Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
On the principal road leading north from Monmouth centre set between Monk Street and Hereford Road.
Substantially early C18, but it is said to be based upon an earlier house on the site, although no evidence for this was noted at resurvey. It was improved, or even built, by William Rea, ironmaster and former Mayor of Monmouth in the early C18 (there is a fireback with his initials dated 1720) and helped to establish a precedent for standards in the town. The house was given all new windows and a new entrance doorway in c1800, apparently by another ironmaster David Tanner. Like several other buildings in Monmouth (cf Cornwall House, Monnow Street) Chapel House gives the appearance of being two houses back to back, with the garden range curiously being longer than the street range. The house was restored by Humphrey Farran Hall in 1910 and he reset and repaired the panelling and made other decorative changes. The building has been reroofed in the late C20 and all the large chimney stacks removed. The house is now a boarding house for Monmouth School.
Stucco fronted and painted throughout, with Welsh slate roofs. The plan is two parallel ranges with a central entrance leading to a stair in the rear range. A lower service range projects from the north (right hand) gable of the front range and the rear range, which is longer, rises behind part of it when viewed from the street.
The street (east) elevation has two storeys and attic, seven windows, 2 : 3 : 2, with the three centre window bays narrower. Quoins, and band courses at first and attic floor levels. Open pedimented doorcase with fluted pilasters, double panel doors with fanlight with place for lantern. The windows are all late C18 type 6 over 6 pane sashes, but in openings of early C18 proportion. Roof hipped overall, with four dormers with hipped roofs, 6 over 3 pane sashes. The roof is conspicuous for having no chimneys.
Attached to the right (north) gable is the service and stable wing which is two storeys and has mostly replacement features, one 6 over 6 pane sash and a plain doorway with hood on console brackets. Plain roof which does retain one stack.
The left hand gable (south) is blind walling, but has three more similar dormers in the roof.
The garden elevation (west) is similar to the street front but wider. Eight window bays, with the outer ones set slightly wider apart than the centre six. The panelled door with pedimented hood on shaped brackets is in bay 5 from the left. The windows are all 6 over 6 pane sashes of late C18 type, again in openings of early C18 proportion. Roof hipped overall with five dormers as before and again no chimneys.
To the left the rear elevation of the service wing has various small sash windows. A small gabled building in the angle between this and the main range has an early C19 arched window with 8 over 8 pane sash with interlace head.
The entry is into a panelled hall with an apparently late C17 plaster ceiling with centre roundel, but since none of the house appears to be late C17 it is either a deliberate archaism inspired by earlier houses in the town or it is Edwardian. Paired doorways with panelled jambs and soffit leading to the stair hall with fine stair with cut string, three twisted balusters on each tread, square bottom newel (but the other three are grouped balusters), and moulded ramped handrail. This is matched by dado panelling on the wall. The top landing has two 6-panel doors with shouldered architraves and tympana above. The stair compartment is ceiled by another piece of plasterwork with central roundel and wreathed surround. It is also rather old fashioned for 1720. The staircase seems to be a conscious imitation of the one at Troy House (qv Mitcheltroy Community) which dates from c1673 and perhaps the plasterwork also sought inspiration there or in Great Castle House (qv). The ground floor has two fine fully panelled rooms and there is also a secondary stair of classic early C18 type with closed string, steep pitch and stout turned balusters. Much of the panelling and plasterwork in its present form probably dates from the restoration by Humphrey Farran Hall in 1910, and one room is inscribed and dated as such.
Reason for designation
Included and highly graded for its exceptional interest as a large Georgian house which has retained fine interior features.
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