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.

South Northamptonshire (District Authority)
Easton Neston
National Grid Reference:
SP 70157 49303



12/48 Easton Neston House, and 01/12/51 attached wing


Country house. Built c.1685-95 for Sir William Fermor created Baron Lempster 1692, probably to a design made by office of Sir Christopher Wren and executed under direction of Nicolas Hawksmoor who modified the exterior c.1700-02. Interior still unfinished at death of Lord Lempster in 1711. Limestone ashlar (Helmdon stone), lead roofs, stone internal stacks. Double-pile plan with central cross passage. English Baroque style. 2 storeys and basement; 9-window range. Entrance front to west has central 8-panel double-leaf doors with fanlight, stone surround with round-arched head, keyblock and imposts. Window to first floor above with similar head and surround. Otherwise 40-pane sash windows to ground and first floors with moulded eared stone surrounds. Giant order of composite pilasters and columns, the latter flanking central bay, pilasters defining the others. Channelled rustication to basement which has segmental-headed, keyblocked windows. Door approached by double-armed outer staircase with intermediate landing either side, wrought-iron balustrade and window below central landing with stone lintel and keyblock. End bays break forward slightly, 5-bay centre breaks forward slightly further with pronounced break-forward to central bay. Full entablature with plain frieze except to central bay which bears Fermor motto HORA E SEMPRE. Segmental-arched pediment above framing family coat of arms. Balustraded parapet, with piers above pilasters bearing urns except for pair of lions facing inwards above inner pilasters either end. Garden front to east has similar composition with pilasters throughout, balustrade continued over central bay, whose frieze is inscribed AD SAL MOCCII. North side elevation of seven bays has central ground floor window similar to ground and first floor windows of main fronts. Very large round-arched window above, lighting staircase. Giant pilasters flank centre with sections of entablature either side of head of staircase window and open pediment. Bays either end have round-arched windows to ground floor with segmental hoods and first floor windows similar to those of main fronts but with pediments. Intervening bays have mezzanine storeys with pairs of 18-pane sashes to ground and first floors, square mezzanine windows above ground floor windows, those above first floor windows with segmental-arched heads and all with moulded stone surrounds. Lead rainwater pipes between these windows with heads dated 1702. Pilasters to either end with sections of entablature, continuous cornice and balustraded parapet. Single-storey brick quadrant corridor to ground floor far right joins house to surviving wing and attached buildings. Corridor has round-arched heads to windows with keyblocks. South side elevation has 5 bays and similar articulation, but sash windows to ground floor matching those of main fronts, 18-pane first floor windows, and attic windows with segmental-arched heads; all with moulded eared stone surrounds. Wing, originally one of pair flanking forecourt, of brick with stone dressings and hipped slate roof; 1 storey and attic; 9-window range. Pedimented central bay is ashlar-faced and has large door with moulded stone surround and segmental pediment on brackets; chamfered quoins to angles. Tall leaded wood mullion and transom windows with moulded stone surrounds. Hipped roof dormers. Similar L-plan attached building to rear left, now boiler-house, has large limestone Tudor rose and coat of arms incorporated in brickwork, probably from earlier house. Wing of similar character to rear right. Interior: double-height hall sub-divided horizontally c.1900 retains chimneypiece by William Kent and stone Corinthian columns. Stone cantilever staircase rises in two long flights with intermediate landings and has fine wrought-iron balustrade with inter-linked Ls for Lempster. Stone niches for statues and grisaille wall-paintings by Sir James Thornhill of the Triumph of Diocletian. Several secondary staircases of wood with turned balusters. Drawing Room, formerly Dining Room, has fine plasterwork frames to large hunting paintings by Snyders and Hondius and plaster ceiling depicting Venus and Adonis - c.1730-40 and attributed to Charles Stanley. Black and white marble chimneypiece by William Kent. First floor gallery above cross passage has fielded panelling and large niche flanked by Corinthian pilasters and plain barrel-vaulted ceiling. Fine carved cornices to several of the larger rooms upstairs. One has corner fireplace with veined marble bolection-moulded fireplace surround and stepped chimneybreast for displaying china. Original chimneypieces in mezzanine rooms, mostly bolection-moulded. Stone-vaulted basement with former servants hall and kitchen. The former has painted stone relief of Wheel of Fortune, the latter a groin-vaulted ceiling of 3 bays, supported by elliptical arches which span the room. Hall and staircase were designed as setting for some of the Arundel marbles purchased by Lord Lempster 1691 and presented to University of Oxford by 2nd Countess of Pomfret in 1755. Seat of the Fermor-Heskeths. (Park and gardens included in the H.B.M.C.E. Register of Parks and Gardens at Grade II*; Buildings of England: Northamptonshire: 1973, pp203-204; Connoisseur: October 1964; Country Life 7-14 November 1908, 20-27 August 1927 and October 15th 1970; D.E.L. Haynes, The Arundel Marbles 1975, pp14-16 (pamphlet))

Listing NGR: SP7015749303


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Haynes, D E L, The Arundel Marbles, (1975)
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, (1973), 203-4
'Country Life' in 14 November, (1908)
'Country Life' in 20 August, (1927)
'Country Life' in Country Life - 15 October, (1970)
'Country Life' in 27 August, (1927)
'Country Life' in 7 November, (1908)
'The Connoisseur' in October, (1964)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 30 Northamptonshire,


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

Images of England

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Date: 25 May 2004
Reference: IOE01/12334/17
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Alistair F Nisbet. Source Historic England Archive
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