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Listed Building
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Ordnance survey map of THORNDON HALL
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Statutory Address:

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

Brentwood (District Authority)
Herongate and Ingrave
National Grid Reference:
TQ 61705 91818



TQ69SW THORNDON PARK 723-1/9/311 Thorndon Hall 21/10/58 (Formerly Listed as: THORNDON PARK, West Horndon Thorndon Hall including quadrant and wings)


Large country house, now 84 apartments. 1764-70, converted 1980. By James Paine. For Lord Petre. Stock brick with stone dressings and slate roofs. Plan - rectangular centre block with quadrant wings to rectangular pavilion blocks, total length of facade 185m. The composition unites a long, centrally porticoed Palladian palace with outer pavilions of the increasingly fashionable villa (1:3:1) style. Centre and W end burnt out in 1878 and rest allowed to decay until conversion of whole complex, including stables. EXTERIOR: N, principal facade, centre block of 11 bays has centre and end bays breaking forward, 1-3-3-3-1, rusticated podium, first floor piano nobile and second floor (originally 3 storeys). Narrow sunk panels in between first and second floors in central and adjacent 3 bays of each side now opened up as windows to make 4 storeys. Single bay ends have no sunk panels and are of 3 storeys, balustraded cornice parapet at each side of central pedimented 3 bays. All windows have sashes with glazing bars. Ground floor, windows of 3x3 panes, central doorway has Tuscan columns, triglyph frieze and cornice but now blocked and containing similar window to rest. Between ground and first floor, a contrasting chamfered string course. Piano nobile windows all 3x5 panes and with balustered aprons. Outer bays (1 and 11) have sunk Ionic Venetian surrounds, bays 3 and 9 have pediments, bays 2,3,4,8,9 and 10 have moulded architraves and the centre bay (6) a sunk round headed recess and Ionic attached columns. Sunk panels are now windows, plain 3x2 panes. Original second floor windows moulded architraves, 3x3 panes. Rear S garden elevation, similar but more dramatic with end bays broken forward and central 5 bays having a deep hexastyle Corinthian portico with round headed loggia openings in the podium. The five central windows of the piano nobile are round headed with 3x6 panes and radiating glazing bars in the heads. The central window is combined with an 8-panelled 2-leaf door. Windows of bays 1 and 11 in sunk, round headed panels and with moulded architraves and segmental pediments. Windows of bays 2,3 9 and 10 have simple cornice heads. Sunk panels in between first and second floors in bays 2 to 9 now glazed as on front elevation. Central block E elevation continues systems of front and back with balustraded cornice parapet but plain podium defined by string course. 5 storeys, 6 bays, all windows 3x3 panes except on third floor which are 3x2 panes. 3rd bay from N has projecting porch with Tuscan columns and triglyph frieze, round headed doorway with fanlight, C20 8 panelled 2-leaved door. W elevation similar but 5 bays and central porch. 2 waterheads dated 1766. Both end elevations have a C20 plain metal door adjacent to porch. Quadrant wings: N front, each of 9 bays with rusticated podium with round arch headed recesses and Ionic trabeate piano nobile with attached columns on bases and frieze with cornice. Small attic with cornice parapet and a round headed niche in each bay. E quadrant, ground floor bay nearest centre, (1) has passageway, bays 5 and 9 have doorways and rest have round headed windows, 3x2 panes with radiating glazing bars to heads. W quadrant similar, bay 1 (nearest centre) has passageway, bays 4 and 7 doorways, rest as on E quadrant. Quadrants, S, rear elevation, to W, ground floor rooms with lean-to roof above to wall (niches to front). All 8 openings segment headed, central 2 are doorways with doors of 3 panels with fanlights over, 6 windows, all 3x2 panes. E quadrant 2 storeyed with essentially 9 bays with central 2-bayed projection (once a chapel). Ground floor openings segment headed, 3 doors, each with 6 panels and fanlights and 4 windows each 3x2 panes. First floor, 7 simple 3x4 paned windows. Projecting bow has 3 ground-floor 3x2 paned windows and first floor large central triple window under depressed segment headed arch with centre as French window to a balcony, blind window recess on each side. E and W pavilions: both, in size and appearance, like large C18 houses. N front elevation, 3 broad bays, central pedimented bay breaks forward. Roofs hipped and slated with chimney-stacks at bay junctions, 3 storey, continuing the rusticated podium and piano nobile system from centre block and quadrants. W pavilion is least altered. Ground floor, central doorway with C20 metal and glass gate, window each side, 2x2 sashes a similar window in each outer bay. First floor, central depressed arch headed recess up to second floor height with principal pedimented widow. Cornice headed window in bay either side, all three windows have 3x4 panes and balustraded apron. Second floor has plain windows, 2 outer of 3x2 panes, 2 inner of 2x2 panes and a segment headed 3-light window high in the depressed arch rising from the first floor. E pavilion similar to W but now has additional ground floor rusticated 3-window range projection to E bay with flat balustraded roof, windows 3x5 panes. Pavilions - inner, side elevation, continuing rusticated podium and piano nobile system. 3 floors, 5 bays, roof hips and stacks visible, eaves cornice. Windows mainly plain except central 3 on first floor with moulded architraves, 2 with cornice heads, central one has a pediment. Windows - on ground floor, 3x2 panes, first floor, 3x4 panes, second floor, 3x2 panes. Pavilion outer side elevation continue 3 floor system but E pavilion has podium rusticated while W pavilion is in plain brick. 5 bays, all windows segment headed, ground floor, 3x2 panes, first floor 3x4 panes, second floor 3x2 panes. W pavilion has central doorway under segment head, 2 panelled units with panelled door in between. E pavilion has 3 doorways, each with a 2-leaved 8-panelled door, central door has a cornice hood. INTERIOR now completely altered with central void open to sky in central block. Apartments ranged around with central open stair and corridor access. Pavilions have central, full height, top lit stair wells and apartments set round on each floor. Conversion of quadrant wings similar, each apartment occupying 4 bays. Original chapel in E quadrant survived in a ruined state but now an apartment. James Paine, the architect, working between 1735 and 1770 was `unquestionably the leading house architect in the country --- till Mr Robert Adam entered the lists'. (Summerson J: Architecture in Britain 1530-1830: 219-220).

Listing NGR: TQ6170591818


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

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Books and journals
Summerson, J , Architecture in Britain 1530-1830, (1970), 219-220
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 15 Essex,


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: 06 Mar 2003
Reference: IOE01/07539/25
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David Batterbury. Source Historic England Archive
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