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.

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Calne Without
National Grid Reference:
ST 97481 69950



5/12 Bowood House



Country house, 1755-61 by H. Keene and 1768-74 by R. Adam for the 1st Marquess of Lansdowne, built as service courts and orangery to the main house, demolished 1955. Conversion to main residence 1955-7 by F.S. Samuels. Ashlar with slate roofs. E-plan pair of service courts by Keene, 2-storey with 4 raised angle pavilions, screened across south by Adam's single storey orangery range, the 'Diocletian Wing'. Part of the centre arm of Keene's courts remodelled as chapel 1822-4 by C.R. Cockerell with prominent stone lantern on the ridge added 1860 by Sir C. Barry. South front is framed by Keene's pyramid-roofed pavilions, 3-window with modillion pediments applied against attic storey, plain attic cornice and parapet. Centre openings with architraves, ground floor centre with pediments on consoles, Adam's range between, 4-1-4-1-4-1-4- bays, has high pedimented projecting centre, with paired columns flanking tall arched doorway and carved eagle on apex block. Glazed doors with panelled piers and side lights, large radiating- bar fanlight over. Fluted frieze with paterae. Wings have centre pavilion with similar attached columns, cornice and flat parapet, recessed arch with paterae in spandrels framing circular light over plain doorway. Four-bays each side of centres have attached Roman Doric colonnade and balustrade over, moulded arched openings, fully glazed to orangery bays each side of main portico, recessed arched glazing-bar windows in outer bays. This south front is a major work in the development of Adam's mature style incorporating some neo-classical elements, notably the composite capitals of the columns derived from Diocletian's palace at Spalato. East front by Keene, 3-7-3-bays, is framed by pavilions as on south front, the centre 2-storey with modillion cornice and arched ground floor openings. Moulded architraves to centre openings of pavilions and main range, pediments to ground floor openings. Tall ashlar stacks. Inner courts have similar cornice, 4-3-4-bay pedimented rear ranges and 7-bay side ranges. Various arched ground floor openings and lunettes divided by applied pilasters. Centre range has south end altered for 3 long arched lights to chapel. Barry's lantern, at north end of chapel, has rusticated plinth, moulded base with clock faces and open arched cupola with attached columns, cornice, finials over columns and slated square dome. West front is plain version of east front with flanking pavilions. North front is rubble stone with 1899 stone conservatory attached to north of north-east pavilion, verandah on Roman Doric columns to right. Attached are reset ornate c1851 iron gates from forecourt of demolished main house. Interiors: Adam orangery has plastered vaults and Ionic screens each side of centre entry. Fine Greek revival doorcase and bronzed doors to chapel. Beyond orangery to east is Laboratory where J. Priestley, librarian and tutor at Bowood 1773-80 discovered oxygen gas 1774 and Dr Jan Ingenhousz (1730-99) discovered photosynthesis of plants 1779. East end of Adam range contains fine Library by C.R. Cockerell. Chapel by Cockerell has severe Greek revival interior with coffered ceilings. Reredos is C18 former organ case installed 1899. Bowood was a notable political and literary centre in the C18 and C19. The 1st Marquess (1737-1805) was Prime Minister 1782-3, friend of Johnson, Goldsmith, Hume and Franklin. The 3rd Marquess (1780-1863) was a leading Whig politician, anti- slaver and promoter of Catholic Emancipation, friend of T. Moore and Lord Macaulay. The 5th Marquess (1845-1927) was a Liberal politician, Governor General of Canada 1883-8, Viceroy of India 1888-94, Foreign Secretary 1900-5 and leader of the Liberal Unionists against Irish home rule. (Country Life, 8-22.6.1972)

Listing NGR: ST9752869945


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
'Country Life' in 22 June, (1972)
'Country Life' in 8 June, (1972)
'Country Life' in 15 June, (1972)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 46 Wiltshire,


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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Date: 19 Feb 2004
Reference: IOE01/11553/01
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr B.J.W. Heath. Source Historic England Archive
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