Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Foxhall Newydd  


Unitary Authority
Street Side
Located at the southern edge of Foxhall Woods, some 250m W of Foxhall and 1km SE of Henllan; accessed via a track running W from Foxhall.  


Broad Class

Although it was never completed and has been ruinous for over a hundred and fifty years, Foxhall Newydd nevertheless ranks as one of the most ambitious and sophisticated projects of Elizabethan house building in Wales. The house was begun in 1592 by John Panton, Recorder of Denbigh and (more significantly) Chief Secretary to the Lord Keeper. In the latter post Panton occupied a position of considerable power and influence and, based at York House in the Strand, was well-placed to tap the rich source of perquisites and bribes available to senior court officials. In building Foxhall Newydd outside his native Denbigh, Panton was making a calculated statement to his peers about his new-found wealth and success, much in the same way that Sir John Trevor, a decade later, was to do when he built his own statement house, Plas Teg, in his native Flintshire. In fact Plas Teg is the closest parallel for Foxhall Newydd outside England, for both are products of the Serlian court-circle architecture promoted by Smythson, Thorpe and their contemporaries. The house appears to have been planned as a symmetrical H-plan house which, had it been built, would have been three times the size of the surviving section. It appears however that Panton ran (unsurprisingly) into financial difficulties and ultimately only the left-hand cross-wing was completed. The finished section was, however, fully fitted out and inhabited, as shown by the surviving internal plasterwork, as well as the dovecote and formal garden layout, evidence for which has recently been identified. The house is said to have been abandoned at the end of the C18 and by the end of the C19 was already ruinous. Of particular interest is that the new house was not built on a fresh site, since it abuts the ruins of a storeyed single-end chimney house of probable mid C16 date. It appears that the primary house was to have been swept away when the central range was built, though was retained, perhaps as a service wing or lodgings block, when building work was suspended. A curious juxtaposition therefore exists, with the ruins of the mid-Tudor vernacular storeyed house dwarfed by the towering late Elizabethan cross-wing built up against it.  

Ruins of a large, unfinished Renaissance house, forming the cruciform cross-wing of a proposed H-plan house. Of limestone construction with fine sandstone dressings; roofless. There is evidence for a large-aggregate, greyish textured render having been originally applied externally, with smooth, whitened plaster quoining at the corners and around windows, in the continental Renaissance manner. The building is of 3 storeys plus basement and attic floor and has moulded string courses between the floors. Mullioned and transmullioned windows, with full-height canted bays on the NW (garden-facing) side and the SW gable end (the latter collapsed). Short gabled wings and lateral chimney projections to the long sides. Abutting the building to the SE are the ruins of an earlier, mid C16 former storeyed house; limestone construction. This has a (ruined) projecting, gabled end chimney to the NW with wide hall fireplace and smaller first-floor fireplace; dressed jamb stones. At the opposite end is evidence for a garderobe projection.  

Wide kitchen and bakery fireplaces on the basement floor. The first floor has remains of plasterwork above and to the side of a fireplace in the NW projecting wing; this is in the form of Renaissance strapwork in relief, and consists of a frieze and an overmantel panel, the latter recorded as being dated 1608 (date not visible at the time of inspection). The plain wall surface below the plaster frieze implies an original wall treatment of three-quarter panelling, and it is probable that this area formed a bay within the Great Chamber. There are garderobes evident on the first and second floors, with a privy shaft visible at the northern corner. The fireplace to the NW first-floor chamber has a brick hearth, suggesting importation of (what was then in Wales) a new and little-known building material. Deep, vertical joist pockets, visible on the Great Chamber and Gallery floors, suggest that originally there were decorative plasterwork ceilings here.  

Reason for designation
Listed Grade I, notwithstanding condition, as a highly ambitious and accomplished late Elizabethan/early Jacobean large-scale house: one of the most sophisticated houses of its date and context in the Principality. Scheduled Ancient Monument (AM 54 RCAM 221).  

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