Trubshaw who had trained as a sculptor under the Scheemakers. There are fabulous walks on the estate about five miles in circumference and as you look around you will see all kinds of trees- including elderberry. You can also see vestiges of the former hall which was quite large. The best part is that you can stay for awhile.
The Tixall Gatehouse may intrigue you equally as well. The sole remaining Elizabethan addition to a medieval manor and then another later mansion in 1780, stands very well on its own since it was restored by The Landmark Trust. They purchased it in 1968 for only three hundred pounds !
Originally built by Sir Walter Aston as an addition in 1580, it was described as ‘one of the finest pieces of work’ throughout the surrounding counties. Both Mary Queen of Scots and her son, James I, were here for short periods of time- and for very different reasons- a few years after the gatehouse portion was built. This rectangular gatehouse has four corner turrets topped with domes, a balustrade all around the roofline and the new roof is paved with stone. In addition, the roof, windows and floors had to be either rebuilt or replaced.
The interior is quite surprising in what remains and what was refurbished or rebuilt and is completely habitable. Considering that, at one low point this building was used as a barn, much has been done to turn it into a people-friendly abode. Two bedrooms and a bathroom were built in the second floor turrets. First floor arrangements are for receiving, still, with five large rooms, one a gallery with an oriel window at each end above the two archway openings. The spandrels of the archways sport armed warriors on the fascia and on the interior, angels. One turret has the original spiral staircase and a clock which still chimes the hours but no longer has a face with hour or minute hands. The view from the roofline shows off the Arcadian parkland showing off Tixall Wide- a lake made from a canal by Aston’s heir Thomas Clifford, Capability Brown and his pupil, Eames.
Details ? +44 1628 825925
Moving on to the east side of the country, toward Burton-on-Trent, three very different but distinctive former dwellings are to be found. Sinai Park, Clifton Hall and Dunstall Hall are within a short distance of each other and much restoration is involved with all three.
Halfway between Yoxall and Burton-on-Trent you’ll find the sprawling and magnificent Dunstall Hall. The Village of Dunstall is a portion of the estate and is nestled between Barton-under-Needwood and Tattenhill. This flat-roofed, L-shaped complex has been extended and modified into a beautiful pile, as they like to say in the U.K.
The earliest records show it to have been owned in 1145 by the Earl of Derby. Originally a hunting lodge was built but most likely does not remain today in any form and took in 440 acres of unruly meadows, old royal forest and hidden lakes. At present it is under private ownership by Sir Stanley and Lady Clarke who turned their beloved home into an event center for private hire and special occasions which include weddings with limited seating. High standard, in-house catering is their specialty.
Its history seemed to begin in earnest in 1801 when Richard, son of John Meek, acquired the property and more land in the area belonging to the Turton family of Alrewas (from 1660) which totals about 1,500 acres of parkland currently. Richard tore down the mills and began to invest in landed property and banking. When he bequeathed the combined estates to his son Charles in 1842 he left behind a sum of 3.25 million pounds (150 million by today’s standard rates). At that time he was the wealthiest commoner in England. Charles passed on without children in 1850 and the Hardy family from Yorkshire purchased the entire estate.
From that point on, extensive work was undertaken to turn the old house into the magnificent mansion seated there today. The south side entrance porte-coche`re with ionic columns suggests that they intended to impart a classical look to the largely Elizabethan exterior. Interestingly enough, it is here they chose to adorn the mansion with a parapet from the old Hall which has iron fretting spelling out ‘IS QUIDEDIT MIHI SERVET’ and dates from 1652. The carved wood entrance door has a medieval depiction of horsemen, trees, a castle (of course!) and all manner of folk and animals characterized in a whimsical style. The reception hall and staircase reflects the door carving with a good part of the work done by Edward Griffiths carried out in 1899. The atrium, which was added at that time harkens back to other eras with arched doorways, vaulted ceilings with elaborate plasterwork, ornamental stained glass windows using flowering patterns swirling around heraldic shields. The corridor that leads to the seven-bay orangery is equally ornate and the orangery itself, once part of the original lodge, retains its flag-stoned floor and large arched windows overlooking the gardens. The ballroom reflects the orangery with seven bays and is used today as part of the private hire venture. The pie`ce de resistance of Dunstall may be the Roman mosaic in the main hall which came from Tivoli. Overall it is an elegant interior with no hint of being overly ostentatious.
Listed by English Heritage in 1952 but appropriated by Sir Robert Douglas only a year later it became the property of the present owners in 1997 by inheritance. They carried out a refurbishment program for several years and then opened it to the public by 2001.
