Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Reached along by-roads from the Abergavenny to Raglan road at junction opposite the King of Prussia Inn. Fine small country house in a remote rural location.
The evidence for the history of this house is very contradictory; it is of two main periods, 1590-1610 and the middle of the C18. Bradney says George II's reign, and the 1750s is very likely, probably by Richard Lucas. As to how much of the fabric and decoration survives from each period is, however, very difficult to say, and what changes there were in the Victorian period is also unclear. The house fell into decay in the mid/late C20 and has been undergoing repair and restoration since 1985. The principal elevation is mid C18 in appearance, while the rear service wing is clearly of c1600 and internal evidence suggests that almost all the lower fabric of the main block also dates from the first build, but was heightened and added to in the C18. The main block was then drastically altered in c1890 (Bradney) when a new overall hipped roof replaced the previous one, which was within a parapet and with dormers (Bradney). The present roof thus gives the house a look of the very early C18, whereas the previous appearance would have been a much more clearly mid C18 one. The large porch was also added probably in c1890. Since then the house has been very little changed and the interior is still much in its C19 state, although now being slowly restored.
The house is built of local rubble stone which is completely rendered over except for the rusticated ashlar quoins, and has natural slate roofs. L-shaped plan with a large double-pile main block facing south-east, a service wing to the north-east and a stair wing to the north. The principal block has a five bay roughcast frontage of two storeys and attic, once a full three storeys. The centre bay is wider than the rest. It has on the ground floor a central 6-panel door with the top four panels glazed. This is flanked by 6 over 6 pane sashes with moulded architraves and the whole is fronted by a wide pedimented portico with rusticated piers, probably added in c1890. Above this is a central first floor Venetian window with 4 over 4 panes flanking 6 over 6, again with a moulded architrave. The other windows are all 6 over 6 sashes with stone cills and plain margins and they are set quite wide apart which often suggests older walling. It is reported, however, that there is a straight joint in the wall to the left of the porch going right up the house, which suggests that the two left hand windows at least are in C18 walling, but see Interior. The attic floor has been severely truncated so the six windows are cut by the projecting eaves at about half height and are now rendered recesses with stone cills. The roof is hipped overall and has swept eaves, three roughcast stacks, on either gable wall and to the left of the porch.
The left return has a small hipped wing projecting to the rear. The ground floor has a segmental headed French casement in the centre and the first floor has a segmental headed 8 over 8 pane sash to the left; the wall is otherwise blind.
The north-east elevation clearly demonstrates the c1600 origins of this house. It is in five bays of which the first and third project. Bay 1 is the return from the main elevation and is both narrow and windowless, each floor with a blind recess where a window once was. Bay 2 is recessed and has a 6 over 6 pane sash on the ground floor and 2 over 2 ones above. There is also a charming lean-to WC beside the ground floor window. The roof over this bay is steeply pitched. Bay 3 is the three storey gabled entrance porch of the original house with the entrance door on the right return into the cross-passage between Hall and Kitchen. The ground floor window is a 1930's 3 + 3 light steel casement, the first floor has a 10 + 10 timber casement and the gable has an older leaded lattice 2-light casement; bargeboards to gable. Bay 4 has a 6 over 6 sash on the ground and first floors, but not in line. Steeply pitched roof above this, with a rendered stack between Bays 4 and 5. Bay 5 has a door below and a sash with marginal glazing above. Roof hipped to the end of the wing.
The rear elevation is largely blind, but it has a stair wing with a raking buttress and a large 12 over 12 pane sash with an arched head, above and to the right is a small 2-light casement.
The interiors have rich decorative fittings of C17, C18 and C19 date but some is of uncertain provenance and may have been introduced. Stone-flagged entrance hall (now Dining Room) with Jacobean wainscoting and a chimney-piece with elaborately arcaded overmantel; foliage frieze, panels and pilasters etc. This room is a mid C18 arrangement with 6-panel doors leading out of it, but the panelling may have been partly re-arranged from the previous room, or from elsewhere in the house. The present Dining Room and Sitting Room are presumably formed out of the previous Hall, but panelling of this type could be expected more from a Parlour or private room. At the rear of the Dining Room there is a mid C18 arched opening with segmented architrave, keyblock, pilasters and panelled folding doors. Behind this is an open-well staircase with Chinese Chippendale openwork hand-rail and newels, ramped dados with swept up ends and window seats; lugged wall panel, arched window openings, coved ceiling. The blank wall on one side of the well suggests missing or unexecuted plasterwork. The Sitting Room, is fully panelled in squares, but these do not fit the cornice, elaborate pilastered overmantel, 6-panel doors with architrave surrounds. The present Drawing Room is in the south-west corner of the main block and is the one which may be wholly C18, except that a clearly C16 doorway leads out through the rear wall. The room has lost its decorative details and is otherwise featureless. Leading to the Kitchen is a paved cross-passage with C17 doorways and a timber-framed partition. The Kitchen in the rear wing has a high ceiling and a C19 character but the stair door leading out at the rear is an Elizabethan one.
The first floor has a spine corridor the full length of the front, this has an unusual coved ceiling. The three main first floor bedrooms have pilastered chimney-pieces and panelled wainscoting of similar type to the Sitting Room below, two are of a Jacobean character and one more C18 in character with a bolection moulded surround. The Library is also fully panelled but in C18 character with a fireplace and pilastered overmantel. All the Jacobean type panelling is of uncertain history since it seems unlikely to be C19 but it is also out of usual Georgian character to reuse it when doing a major house upgrade. Newman suggests that it is indeed all early C17 so there may have been special circumstances here.
The attic floor clearly shows the re-roofing and the interior of the truncated windows. There is another Elizabethan door with fine hinges. There are fireplaces in the rooms showing that they were once proper bedrooms.
Reason for designation
Included and highly graded as an exceptionally interesting and remarkable country house of two main periods with fine features retained from each.
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