Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Lower Dyffryn House
Approximately 3 km SW of Grosmont village, at the end of a long farm track that runs N off the minor road to Norton.
A multiphase building which has undergone many changes during its long and complex development making it difficult to reconstruct the form of the orginal house with any certainty. In early C17, Lower Dyffryn probably belonged to John Gainsford, who became Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1604, whose will was proved in 1635. It was subsequently owned by a branch of the Cecil family. The oldest parts of the present house date from c.1590-1630, and include the whole of the S wing and the upper chamber of the NE wing. The entire NW part of the house was remodelled in the later C17, probably by Philip Cecil shortly after he became sheriff in 1665, when the hall was panelled in oak, a new staircase with splat balusters added, together with the 8-panel doors in the upper bed chambers. In the extensive Victorian restoration of c1846 all the windows of the garden front were replaced, and new ceilings, fireplaces and doors added to the interior rooms. In 1902 the oak panelling in the hall was removed to Hilston Park.
Red sandstone rubble, slate roof.Tall projecting stacks flank the centre gable of the garden front; stone bases and brick flues.Left stack is buttressed and has moulded cap inscribed with dates 'AD 1506' and 'AD 1846' in mid-C19 style. Right stack has an elegant hexagonal flue. Substantial late C16 - early C17 Renaissance house.Two-storeys, built to an E-plan; with off-centre gabled porch and gabled wings projecting at each end. Two storey porch has chamfered slit to upper gable, 6-pane window with angled dripstone below. Tudor arched stone doorway with hollow chamfer, and early C17 studded door with shaped head and fleur de lys strap hinges. To left of porch, ground and first floors have 2-light transom windows with small panes under segmental arches with stone voussoirs. To right of porch, on first floor is a 12-pane hornless sash and on ground floor a 16-pane sash. Adjacent side wall to NE gable has a C19 ogee headed lancet and a 16-pane sash. Gable of right wing has blocked openings on both floors; C19 extension is attached to right. Gable of left wing, on first floor has 2-light transom and ground floor a 4-light transom with segmental arched voussoirs. Garden front is regular with centre gable and gables at each end. Windows are C19 ovolo-moulded wooden mullions, and openings have angled dripstones with dropped and returned ends. Centre gable has single light in gable head, 2-light mullion below, and C19 glazed double-doors with marginal panes on ground floor. Flanking gable on each side are tall projecting chimneys, as described. End gables of garden front have chamfered slits in gable head, 3-light and 2-light mullions on first floor, and 4-light transoms and 3-light mullions on ground floor. Side Elevation to S has single storey gabled porch with semi-circular arched doorway. To left is a broad projecting chimneystack, and beyond that a C19 boarded door. To right is a C17 wooden 3-light transom with angled dripstone, and above a similar 2-light window with segmental arched voussoirs.
E-plan layout. Centre porch opens into large hall, walls clad in C20 vertical boarding. Ground floor rooms on S side of hall (to left) have C19 4-panel doors. Doorway from hall opens into staircase lobby, passageway beyond leads to S porch, with large service rooms on each side. Ground floor rooms on N side of hall (to right) have early C19 6-panel doors. Doorway from hall opens into second staircase lobby. To left is parlour, with C19 moulded ceiling cornice and C19 marble fireplace surround with roundels in angle blocks. Ahead is fine later C17 dog-leg stair with closed string, splat balusters and moulded panelling. Opening off lobby to right are two ground floor rooms of NE wing. The larger end-room has C19 moulded ceiling cornice and a C19 marble fireplace surround with round arched register grate. First floor chamber (directly above) has c1600 fireplace, chamfered monolithic stone jambs with broach stops and deep wooden lintel, to left is a blocked Tudor arched doorway of former fireplace stair. Chamber above parlour has similar C19 fireplace with angle blocks and roundels; two chambers over the hall have C17 8-panel doors. SE wing, first floor has similar 8-panel door and early C18 door with four fielded panels, and original window fittings to early C17 transoms.
Reason for designation
Major late C16 - early C17 house retaining early detail with interesting mid-C19 alterations and early and important history. Group value with the listed farm buildings at Lower Dyffryn.
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