T-01283 711123 email@example.com
Seated between Tamworth Castle and Tutbury along the eastern border and ten miles directly east of Lichfield, Clifton Hall is now a picturesque gem which sits just outside the lovely village of Clifton Campville. This was personally saved by Richard Blunt, a modern architect who is doing outstanding restoration work in many individual Georgian mansions throughout England. Clifton was a derelict country house converted from a twin wing to a family house. When he took it on in 1996, as you will see when you view the larger photos in my photo album, it was uninhabitable. It now belongs to Richard Blunt and you’d never know that it was originally only intended to be a wing to a much larger mansion. The mansion, for some reason, was never built and it is now an enclosed garden with a lone cedar tree.
Clifton’s design is attributed to Francis Smith of Warwick and was built for Sir Charles Pye whose ancestry there went back to 1700. It was red brick with ashlar stone dressings, uneven and rusticated quoins. When it was found by Blunt the slate roof had caved completely in at several areas and had done extensive damage to the interior. Before restorations could be carried out, much had to be carried out to the trash, as it had been in a dangerously derelict condition for decades.
Presently, both wing houses have been restored and face each other across a wide courtyard which would have been the placement of a central block. The new materials include pink brick, with mortar used to give some texture plus repair. The doorways feature swan neck Baroque pediments which embrace the Pye coat-of-arms, an historical save. Blunt’s house kept the original kitchen fireplace and storage cupboards and he also saved an oak floor on the ground floor. If given the opportunity to visit, you will see a special drawing showing how Clifton Hall would have looked if it had been completed as originally planned! The best way to do that is to contact Richard Blunt.
T- 01827 373111
Sinai Park which is seated north and just outside Burton-on-Trent and a little south of Tutbury Castle is a work in progress but the new owner, who acquired the timber-framed and stone complex in 1994, is making a valiant effort in returning it to a close semblance of its former medieval glory. Just off the A38 and Shobnall Road, it sits high above the Trent overlooking the city with much of its original work still in evidence. A Roman settlement may have been built here for its strategic outlay view across the Trent Valley.
The present building of Sinai was originally a monastery and after the dissolution was sold to the Paget family, who are responsible for the great hall in the center creating an E-plan to the entire estate. William Paget was the first Baron of Beaudesert and one of Henry VIII’s chief ministers. This family continued to own Sinai for four hundred years as they took on the roles of the Earls of Uxbridge and Marquises of Anglesey. Historically, Sinai rates because of the 13th century moat, which is still present but thoroughly drained, with an 18th century bridge.
Inside the restored wing you find a tri-level with a large cellar and a wonderful Venables oak staircase, large dining table and an original fireplace ! Paneling has been stripped but you can see original beams alongside newer restoration replacements. The former Abbot’s room has a large portrait of Henry William Paget hanging on the wall.
Kate Newton owns, lives in a portion of one wing and works constantly with her partner restoring this piece of history which was allowed to completely collapse and almost faced the wrecking ball. She gives tours which are packed with fascinating information and the work she’s done is phenomenal.
Only five miles northeast from Stafford, Sandon Hall reopened, after an extension was added and interior restorations for a museum (completed in 1994), to exclusive engagements such as weddings and private or corporate functions in June 2006. It is enveloped in 400 acres of glorious parkland, with an almost adventurous private driveway which leads right to the door of Lord Harrowby’s elegant home. This stately home was originally rebuilt between 1850-1854 at a time when the Harrowby family were at the very pinnacle of British politics and culture. Sad that it took a fire to bring it up to date! The mid-19th century architectural design was that of neo-Jacobean and executed to perfection by William Burn who was also one of the architects of the exuberant Harlaxton Hall in Lincolnshire. By comparison however, Sandon is heavy and sedate on the outside and lively to distraction in the interior. The façade was set on a symmetrical E-plan with a central and classic carriage entrance with turrets. The windows have unusual strapwork and quoins giving the face of Sandon its unique characteristic.
Inside, you’ll find the hall splendid with columns, scarlet walls and dark wood paneling. It’s flanked by a dual set of staircases which rise to the landing in an elegant style. The museum staterooms are a bit more dark of which the tour includes only a few but here you will see the truly magnificent plasterwork of Burns with heavy pendants. You’ll find the library overflowing with books and busts and the drawing room has oriental hand-painted walls. The conservatory may be open to view and was built circa 1864 with a nod toward a sturdy Victorian.
