Heritage Category: Listed Building
List Entry Number: 1173950
Date first listed: 29-Dec-1952
Statutory Address: WESTWOOD HOUSE
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Statutory Address: WESTWOOD HOUSE
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wychavon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SO 87560 63967
SO 86 SE WESTWOOD CP WESTWOOD PARK
4/248 Westwood House
- 29.12.52 GV I
Hunting lodge, extended as country house, now flats. c1600 for Sir John Pakington; extended c1660-70 for his grandson, Sir John Pakington; mid- C19 alterations by P Hardwick, early C20 alterations by Sir Reginald Blomfield for Lord Doverdale and further alterations during the mid-C20 when converted to flats. Red brick in English bond, red sandstone ashlar dressings, plain tiled roofs. Jacobean style. Complex but symmetrical plan; basically a central rectangle, being the original hunting lodge with two full-height angled bays to each front, the north and south elevations having additional large central bays. The interest lies in the four large, angled wings of roughly matching design added to each corner so forming the most distinctively shaped house in the county. Four storeys and cellar; the principal front facing east being of three and four storeys; wide moulded floor strings dropped or raised as necessary at junction with angle wings; memorable cornices to all the elevations with heralic devices of gerbes alternating with mullets from the Pakington coat of arms (see centre of principal front); three shaped gables per front containing a mullet within a circular panel at the apex, the outer gables rising from behind the angled bays; all have moulded cappings and ornamental finials; angle wings end in pavilions, with full-height angled bays, and capped by two-stage ogee cupolas with fishscale tiles and finials, added by Sir Reginald Blomfield in the early C20. Between these pavilions and the main block are shaped gables. Windows are of tall mullioned and transomed type of 2-, 4- and 5-lights with king mullions and leaded casements. Principal entrance front: remorselessly symmetrical; central three bays flanked by two bays in each projecting angled wing; the central entrance porch is of limestone with marble inlay panels and is tripartite, incorporating a Triumphal arch motif with fluted Corinthian columns; above are strapwork cartouches and a central eagle (headless) with an allegorical figure astride it; within is a round-arched doorway with oak C17 style doors, flanked by pilasters enriched with lozenges; heraldic mullets appear on soffits and also seriatim throughout the house, including the lead guttering. The parapet above the entrance is capped by lead urns between which is an unusual balcony made from a latticework of cast iron bars. On the first floor above the entrance is a large achievement of arms set within an enriched square panel. The ground and first floor windows have two transoms and two sunk-chamfer king mullions. The wings have dressings in a more reddish- coloured sandstone and have a chamfered stone plinth; the first of the two bays on each side is set back with a small ogee-headed doorway situated at the bottom of the outermost side. The opposing sides of the wings have slightly irregular junctions with the main block and large external chimneys capped by diagonally-set shafts. The west front, opposing the principal entrance front, has two chimneys set between the outer angled bays and causing a change in design to the central gable; each chimney has paired diagonally-set shafts; at centre of this front is a single storey kitchen extension c1840. The north front has sandstone angled buttresses to the central bay and projecting from this bay is a late Cl7, single storey square bay window with chamfered rustication to the dressings, angled in the voussoirs; the lattice-pattern cast iron balcony above resembles that above the principal entrance porch; C18 single storey extension with modillion cornice is situated to the right of late Cl7 square bay in the angle with the north-west wing. Interior: porch leads into the Hall and it is possible, assuming the porch to be c1660, that the traditional entry arrangement was moved at this date. The panelling, and that of the other ground floor rooms was replaced c1840. Behind the Hall and extending across the full length of the house, from north to south, at first floor level is the staircase hall, c1670. The staircase is of two main flights with a main landing, each flight divided into eight risers separated by small landings of equal length; moulded handrails with turned balusters and massive newel posts surmounted by Corinthian columns with ball finials. The Saloon has a magnificent plaster ceiling c1670 with a central oval wreath within a shaped panel, which is enclosed by a heavily moulded rib, the soffit enriched with deeply undercut foliage: the remainder of the ceiling is made up of wreaths and panels and the cove is decorated with large festoons; there is an early C17 highly elaborate oak chimney piece framed by coupled columns of two superimposed orders, the lower Ionic, the upper Corinthian, both with ornate carved friezes; above the fireplace is a panel with enriched bolection moulding; the surfaces behind the columns are ornatented with naturalistic carving and there are fluted niches with strapwork detailing. The rooms in the wings leading off the Saloon have similar plaster ceilings although on a smaller and less impressive scale; the north-east wing has a fine wood chimney piece with naturalistic carving painted white. The Westwood Estate was founded in the C12 as an abbey of the Order of Fontevrault; it later became a Benedictine nunnery and, after the Dissolution, passed into the hands of The Pakington family. The original hunting lodge was of a tall and compact design comparable to Barlborough in Derbyshire and the hunting lodges at Cranbourne and Sherborne (now known as Sherborne Castle). Bearing such analogies in mind it is probable that the angle wings added in 1660 were actually enlargements of former angle turrets or similar. The over-all layout of the ancillary buildings and the estate as a whole, as shown in Kip's illustration of c1698, added to the unusual and dramatic effect of the house plan, but this effect is now sadly diminished by the removal of the garden enclosures, two of the four garden pavillions (qv) and the change of use of the surrounding parkland. However the replacement of the former short spires on the angled wings with two-stage ogee cupolas, by Blomfield in the early C20, has much enhanced the appearance of the house and helped relate it once more to the gatehouse and two surviving pavilions. To the south of the house there is a late C19 formal garden with low perimeter walls and a central basin; to one side is a small topiary garden. (CL, xii, 689; Lxiv, 50, 94; Lxiii, 1689; Lxxxiv, 738; VCH III (i): BoE).
Listing NGR: SO8756063967
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 148144
Legacy System: LBS
Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Worcester, (1913)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, (1968)
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 12, (), 689
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 12, (), 50,94
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 12, (), 1689
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 12, (), 738
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 20 Hereford and Worcester,
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