Wilton House

18 Jul 2000
Wilton House, Wilton, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 0BZ
Photograph (Digital)
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


5409 WILTON PARK Wilton House SU 0931 5/1 4.8.51.

SU 0930 5/1



Outstanding for both historical and architectural reasons.

A courtyard house in landscaped grounds, probably on site of the mediaeval nunnery. Rebuilt by 1st Earl of Pembroke after 1544 and largely finished by 1563. The Holbein porch (qv) and the centrepiece of the east front survive from this period. South wing remodelled by Solomon de Caux in early C17 and rebuilt after 1647 fire by John Webb with Inigo Jones supervising the internal arrangements. Gothicised by Wyatt circa 1801 who built the cloister in the courtyard and remodelled the north and west fronts. The exterior Gothick features mostly removed in early C20 and replaced by classical.

Built of ashlar. 2 and 3 storeys with corner and gatetowers one storey higher. Modillion cornice and balustraded parapets.

East front: former entrance front. Central gatetower circa 1550: 4 storeys, 3 bays with mullion and transom windows (long on 1st floor) and central 3 storey oriel over Tudor archway. Gothick parapet (by Wyatt circa 1801) and cupola (modern restoration). Entrance flanked by Doric aedicules surmounted by achievement of arms. C16 arms over central 1st floor window. Flanking 2 bay wings link with corner towers (of 2 bays also), glazing bar windows with architraves, cornices on 1st floor, sashes on ground and 1st floors, casements above.

South front: 9 wide bays, end towers of 1 bay with pedimented gables and quoins. Towers have segmental pediments to 3rd floor windows (glazing bar casements). All windows have architraves, with cornices 1st floor (piano nobile), segmental headed with heavy voussoired keystones on ground (semi-basement) floor. 2nd floor windows casements, rest glazing bar sashes. Central 1st floor window Venetian, with blank sides, surmounted by an achievement of arms flanked by carved figures. End 1st floor windows have pediments.

These and centre window have projecting square baluster balconies on porches.

West front: 1, 2 and 3 storey infill between corner towers. Crenellated parapets. Central canted bay window with wide stairs leading to Italian garden.

North front: 2+3 + central entrance + 3 + 2 bays, remodelled with mullioned windows. Internal courtyard has 2 storey crenellated cloisters by Wyatt, 1st floor windows with wide Tudor perpendicular 4-light windows.

Wilton House is one of England's principal country houses. The Herbert family (Earls of Pembroke) have been great patrons of the arts and builders.

The south range of Wilton is of seminal importance to the development of Palladianism, almost a century later. The suite of state rooms on the piano nobile by Inigo Jones are by far the best surviving C17 rooms in England.

Fully described in Pevsner, Guidebook, Country Life May 1904, Jan 1944 and especially May, July and August 1963.

Listing NGR: SU0993330976


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1666 IOE Records taken by Peter Read; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Peter Read. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Read, Peter

Rights Holder: Read, Peter


Ashlar, Medieval Coat Of Arms, Tudor Commemorative, Elizabethan Commemorative Monument, Gate Tower, Defence, Fortification, Courtyard House, Monument (By Form), House, Domestic, Dwelling, Cloister, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Tower, Unassigned, Building, Landscape Park, Gardens Parks And Urban Spaces, Park