Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
St Brides Castle  


Unitary Authority
Marloes and St. Brides  
St Brides  
Street Side
Situated in wooded parkland, overlooking and some 700m SW of St Brides Haven.  


Broad Class
Health and Welfare  

Very large castellated house of 1833 (dated on downpipes) built for William Charles Allen Philipps (1810-64) and enlarged in 1905-6 and 1913 for the 6th Baron Kensington. There was a house called St Brides Hill, or Hill, on the site built in the C18, possibly in the 1730s by William Philipps, possibly later for Charles Allen Philipps owner 1786-1827, as Fenton in 1811 calls it an `elegant modern structure'. Some parts of this may have been built into the 1833 house which was square and symmetrical with centre tower on the W front. The 4th Baron Kensington rented the house from Philipps' heirs the Harries family of Llanunwas and the 5th Baron bought it in 1899.The 1906 additions in a free Tudor style owing something to Scots Arts and Crafts, were by J.M. Bowie of Dumfries as were the additions of 1913. Lord Kensington sold the estate in 1920 and the buildings were converted to a hospital in 1923 by E.W. Richards, architect. They were fully restored as holiday apartments 1990-2 by David Williams Associates of Woodbridge. The Tithe Map of 1839 shows an estate of 348 acres (141 hectares) owned by William Charles Allen Philipps who owned 918 acres (372 hectares) in St Brides parish and 422 acres (171 hectares) in Marloes parish at this time.  

Country house, roughcast rubble stone with some 1906 additions in red sandstone ashlar. Slate roofs hidden by battlemented parapets. Two-storey house of 1833 rising to 3 in centre tower, but present main tower of 1906 rising to 4. 1833 house has 3-1-3-bay E garden front and 2-2-2-bay N entrance front, battlemented with octagonal corner turrets, moulded dripcourses under first floor sills and parapets, large 6-pane timber mullion-and transom windows with stucco hoodmoulds. E front centrepiece is tower with corbelled parapet and no stringcourses. Original 2nd floor window and added fine red sandstone mullion-and-transom windowed 2-storey bay window of 1906 below. N entrance front has tall castellated stack to left of centre projection and centre has big 3-bay Tudor-Gothic open porch with octagonal turrets and battlements. Tudor arched windows within each side of Tudor-arched half-glazed double door. Right side has been built up in 1906 to tall tower, adding 2 storeys of similar windows (but with red stone sills), corbelled embattled parapet and carrying up NW angle turret. Much larger octagonal stair turret at rear SE of tower, similarly embattled. A 3-storey 2-window block with embattled front parapet and similar detail adjoins to right, mostly of 1906 as there are red stone sills. A curving screen wall runs on to stable court entry to W, embattled plain roughcast with 7 windows. The service court entrance arch, at right angles is embattled, rubble stone with Tudor-arched large entry and corbelled battlements over. S front to gardens was of 1-3-1-bays, embattled with similar octagonal angle turrets and taller square turrets on inner angles of projecting outer bays (turrets may be added as they have 1906 dates). The ground floor windows are plain, the upper windows hoodmoulded and centre and outer first floor windows are broader. Left bay has had another big 1906 red sandstone 2-storey bay window added, destroying the symmetry of the original. Beyond to left is a plain 2-storey, 2-window embattled range. Service wing added in 1906 to left is an unusual piece of Scots Baronial treated with Edwardian freedom. Essentially a 3 storey roughcast block with sash windows, crow-stepped gables are added over the 3 centre bays but the resultant symmetry broken by placing the 2 chimneys between the first two gables and to the right of the third. The chimneys are corbelled out from first floor and have deep mock crenellations. Double roof with crow-stepped gable ends, the W end to service court with parapet between end stacks. The rear N side has a similar pair of stepped dormer gables flanking a wall-face stack.  

A considerable amount of high quality interior detail of the 1830s survives. Entrance hall has stone-flag floor, coffered plaster ceiling, panelled doors to sides with architraves, friezes and plain cornices. A free-style 1906 stone fireplace to W has Tudor-arched fireplace with shelf and ornate carved arms over all set between 2 columns supporting flat flanking pieces to an exceptionally steep open pediment. Corner door leads to winding stone stair to tower. Arch through to stair hall with fine cantilevered stone stair up 3 sides to stone landing carried on deep coved soffit. Cast iron rococo style balusters. Big centre ceiling rose and large arched W window with intersecting tracery glazing bars. 3 W front rooms have fine neo-Grec anthemion friezes and heavily-modelled acanthus centre roses. Centre roof has octagonal centrepiece with niches in diagonal corners. 6-panel doors in architraves with cornice. Rooms above have similar doors and cornices.  

Reason for designation
Graded II* as one of the best late Georgian castellated houses of the region with good interiors and high quality Edwardian additions.  

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