Fifty acres of gardens grace the estate and hosts plant fairs on a continuous basis. An arboretum features special trees which look their best in Spring and Autumn. The present Harrowbys have added a permanent bar, modern toilets and changing facilities plus full disabled access more recently making the setting, heritage and atmosphere of the Hall memorably old world stylish for all guests.
T- 01889 508004 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are heavily into fishing then you’ll certainly enjoy Izaak Walton’s Cottage, which is a museum just north of Stafford, and 3 miles east of Eccleshall on Worston Lane. In truth, he never lived here but this is a legitimate museum with more than I think anyone will want to see of the fishing equipment. A required reading before you go would be The Compleat Angler especially if you can get a hold of a first edition. Good luck ! T-01785 760278
Among the few English Heritage mansion sites in Staffordshire, Barlaston Hall stands out as an exceptional restoration. When one looks at the octagonal and diamond glazing in the sash windows it is almost like looking at a starry-eyed movie star making you sigh in adoration. To think that the Marquess, Lady Levesham (owner of the Trentham’s estate) once said, “Who owns that vulgar red house?” It is unbelievable, at present, to think it was saved from the wrecking ball by SAVE Britain’s Heritage for £1 and has returned to use as a private residence. Their architect Bob Weighton saved the house from falling over the cliff! Only a few miles north of Stone, it sits above the valley and the River Trent rather serene considering what it has been through. The owners, James and Carol Hall, set about restoring the rococo interior which was extensive work, during the latter part of the 20th century. The Hall family still live in the house and restoration is ongoing.
The marvelous exterior is a mid-18th century Palladian villa whose architecture is attributed to Sir Robert Taylor with absolutely stunning interior rococo plasterwork. The windows were and are his trademark and Barlaston is one of the few remaining edifices which retain this feature. It was originally built for Thomas Mills between 1756 and 1758, a Leek lawyer who had married the local heiress, Ester Bagnall in 1742. Inside, the cross shaped plan is built around a central staircase which rises to the full three storeys. Available for tours but limited because of the private quarters and ongoing restoration you will see the dining room, library with a bow window, saloon with a plasterwork frieze, and the staircase hall-four rooms, in all. (Check out the before and after photos in my Staffordshire photo album!)
T- 01782 372749 by appointment only for groups of 10 or over.
What was once a magnificent estate and mansion, Trentham Park is now 500 acres of pleasure gardens along with some modern surprises which would not surprise the people of medieval times. Before any secular occupation took place, an Augustinian Priory was built there in the 11th century and remained until the Dissolution. As a Royal Deer Park to Henry II circa 1153, at some point in time a manor was built there for convenience, most likely a Royal Hunting Lodge. Over several centuries it passed through the hands of few owners, the first being Richard Trentham. Bequeathed to Sir Thomas Pope for a time, the manor then was purchased before 1540 by James Leveson and occupied from that time by the same family but no record of additional building was documented until Sir Richard Leveson built a mansion and walled gardens there in the 1630s after demolishing the old hunting lodge. One of the heirs, Sir William Leveson built a new house on the property in 1690 but evidence of it is gone.
During the latter part of the 18th century Capability Brown was commissioned to landscape the estate and the mansion re-designed by Henry Holland. These changes were completed sometime before the turn of the 19th century. A drastic change in ownership transformed the estate into a palace. The Marquess of Stafford (who also held the title of Countess of Sutherland) began to expand all the works from 1803 clear into mid-century by hiring Sir Charles Barry as master architect. By the end of 1841 the Duke had spent £123,000 on Trentham Park by adding an orangery, sculpture gallery, clock tower, Italian gardens (under George Fleming and Zadok Stevens direction) and totally redesigned the hall itself and a church on the premises.
By 1911 the entire estate was crumbling and it was stripped of everything for recovery of materials and the contents were sold for not much more than £500 ! Eventually, over a period of fifteen years thereafter, it was redeveloped into a public space under Trentham Gardens Ltd. During the 20th century it was neglected, nonetheless, and after allied troop occupation and failed redevelopment and restoration plans, it became derelict once more. A German investor took it over in 1996 and after studying its history began a £100 million program for rejuvenation which actually started in 2003. Much replanting and rebuilding has taken place over the years and Trentham Park is a simply awesome place to play, relax and enjoy. There are plans to rebuild the Trentham Mansion as it was in 1880 as an elite hotel.
The Whitmore Hall estate has been in the same family for over 900 years being descendants of the Normans. Just off the Market Drayton road outside of Newcastle-on-Lyme, the house which now stands as the family home is late 17th/early 18th century but the porch is 19th century, built entirely of red brick and has an Elizabethan frontage with a Carolingian entrance. Mainwarings, the family who owned the home through many centuries, were descendants of the family of the same name ( Mainwaring Baronets ) in Over-Peover, Cheshire. From 1645 to 1767 this branch of the family, all named Edward served as High Sheriff of Staffordshire.
