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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1386724



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

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cheltenham

District Type: District Authority


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 12-Mar-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 26-Nov-1998

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 474120

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



SO9421SE BATH ROAD 630-1/23/178 (South East side) 12/03/55 No.138 Thirlestaine House (Cheltenham College) with attached railings and 2 lamp posts (Formerly Listed as: BATH ROAD (East side) Thirlestaine House and Stable block at Thirlestaine House (now cottages 1-7))


House and gallery, now school, with attached railings and 2 lamp posts to rear. Central portion built in 1823 (date over entrance) by JR Scott for himself. Cost »70,000-»80,000. Wing to left added in 1840 by Lord Northwick as a Picture Gallery to house his famous collection of paintings. Ashlar over brick with slate roof. Neo-Classical style. EXTERIOR: NW elevation has main range of 2 storeys with 9 first-floor windows, between single-tall-storey wings with projecting end ranges to either side. Main range: stepped plinth surmounted by Doric pilasters through 2 floors; crowning frieze, architrave and cornice continues around building. Central giant portico with 4 fluted Ionic columns and pediment. First floor has 6/6 sashes in tooled architraves; ground floor has tall 1/1 sashes in tooled architraves with cornices; all in plain reveals and with sills. Entrance: steps to central C20 double glazed doors, surround has cornice on consoles. Wings joined to main range by convex block with niches to left and block with 2 sculpted panels to right. Plinth with horizontal rustication. To left, wing has 6/6 sashes with tooled architraves and cornices; upper-stage band, above which are panels of sculpted reliefs. SE side has central Ionic porte-cochere to breakforward with engaged full-height Doric pillars in antis; entablature surmounted by parapet to centre. 6/6 sashes where original, all in tooled architraves, those to ground floor have frieze and cornice. Returns have panels of relief decoration copied from the Parthenon frieze. INTERIOR: entrance hall with full Ionic order (modelled on Temple of Dionysus at Teos) and deeply coved ceiling, ornamented with rosettes, coved ceiling with ornamental

plasterwork, sculptured plaque of Antinous set above saloon doorway. Saloon (to centre, front) has architraves to windows with pilasters; deep acanthus moulding to cornice; 2 grey marble fireplaces; 2-panel doors with guilloche moulding in pilastered architraves. Rectangular open-well staircase with bronze and iron balustrade with elongated-S balusters ornamented with acanthus and wreathed handrail. Attic features applied with unusual deftness. Gallery has 2 sculpted friezes of horsemen copied from the Parthenon, Athens; deep cornice has acanthus leaves and egg-and-dart moulding, deep coving to full-length raised roof with windows to sides providing top lighting and ceiling roses; entrances to each end have double, panelled doors with pilasters to sides and round-arched blind fanlights, in tooled architraves; black marble fireplace has scrolls to sides. Gallery leads to circular print room and library, retaining fitted bookshelves with inlay and guilloche moulding; cornice has decorative plasterwork with guilloche, acanthus and palm fronds, domed roof has scalloped panes to central skylight; niche for a statue; shelves for urns or busts over doors. Panelled shutters have guilloche moulding; skirting boards have Greek key motif. Other details in the house are reputed to follow those at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, and are all executed to an outstanding quality. SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: railings with central bobbins adjoin rear porte-cochere for approx 8m to each side extending to lamp posts with barleytwist columns on lion tripod bases. HISTORICAL NOTE: Erected by Scott, it was purchased whilst unfinished on the death of the owner by Lord Northwick, who completed the house and added the picture gallery, later open to the public. Rowe called it 'by far the noblest private mansion of which Cheltenham can boast'. Thirlestaine House represents the apogee of the Cheltenham villa and is the only surviving example of the grand villa within the town which compares well to the most outstanding examples of this type throughout the country. Its internal decoration is particularly notable for its diversity and quality, no doubt providing models for some of the more ambitious villas in the town (eg No.83 Pittville Lawn (qv) and Thirlestaine House, Thirlestaine Road (qv)). Forms a good group with Thirlestaine House Cottages (qv), South boundary wall of Thirlestaine House with garden feature, Kew Place (qv) and Garden Lodge, North boundary wall and Pier to Thirlestaine House, Thirlestaine Road (qv). (The Buildings of England: Verey D: Gloucestershire: The Vale and The Forest of Dean: London: 1992-: 135-6; Rowe G: Illustrated Cheltenham Guide: Cheltenham: 1850-1969: 78-9; Sampson A and Blake S: A Cheltenham Companion: Cheltenham: 1993-: 26; Little B: Cheltenham: London: 1952-: 64-5).

Listing NGR: SO9479721348

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Little, B, Cheltenham, (1952), 64-65
Rowe, G, Illustrated Cheltenham Guide 1850-196978-79
Sampson, A, Blake, S , A Cheltenham Companion, (1993)
Verey, D , The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire 2 The Vale and The Forest of Dean, (1970)

National Grid Reference: SO 94797 21348


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End of official listing