Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of DYRHAM HOUSE
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Statutory Address:

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

South Gloucestershire (Unitary Authority)
Dyrham and Hinton
National Grid Reference:
ST 74180 75766



5/151 Dyrham House 17.9.52 G.V. I

Country house. Originally Tudor, rebuilt for William Blathwayt late C17/early C18; west front by Samuel Hauduroy, completed by 1694, east front by William Talman, completed by 1703, refenestrated c.1800; alterations and additions mid C19 to south elevation. Limestone ashlar, coursed rubble at north and south elevations, slate and lead roofs. West front of central block with projecting wings, central block (from south to north) of C19 kitchen, the great hall and dining room (originally parlour and arched closet), enlarged C19, east front extending to north and south beyond central block. West front of 2 storeys, 3:9:3 windows, 3 bays to each side set forward, all windows sashes in moulded architraves with cills, central round-headed door has double pilaster to each side with large capital as impost for head of door and supporting bracket beneath first floor balcony (originally balcony extended across central window only, widened to 3 in same style 1845-60, 2 pilasters added to each side of door and 2 brackets), balustrade with 4 dies each with raised panel; door has Gothic intersecting glazing bars in upper section, heavy foliate keystone and Grinling Gibbons style carving in spandrels. Central first floor window has floating cornice and Horatian inscription "his utere mecum". Moulded plinth, moulded string course at first floor, heavy cornice, long and short quoins with V- joints, balustrade with dies, fluted urns with ball finials (early C19) 2 to each side and 2 in centre; central wider plinth with raised panel and scrolled carving to sides, small outer pilasters, surmounted by lead figure of Mercury. Each wing has 3 bays, 3 round headed sashes with splayed glazing bars in flat architraves, cill string course continued from main block, three 6-pane sashes at basement level; between windows, plain pilasters with capitals in string course, continued above string; 3 blind oval recesses with flat architraves, plain cornice and parapet divided into 3 sections by pilasters, 2 rectangular raised panels in each section. Pavilion below terrace level at end of each wing; pavilion to right of 2 storeys and 2 windows, all sashes as on main elevation, ground floor north has round-headed opening with 6-panelled door, long and short rusticated voussoirs, moulded plinth, long and short rusticated v-jointed quoins, string course from main elevation continued as cornice for pavilions, parapet with oval recesses as on wings and balustrade as on main elevation. Pavilion to left half the width of other pavilion, same inner elevation, to west only one window wide, blind at first floor, ground floor formerly with circular window, now also blocked. East front of 2 storeys and attic, 3:7:3 windows including 2 shallow projecting wings, all windows 15-pane sashes in moulded architraves, attic windows 6-pane sashes. Ground floor has banded rustication of the French type, central doorway with Doric columns, double panelled doors, upper panel with carved festoon, all ground floor windows have acanthus carved brackets to cills and lintels, central window of outer 3 bays has scrolled brackets to lintel and raised panel on aprons, band course above. First floor central 20-pane sash has balustrade, Ionic semi- pilaster to each side, scrolled brackets supporting pediment with draped urn above to each side; of 3 bays to each side, central windows have segmental pediments, rest with floating cornice, outer windows have balustrades (mason mistook the architect's intention and placed 2 balustrades under the wrong windows); of 3 outer bays, central window has pediment on brackets and balustrade, others have floating cornice. Attic storey has central 8-pane sash and central window of outer bays in eared and shouldered architraves, in centre 7 bays, festoons alternate with the segmental pediments below, in the outer 3 bays, panels below outer windows carved with strapwork. Quoins of even length, richly carved cornice, parapet and balustrade with draped fluted urns, central pedestal with raised panel and inscription "virtute et veritate", segmental pediment surmounted by large eagle, the Blathwayt crest, carved by John Harvey of Bath. To right, screen wall rising to first floor height to balance the effect of the Orangery (q.v.), 2 round-headed arches with rusticated voussoirs and heavy vermiculated keystones, divided by paired pilasters with paired pilasters to left; to right, pavilion broken forward with paired engaged Doric columns, pulvinated frieze, cornice, parapet with paired pilasters over ground floor pilasters and columns, balustrade with similar urns. South elevation shows division between Hauduroy to west and Talman to east; between the 2, at basement level, a single storey C19 kitchen block with three 16-pane sashes, cornice, parapet and balustrade; set back the great hall with 3 large 28-pane sashes (reduced in size when kitchen added), cornice, parapet and balustrade, hipped roof; inner walls in coursed rubble, varied windows to east and west. To west, long and short v-jointed rusticated quoins between house and stable block, balustrade and urn as at west elevation; to east, flush quoins, rusticated only at top storey, cornice returned and quoins remaining, former plan infilled in C19. South elevation above orangery (q.v.) has two 6-pane sashes in moulded architraves with raised panel below each, cornice and balustrade above with urn to right and left as at east elevation. North elevation has single storey block behind screen wall with one 9-pane sash, behind, elevation of 3 storeys and 2 windows, cornice, balustrade and urn to each corner, straight rusticated quoins to right and left. Central block in rubble of 2 storeys and 7 windows, set back, all 15-pane sashes, 3rd from left ground floor has doors inserted below sash, first floor 3 bays to right with sash and 2 blind windows. North elevation of north west wing has 2 flat-headed windows with hood moulds, both blocked, possibly surviving from earlier building. Interior: The walnut stair, to the west, designed by Hauduroy, woodwork carried out by Robert Barker of London, cantilever construction in enclosed square rising to first floor, walnut imported from Virginia, panelling grained to match, only treads and risers remain unpainted. The cedar staircase, to east, designed by William Talman and completed after 1702, rises to full height of the building, cantilever construction, risers, balusters and carved brackets of cedar from America, treads of Virginian walnut. East hall (formerly called the vestibule) has original stamped leather hangings, gilded, painted and embossed with cherubs, flowers and fruit, installed 1702, original chimney-piece of red and white Languedoc marble now in the Balcony Room, replaced by C19 Italian chimney-piece. The Balcony Room was central room of 1692-4 additions, panelling of architectural character with Ionic pilasters raised on tall plinths, superimposed pilasters to either side of the fireplace, foliage around centre window, joinery c. 1693 by Robert Barker, brass locks and hinges on doors pierced and engraved with scrolling, tulips, daffodils, roses and strawberries, probably made by John Wilkes of Birmingham. Dyrham House and Dyrham Park are the property of The National Trust. (Sources: Verey, D. : Buildings of England Gloucestershire : The Cotswolds. 1970. Kenworthy-Browne, J. : Dyrham Park. 1983. Country Life 14, 434-441, XL 546-552, CXXXI 335-339 and CXXXI 396-399).

Listing NGR: ST7418175774


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

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Books and journals
Verey, D , The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 1 The Cotswolds, (1970)
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 14, (), 434-441
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 14, (), 546-552
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 14, (), 335-339
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 14, (), 396-399
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic interest in England, Part 1 Avon,


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: 03 Jul 2006
Reference: IOE01/13242/13
Rights: Copyright IoE Lorna Freeman. Source Historic England Archive
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