Although it may not appear at first glance to be extraordinary, Whitmore is one of those medieval timbered E-plan houses to be encased in brick, Mannerist-style, in the 17th century and then renovated on the front faade to ‘modern’ by the 18th century. The balustrade and nine bay front brought it up to date, for the time, along with a new entrance hall. When you tour this home, a Mainwaring will show you all the secret remaining features from the Tudor period. Family portraits in the dining room may give you a scare. Talk about the Adams family ! !
Interior furnishings do not contain many family heirlooms because, even though the house has never been up for sale, it was leased by other families between 1863 and 1928 during which time the Cavenagh-Mainwaring furniture was dispersed during a time of remodeling. The multitude of windows floods the house with light throughout its three storeys with a curving staircase with no ornamentation, an drawing room (expanded by removing a dividing wall) with Georgian furniture, a dining room with mahogany paneling and 19th century furniture. The Admiral’s Room was named for Rowland Mainwaring who commanded the HMS Majestic at the Battle of the Nile and contains, among other memorabilia, his portrait and a painting of the battle.
The stable block is equally as unique with late Elizabethan features including a partly cobbled ground with nine oak-carved stalls- 17th century horse boxes. These have fine features such as Tuscan pillars as dividers with ornamental arches above each box. An upper floor houses stable boys’ quarters. In spite of a fire in the 18th century most of it was saved. The grounds of the estate are landscaped beautifully with many original features, a Victorian summerhouse, a lake and the main avenue to the house is epic- lined with lime trees.
T- 01782 680906 email@example.com
A classic example of a 17th century black and white half timbered Tudor home, Ford Green Hall sits a short distance away ( 2 miles north) from Stoke-on-Trent in the suburb of Smallthorne. Among the museums which abound in Stoke-on-Trent this house stands out because it was built by a yeoman farmer, Hugh Ford, in 1624 and remained in his family clear into the 19th century ! It is the oldest Tudor home still in existence in the area with the original gardens. Ford Green has attracted a record amount of visitors for many years and along with the collection of original furnishings, textiles, ceramics has been an award-winning education venue which includes weddings and other events.
Except for an additional wing being built in 1734 and some furnishings being reproductions of originals it remains authentic late medieval throughout with close-studded timberwork, lozenge panels and timberwork over the porch imitating the look of a staircase balustrade. The work was signed by the carpenter, Ralph Sutton, in his own hand. Even minor features remain, such as a staircase wall done in rough timber still showing the adze marks which secured a plaster coating. Everything is cozy and charming, much the same as Moseley Old Hall and all is maintained locally by the Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
T- 01782 233195 http://www.stokemuseums.org.uk/fgh
A rare find for its setting is Casterne Hall just outside the town of Ilam above Manifold Valley. It has been used extensively for filming since a BBC Jane Eyre film was made there in 1983! The area is just on the edge of the Peak District National Park which occupies more of Derbyshire than Staffordshire. As a home to the Hurt family from the 16th century it has only been rebuilt since 1730 to modify the faade to Queen Anne with classic Georgian features. Otherwise, it retains its medieval exterior (with Roman remains in the foundation) which is what one sees from the valley approach. Surrounding outbuildings look like those of farmland and give the landscape some old world charm and rare authenticity. The original courtyard is gone but the grounds are picturesque, regardless.
Interior features include a magnificently beautiful Baroque stone fireplace in the entrance hall, an oak-paneled room circa 1610 and oak paneling in the drawing room, staircase wall, and the study. Restorations with discoveries along the way are ongoing so when you visit you may be able to view a new revelation other visitors have since missed.
Tours are given only during weekdays and only at 2 in the afternoon but it is also available for private hire to relatively small groups for weddings, corporate hire and dinners. The Hurt family offer a showground for larger events.
T- 01335 310489 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ilam Hall in the town, is now a Youth Hostel but was once the mansion of Jesse Watts Russell who owned much of the local parish. It showed off Tuscan and Gothic architecture along with towers and turrets. This was erected on the site of an older manor in 1821 which was the estate of John Port, Esquire the father of a local vicar. The land around the estate is still extensive and quite picturesque. Holy Cross Church, a small Gothic chapel is also worth a look and visit as it was rebuilt in 1618.
