Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: I

List Entry Number: 1235736

Date first listed: 16-Mar-1987



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

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold (District Authority)

Parish: Westonbirt with Lasborough

National Grid Reference: ST8641489625


WESTONBIRT WITH A433 ST 88 NE LASBOROUGH (off south side) 10/177 Westonbirt House with south terrace 3.11.71 GV I

Large country house, a school since 1928. 1863-1870 by Lewis Vulliamy for Robert Stayner Holford. Built in the style of Elizabethan prodigy houses, with Renaissance classical ornament. Yellow-brown ashlar from Box, slate roofs, scattered stone stacks, grouped and single polygonal flues and with urns, finials and obelisks used as skyline ornament. Rectangular main block, mostly of 2 tall storeys and attic in series of large dormers, but with 3- storey corner towers and centre 5-storey tower dated 1868 to north, lower wing to east dated 1866 merging into 2-storey service courtyard dated 1865, and single-storey large orangery to west dated 1872. Highly decorative use of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders inset with stone mullion and transom fenestration with sculpted cornices and aprons, and elaborately carved friezes to each order. Attic storey skylights use Corinthian order and French motifs such as shell pediments, and are set between pierced strapwork balustrade. Central north tower has ogee fish-scale dome and is recessed twice from end lower towers with sculpted heads in roundels on inside returns. Large round arched, columned porte-cochere in centre with small colonnade linking to main walls on each side. South side of 5 bays has central half-round oriel on first floor. Orangery, now a theatre, has tall radial glazed round-headed arches between attached columns on south side, 3 large 3-light stone mullion and transoms to north side, stone balustrade with spiked ball finials, and projecting north west pavilion with open arcaded upper storey and ogee fishscale dome. Interior: the main rooms are arranged around the central top-lit saloon and are in remarkably good condition. The decoration is of extremely high quality and many of the original silk and leather wall coverings survive, in addition to the painted decoration of the main bedrooms along the south front. The ground floor rooms all have elaborate plaster ceilings. Some of the original fittings survive, notably in the library, and most fireplaces. The joinery is also of very high quality, mostly oak and walnut. The house is probably Vulliamy's most important surviving domestic building and is characterized both internally and externally by very fine craftsmanship which has remained virtually unaltered during its years as a school. On the south side, the house is set on a terrace with a low moulded stone wall edged by 14 large gadrooned ornamental urns, with steps down in the centre and to each end. In the area set back from the main block to the south east is a small bronze sundial supported by putti. (James Lees-Milne, Country Life, Vol 151, 1972; Victoria County History, Gloucestershire Vol XI, 1976; Margaret V. Mason, Westonbirt: History of a house, 1978; Mark Girouard, The Victorian Country House, 1971; David Verey, Buildings of England - Gloucestershire: the Cotswolds, 1979)

Listing NGR: ST8641489625


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

Legacy System number: 426554

Legacy System: LBS


Books and journals
Girouard, M, The Victorian Country House, (1971)
Mason, M V, Westonbirt History of a house, (1978)
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Gloucester, (1976)
Verey, D , The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 1 The Cotswolds, (1970)
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 151, (1972)

End of official listing