Appuldurcombe House and Freemantle Lodge Gateway


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012720

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Nov-1996


Ordnance survey map of Appuldurcombe House and Freemantle Lodge Gateway
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1012720 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 09-Dec-2018 at 19:51:38.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Godshill

District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wroxall

National Grid Reference: SZ 54031 80763, SZ 54286 79995


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

The 18th century was one of prosperity in England, due to the expanding empire, and the nobility were able to indulge in the elaboration of their country houses and estates. The merchant class was also amongst the patrons for whom mansions were built in the country. The most interesting houses of the early Georgian years are those reflecting the more massive grandeur of late Wren and the Baroque of Vanbrugh, Hawksmoor and Archer.

Examples of the English Baroque style of architecture in country houses are quite prominent in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, but the masterpiece of English Baroque in the two counties is Appuldurcombe House. Built on the site of an Elizabethan house and earlier monastic cell it survives well as a ruin. The house and gardens are known to contain archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to previous building on the site as well as Appuldurcombe House and gardens and the landscape in which they were constructed. The house and gardens are central to a variety of contemporary features, including a ha-ha, enclosed parkland and a gatehouse. The house is Listed Grade I and the gardens, which were designed by Capability Brown, are Listed Grade II in the register of National Parks and Gardens. The site has a documentary history dating back to 1009 when the manor was given to the abbey of Montebourg.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes Appuldurcombe House, an early 18th century country residence in the English Baroque style, Listed Grade I, its grounds including a ha-ha, set on an east facing slope on the south side of the Isle of Wight, and the Freemantle Lodge Gateway c.700m to the north.

The earliest recorded occupation of the site was as a monastic cell, established here in 1100. The precise location of the remains of this are unclear, though they are believed to be contained within the area of the scheduling. Subsequently an Elizabethan mansion was established. The present house replaced this in the 18th century.

The present house, which is central to its grounds, is built of freestone with Portland stone dressings and is ashlar faced. It is now internally a ruin and the roof has been removed. The house has a square centre and four oblong angle pavilions. In elevation the corner pavilions are lower than the centre, so that the centre block dominates. The centre has two and a half storeys and the pavilions have two. The garden side faces east, and its front is accentuated by large Corinthian pilasters which rise from the ground. The centre has five bays with a doorway surmounted by a roundel and swags and flanked by large columns. The top of the centre carries a balustrade. The wings have three bays and are two bays deep. They end in pediments, and on the inner sides the ground floor has niches instead of windows. All the windows have raised surrounds. The entrance side, which faces west, was originally similar, but has no large pilasters except at the angles. The entrance was remodelled in the 1770s by Wyatt for Sir Richard Worsley; it has a bare front wall and doorways from the left and right. To the south is a Tuscan colonnade between the wings, and this is also an addition by Wyatt. The house here has a seven bay centre and wings only two bays wide.

Sir Richard Worsley landscaped the surrounding grounds in the later 18th century. Capability Brown produced a plan in 1779. A ha-ha encloses the grounds on the south and south west sides of the garden. It is c.9m wide and 1.2m deep. Within the grounds are various earthworks representing landscaping or later features, some perhaps associated with its occupation by troops in the 1940s. The remnant of the 18th century landscape park is Listed Grade II in the register of National Park and Gardens.

A gatehouse, Listed Grade II, is situated adjacent to the track which runs north, away from the house. This was built in 1840, has stone window dressings and a large bay window at its east end. It has a stone porch which is gabled with stone dressings and a brick chimney.

A further gateway, the Freemantle Lodge Gateway, is c.700m to the north. This ornamental gateway, Listed Grade II*, is late 18th century in date and built of Isle of Wight stone ashlar with Portland stone dressings and cast iron gates. It is included in the scheduling.

The manor was given by Richard de Redvers in 1090 to the abbey of Montebourg, and a cell of that abbey was founded here in 1100, the manor forming part of the endowment. The estate was in monastic ownership until the Worsleys' gained possession after the Dissolution. The present Appuldurcombe House was built by Sir Robert Worsley. The Worsleys had been one of the leading families on the Isle of Wight ever since the early 16th century. Henry VIII visited Sir James Worsley at Appuldurcombe in 1538. The house was built in c.1701-13 on the same site as the Elizabethan house, about which little is known, to the design of John James, an architect in the King's Works, and was the largest private residence on the island. James Wyatt made alterations to the interior and completed it for Sir Richard Worsley, the seventh and last baronet in the direct line who died in 1805. On the death of Sir Richard the house passed to his niece, Henrietta Anne Marie Charlotte Bridgman-Simpson, who married the first Earl of Yarborough. He died in 1846 and their son, the second Earl, sold the house in 1855. It subsequently became a hotel, school and Benedictine monastery, but was not inhabited after 1909, except for temporary occupation by troops. It was severely damaged by bombing in 1943 and a proposal was made to demolish the house in 1945. As the house had gradually become ruinous, the interior fittings were removed. The house has been in the care of the Secretary of State since 1953.

The stable block and the gatehouse to the north of the house, both Listed Grade II, signposts, information boards in the grounds, the iron fence and stone wall on the boundary, also Listed Grade II, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. The modern fences and garden walls within the protected area of the Freemantle Lodge Gateway, are excluded from the scheduling, the Gateway is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 22041

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of the Isle of Wight171
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, (1967), 729
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, (1967), 729-730
MHLG Listed Buildings (R D), (1960)

End of official listing