Lodsworth House (West Wing, East Wing and North Court), and mounting block


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Lodsworth, Petworth, GU28 9BY


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Statutory Address:
Lodsworth, Petworth, GU28 9BY

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

West Sussex
Chichester (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:


Country house built between 1837 and 1839, designed by the well-known architect Edward Blore for Hasler Hollist (née Capron), and a stone mounting block.

Reasons for Designation

Lodsworth House (West Wing, East Wing and North Court), including mounting block, near Chichester, West Sussex is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* it has a strong and varied external design, including a lively roof line, and makes effective use of coursed stone with contrasting ashlar detailing; * despite the internal subdivision, the original plan and circulation of the main house remains legible; * the interior retains good-quality mid-C19 joinery including panelled rooms, staircases, panelled doors and architraves.

Historic interest:

* it is a good example of the work of the architect Edward Blore who was particularly well-known for his country-house designs.

Group value:

* it has a strong historical association with the nearby Old House (Grade II*).


Lodsworth House stands on land inherited located to the south-west corner of Lodsworth village. In 1833 Elizabeth Hollist, who lived at The Old House, The Street, Lodsworth (Grade II*), died without an heir; she bequeathed her property to her nephew Hasler Capron (1797-1874) of nearby Easebourne. Hasler changed his name to Hollist when he took over ownership of the estate and he commissioned the well-known country house architect Edward Blore to construct a new house on land to the west of The Old House.

Lodsworth House was built between 1837 and 1839, and positioned on a slight ridge with its garden front facing south across the South Downs. The surrounding gardens and parkland were laid out by Hasler Hollist in the mid-C19. The Lodsworth Tithe Map (1841), drawn up soon after the building’s completion, shows its irregular footprint consisting of a main range to the south with an octagonal tower and an L-shaped service wing to the north. The house was approached by two main drives; to the north was a short tree-lined drive which included an eastern spur that led to a walled kitchen garden and a U-shaped stable and coach-house block, and to the south was another much longer drive which crossed the parkland to the south-west of the house, through a pre-existing area of wooded heathland and down to a lodge also designed by Blore. A drawing from 1848 shows the house, including the tower with its original conical roof, as viewed from the northern drive; also depicted is the southern drive leading off to the right.

The First Edition Ordnance Survey map (1:1250; 1875) provides a more detailed plan of the estate. The house’s footprint remained largely unaltered since the 1840s. The stable and coach-house block is shown with an L-shaped footprint, having lost its eastern arm. Outbuildings and two glasshouses had been added to the kitchen garden along with a southern compartmentalised area with a cruciform arrangement of paths radiating from a circular pond. There was also an orchard running along the eastern side of the garden. The pleasure garden was shown around the house including a sunken lawn to the west, a row of parterre lawns to the east, and trees and shrubs to the north. A terrace walk with abutting stone wall ran in front of the southern elevation and along to the east. The terrace terminated at a decorative stone archway and gate; it is now (2019) detached, although it may have been the entrance to the kitchen garden. The parkland to the south was more open in character with a dispersed arrangement of trees, some positioned along the southern approach drive, as well as small clumps of trees within the park. The south-east corner of the parkland was bounded by a line of trees and divided it from the adjacent Old House which remained part of the Hollist estate until the early C20.

The layout of the estate remained relatively unaltered until the mid-C20 when most of the pleasures ground’s eastern parterres and some associated pathways were grassed over. A catslide roof lean-to conservatory was added to the east elevation; this was subsequently replaced by a flat-roof orangery in the mid-C20. Between 1967 and 1976 the estate was owned by David Earl of Brocknock, later the sixth Marquis of Camden, who used the stable block as the base for his Pimms polo team. His Royal Highness (HRH) Duke of Edinburgh and his son HRH Prince of Wales were frequent visitors to the estate. The Post-war Ordnance Survey Epoch a5 map (1:2500, 1976) shows a double carport added to the north side of the service wing with a forecourt laid out in front over part of the pleasure grounds. The main forecourt on the east side of the house had also been enlarged. A lean-to had been added to the stable block’s west wing and one of the glasshouses in the kitchen garden had been truncated. Further outbuildings had been erected in the northern half of the grounds. By the mid-C20 the southern approach had been almost entirely grassed over and in later years most of the trees which lined the approach were removed. Some trees were lost or removed due to severe damage during the storm of October 1987. In the late C20 a tennis court and swimming pool were inserted within the grounds to the north of the house. A large proportion of the orchard was sold and became the garden of the adjacent Rose Cottage. The northern drive was also modified to create a continuous spur road around to the east side of the house.

