Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of LONGLEAT HOUSE
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Statutory Address:

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

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:



ST 84 SW 2/137

Longleat House




Country house. 1568, facades of 1572 by Sir John Thynne with Robert Smythson and Alan Maynard, north wing and internal alterations 1801-11 by Jeffry Wyatville for 2nd Marquess of Bath, interior redecorated 1870s by J.D. Crace for 4th Marquess of Bath. Bath stone, Welsh slate hipped roof, lead flats, ashlar Tuscan column stacks. Large rectangular block with two courtyards, the east an amalgamation of two smaller courtyards by Wyatville. Three storey and basement, 2:1:2:5:2:1:2 bays to front; 2 windows to each of the four projecting bays. Central C18 Doric portico with broken pediment with Thynne arms, double 8-panelled doors up ten stone steps with curved balustrade, basement has 3-light and 4- light recessed chamfered mullioned casements. Three storeys with Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders flanking the projecting bays and linked by continuous entablatures, bays have 3-light mullioned and transomed casements with circular niches to sill zones, windows between are 4-light, with shaped aprons, balustraded parapet with scroll and strapwork decorations to bays, C17 and C18 statues. East front has three projecting bays with three 4-light mullioned and transomed casements between, raised terrace with balustraded parapet and steps to centre 7 bays. West front has similar rhythm of bays as the east. Rear, north side including central bay was completed by Wyatville, only the two flanking bays are C16. Roof retains gables of 1568 build, with four square 'banqueting houses' around the west courtyard, each with 2-light mullioned shuttered windows, domed fishcale stone roof with classical cupola, three octagonal stair turrets around the east courtyard have similar detail, probably by Smythson. Chimney stacks with unusual decorated friezes and domed cappings, single or grouped. Interior: Four-bay 2-storey hall with screen's passage, in original position to right of entrance; retains original C16 fittings and decoration, the remainder of the house refitted by Wyatville and Crace. Hall has hammer-beam roof, screen's passage with Ionic order and strapwork, by Andrew Gaunt c1578, carved fireplace of 1560s with Ionic columns and overmantel with terms to entablature is only fireplace by Alan Maynard in original position, others by him now in west range and servants' hall, other ornament includes niches with shell hoods flanking bay windows, carved balcony at east end of c1682. Imperial stairs with carved turned balusters with decorated Soane-style vault and glazed octagonal dome by Wyatville, original stairs were at dais end of hall. Wyatville also improved internal arrangements by making corridors around the courtyards, external walls of courts retain cross windows of 1568 build. All state rooms refitted and decorated late C19 in Italian style, with fine gilded plaster ceilings, white marble fireplaces, including some early C19, and imported wall coverings such as Spanish leather in the state dining room. Bedrooms with earlier C18 or C19 fittings including Regency fireplaces and Chinese painted wallpaper. Bishop Ken's Library over the Hall with pilastered walls and segmental arches made c1585. Attached to rear by ashlar walls is former larder, now shop, by Wyatville in same style and retaining original fittings. House set in very fine parkland, landscaped by Capability Brown 1757-60 and again 1800-10 by Humphry Repton whose Red Book for Longleat is at the house.

Listing NGR: ST8092242975

This entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 8th July 2016.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Burnett, D, Longleat, (1978)
Girouard, M, Robert Smythson and the Elizabethan Country House, (1983)
Pevsner, N , The Buildings of England: Wiltshire, (1975)
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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