Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 47051 14794


BOMERE HEATH C.P. BERWICK ROAD (west side) SJ 41 SE 10/71 Berwick House 29.1.52 GV II*

Country house. Dated 1731 (rainwater heads), attributed to Francis Smith of Warwick, for Thomas Powys. Altered and enlarged in 1878 (dated on down- pipes) by Stevens of Birmingham, for Mr. James Watson. Red brick with grey sandstone ashlar dressings. Hipped plain tile roofs. 1731 block enlarged at the rear in a Jacobean Revival style. Early C18 L-plan wing (formerly stables) to north-east, forming entrance courtyard. South-east front: 2:2:1:2:2 bays. Giant Corinthian order of pilasters with hierachical ornament, the inner pair unfluted with carved drops, the middle pair fluted and the outer pair cable fluted. Rusticated plinth with moulded ground-floor cill string course, moulded sub-plinth, moulded cornice, breaking forward over pilasters, panelled dies to attic supporting second moulded cornice, and C19 balustrade with square dies and urn finials with swags. Four C19 brick stacks with moulded pilaster strips and cornices; further C19 brick stacks behind ridge. C19 octagonal lead-covered cupola over hall, behind front ridge off-centre to left, with round-arched openings and double-curved lead cap with finial. Glazing bar sashes with gauged-brick heads and triple keystones with moulded tops; moulded stone cills to attic windows. C19 first-floor stone balconies on carved brackets and central first-floor keystone with carved device. Central pair of half-glazed panelled doors with elaborate stone doorcase consisting of shouldered and lugged moulded architrave on panelled dies, flanking raised and fielded panels, and cable-fluted Corinthian pilasters supporting sections of entablature (with continuous frieze between) and open segmental pediment with broken-back centre and much carved ornament in tympanum, including cornucopia, palm fronds and central shield. Five stone steps up to door with moulded nosings. North-east front: 2:2:2 bays, the left-hand side blank and some inserted C19 windows to right. Central C19 two-storey porte-cochère : 1 x 3 bays to ground floor with keyed arches and Corinthian pilasters, and first-floor Ionic corner pilasters with carved drops; pair of half-glazed doors behind screen. South-west front: end of front range set back to right with C19 two-storey square bay. 1878 range to left with giant Corinthian order at corners and 3 bays with applied orders to each floor, pediments over central ground-floor windows, and central Flemish gable. C18 square lead downpipes to each end of C18 block, with dated and richly-decorated rainwater heads and ornamented fixing straps. North-east wing: formerly stable block. 2 storeys and attic. Double-chamfered stone plinth, chamfered stone quoins, and moulded stone eaves cornice, breaking forward over keystones. C19 brick ridge stacks with fluted pilasters and moulded cornices. Large C19 dormers (3 to front and 5 to side) consisting of glazing bar sashes, ogees in blind segmental tympana, flanking pilasters supporting open triangular-pedimented gables, and tile-hung sides. South- east front: 2:1:2 bays; boxed glazing bar sashes with moulded stone cills and gauged-brick heads (segmental to ground floor) with triple keystones. Central pair of half-glazed doors with stone doorcase consisting of moulded architrave, fluted frieze and triangular pediment; 3 stone steps to doorway with moulded nosings. Left-hand return front: 11 bays; blocked or blind windows, except for 2 ground-floor glazing bar sashes to right. Door in third bay from right with 8 raised and fielded panels, rectangular overlight, and stone doorcase consisting of moulded architrave, fluted frieze and triangular pediment. Keyed segmental-arched through-passageway to left. Some refenestra- tion to ground floor at left. Link block returning at north-west end. 1:3:1 bays. 3-bay triangular pediment to central break; circular clock in tympanum with stone surround consisting of pilaster strips,moulded cornice and flanking scrolls. Central octagonal wooden cupola with square base, round arches with keystones, balustrading, dentil cornice, small triangular pediments to cardinal faces, and ogee lead cap with weathervane. Ground floor refenestrated in C19 and segmental arches blocked. C19 ground-floor additions too, including covered walkway on 2 sides of service courtyard. Circa 1878 brick screen wall to service court, with paired brick pilasters, cornice and balustrade; segmental-headed doorway to left. Interior: remodelled in 1878 by Stevens in an exuberant free Jacobean/Baroque Revival style but some 1731 work remains. Central ground-floor front room (former entrance hall): surviving 1731 work includes raised and fielded bolection-moulded panelling, Corinthian pilasters, and 2 well-carved over-doors depicting military trophies, attributed to Grinling Gibbons (Leach). The 1878 additions at the rear are planned around a vast central full-height square hall with balustraded first-floor gallery, balustraded attic gallery to one side, clerestorey with stained glass, and coving above with pendants; panelling, marble fireplace with pilastered overmantel, and shell niche to one side of first-floor gallery. C19 five-flight square-well staircase rising from one side of the hall, with balustrade and square newel posts. Further rooms with panelling, panelled ceilings, fireplaces etc. First-floor rooms not inspected but it is said (B.O.E.) that the central first-floor room also has early C18 panelling and decoration. The house stands within a landscaped park, including a chapel (q.v.), almshouses (q.v.) and Gothic folly (q.v.). A map (still kept at Berwick) made of the house and its surroundings in 1760 by Thomas Ansell shows the house and stables before the 1878 alterations. It also shows a pair of fine wrought-iron gates by Robert Davies of Wrexham in the park to the south-east of the house, which are now at Newnham Paddox in Warwickshire. Robert Mylne made some alterations and additions to the house in 1780 but these no longer survive. B.O.E., p.74; Colvin, pp. 467, 577 and 752; Ed. Francis Leach, The County Seats of Shropshire (1891), pp.1-6;Ifor Edwards, Davies Brothers. Gatesmiths (1977), pp. 83-5; Shropshire Libraries map collection (photocopy of Berwick map).

Listing NGR: SJ4705114794


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Colvin, H M, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, (1978), 467 752
Edwards, I, The Davies Brothers Gatesmiths, (1977), 83-85
Leach, F, The County Seats of Shropshire, (1891), 1-6
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Shropshire, (1958), 74


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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