On the A53 road toward Leek, seven miles northeast from Stoke-on-Trent, Dunwood Hall, near Longsdon is a real curiosity and a marvel at the same time. It inhabits the area of the Churnet Valley which is a part of the Peak district shared with Derbyshire. I have no photos of Dunwood but this is one gem you must see for yourself ! At a period when the Arts and Crafts movement was gaining strength and momentum with such great architects as Phillip Webb, Lutyens and Norman Shaw, Dunwood received a rare distinction, given its rural locality, with a local architect by the name of Robert Scrivener (of Hanley), to be built in High Victorian Gothic Revival. Built during 1870 with smooth yellow sandstone dressings and unique features only written about in Gothic horror novels, the windows alone are testament to the pre-Victorian celebration to the lifting of window tax in Britain in 1851. Hence, in the daylight it is a delight for a period architecture enthusiast. It was built right next to an 18th century farmhouse called Dunwood Lodge Farm which would have only been an outbuilding by comparison! The latter was attributed to John Daintry circa 1732.
Commissioned by Thomas Hulme of Bank House in nearby Endon (owner of a local pottery business), Scrivener built the two-storied hall on an L- plan with a circular extension from the central hall. The three-storied entrance tower was set just off center and divided the front portion of the mansion into two with the left portion set slightly higher. The projecting tower is decidedly French in style with a mansard roof and accompanied by gargoyles, grotesques and heavily carved urns as frontage. The door also is richly carved which creates quite a lasting impression on any visitor. Interior features include a high-galleried central hall just off the entrance through a vestibule decorated with cast iron balustrades, a patterned Minton-tiled floor and granite and stone fireplace. The elaborate staircase sits beyond the hall and fleuron cornices lead to rooms on the south end as well. The array of various clustered windows is a curiosity and a delight making this mansion quite unique especially in the amount of light it receives to its interior. You’ll find the Hulme coat-of-arms situated to the right of the only oriel window (3-sided) set in a low-relief of two shields.
The gardens of Dunwood are secluded but include a romantic stable block with an archway and spire! If you dare, accommodation is available which includes breakfast. It is necessary to call for arrangements for tours for small to medium-sized groups and all other inquiries.
Tel: 01538 372978
A very short distance north, on the Staffordshire/Cheshire border, Biddulph Grange is a vision in combining Victorian Gothic architecture surrounding a Redstone medieval tower which was built as a rectory. Much emphasis has been placed on the gardens which are extensive and not enough attention has been paid to the architecture of this eclectic vision! If it had medieval beginnings it would be difficult to determine, currently, as much of the mansion perished in a fire in 1896. Portions of the manor complex show signs of the tragedy.
The gardens were created by James Bateman a well-accomplished horticulturist and heir to a coal and steel business. He moved to Biddulph Grange in the 1840s from Knypersley Hall and proceeded to create gardens with the help of his wife, Maria and his friend Edward William Cooke who was known as a seascape artist. His knowledge shows today in every nook and corner of this vast and beautiful landscape which surrounds the gardens. Bateman was considered a local expert by many of the horticultural societies of the era and most of what he placed remains today in the High Victorian style which is very different than Capability Brown’s heyday. Basically, they took gardening and landscaping to a new level by creating whole environments most of them very exotic. No expense was spared in the extensions to the house or the fantasy gardens.
Once the money was gone, by 1861, Bateman and his sons sold the house to Robert Heath and moved to Kensington in London. I’m sure it was a sad moment but Kensington Gardens are equally fabulous. After Heath took possession in 1871 the estate had already started to decay but the fire nearly finished it off. It was rebuilt by Thomas Bower and then turned into a hospital by 1923. Fifteen acres of garden were neglected for sixty five years until the National Trust bought the estate in 1988 and completely restored it. This includes an area called the Dahlia Walk which when visited shows off the various styles in architecture and fifteen separate areas of prodigious development. Biddulph Grange has at least one of everything but a good portion of the estate which is not used is uncultivated and is considered a country park. Warder’s Tower, a onetime Landmark Trust nominee for restoration is very close by on the estate and might be worth a look. The small castle was built by Bateman for the purpose of a home for the gamekeeper of the property and as a part of the landscaping follies. The Harrison family lived there during the 1830s but most likely has seen very few residents. Even though hundreds of thousands of pounds were raised for restoration it was discovered that the tower was home to several species of bats and they could not proceed. A bench memorial along with a plaque is dedicated to Ada Wood, who was born there in 1910. As it is in the middle of an ancient deer park, it stands on a rise above a formed lake, with water from the River Trent swirling around the octagonal tower which remains.
contact: Camilla Lovatt or Dr. R.V. Kamp