Between 1976 and 1979 Lodsworth House was divided into three dwellings. This involved splitting the main range roughly in half to create the East and West Wing; relatively little room reordering occurred, with the subdivision principally involving the blocking of doorways and corridors between the two halves. In addition the northern service wing was converted into a third dwelling known as North Court. The grounds and outbuidlings were also subdivided into separate ownership. Since the 1970s, the west wing of the coach house and stable block has lost its roof. Between 1983 and 1990 the author Michael Baigent (1948-2013) lived in the West Wing where he wrote some of his novels. In the mid-1990s the carport attached to the North Court was converted to provide further accommodation, and a new entrance to this dwelling. In the C20 the parkland to the south-west was laid out to arable including the felling of several parkland trees in this field.

Edward Blore (1787-1879) started his career as an antiquarian, as well as an engraver and illustrator, whose work included architectural drawing and draughtsmanship. By the mid-1820s he had moved into a career as an architect. Much of his work involved designing country houses, as well as a designing and restoring churches. His early architectural works include contributing ideas for Sir Walter Scott’s home at Abbotsford, Roxborough, Scotland (1817-1825, Grade A), as well as designing Corehouse, South Lanarkshire, Scotland (1824-1827, Grade A). Blore became a surveyor to Westminster Abbey in 1827-1849. He was responsible for the building work and the restoration of several notable royal residents including Buckingham Palace. He was particularly well known for his country house designs, many of which are listed including Kingston Hall, Nottinghamshire (1842-1846, Grade II) and stables (Grade II). Blore was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquarians and one of the founding members of the Royal Archaeological Association and the Institute of British Architects (later Royal Institute of British Architect, RIBA). He was buried in Highgate Cemetery, London where the monument to him still stands (Grade II).


Country house built between 1837 and 1839, designed by the well-known architect Edward Blore for Hasler Hollist (née Capron), and a stone mounting block.

MATERIALS: the house is faced in coursed sandstone with ashlar-sandstone quoins and dressings, under slate pitched roofs with sandstone stacks.

PLAN: the house consists of a series of two-storey pitched-roof ranges set around a central light well, and with an octagonal tower and hexagonal corner entrance to the west. To the north is the former single-storey L-shaped service wing with a C20 addition further north. Internally the main rooms are arranged around a central staircase and hallway, with the former service stairs in the north-east corner. The house has been subdivided into three dwellings; the West Wing and East Wing, which make up the former main house range, and the North Court which consists of the former north service wing.

EXTERIOR: the main house is two-storey with attics and a cellar and attached to the south-west corner is a three-storey tower. The house is designed in a 'Tudor' style with Scottish-Baronial influences. Most of the windows on the east, south and west elevations are casements with stone mullions and transoms on the ground floor, and mullions on the upper floors; some are topped by label moulds. The north elevation consists mainly of sash windows of varying sizes. Below the eaves is a dentil course. There are various slate-covered pitched roofs which are topped by single, double, triple and quadruple chimney stacks of ashlar stone with chamfer and stop detailing.

The west elevation includes the angled main entrance (now the entrance to the West Wing). It consists of a porch with a four-pointed archway and mullioned windows on the returns; the porch is topped by a pediment supported by kneelers, with a carved Hollist-family crest in the centre. Within the porch is a two-leaf entrance door within a four-pointed arch, and behind is a two-storey hexagonal tower with a pyramidal roof. To the left of the porch is a canted bay and a gable-end. To the right is the three-storey octagonal tower which is topped by a flat roof with stone balustrading (this replaced the original conical roof in the mid-C20), along with a hexagonal turret. On the south elevation is a three-window central range to the right of the tower; it includes a central door within a four-pointed arch. Further right is the gable end of the eastern cross-wing. Attached to the east elevation is a mid-C20, flat-roof orangery. Behind is the original east elevation; some of the ground-floor openings have been modified to create access from the orangery into the house. To the right is a ground-floor canted bay and above are four windows, two mullioned windows and two sashes. Within the attic are two dormer windows. Further right is a gable-end bay topped by kneelers and coping stones; it includes the entrance to the East Wing and a first-floor oriel window. To the north is the rear elevation of the main house, and the former northern service wing (known as North Court) arranged around a small courtyard which includes two coal shoots that fed into the basement. The former service wing is single storey with pitched roofs. Several earlier openings have been blocked and there are a variety of casement and sash windows. On the west elevation is a late-C20 small lean-to with French windows, and attached to the north end is a one-and-a-half storey, late-C20, double-pile extension which includes the main entrance to North Court.

INTERIOR: much of the original plan within the house’s main range remains legible with rooms arranged around the principal staircase. It was divided roughly in half in the 1970s by blocking ground and first-floor hallways and doorways. The West Wing incorporates the octagonal tower and principal staircase, and the East Wing includes the former service staircase. The L-shaped northern service wing was also blocked off internally from the rest of the house and is known as North Court. The house retains many mid-C19 timber architraves with panelled reveals, and six and four-panelled doors on all floors. The interior largely contains a classical-style decoration scheme. The surviving C19 joinery includes timber panelling, window shutters, inbuilt cupboards, alcoves and fire surrounds. In the West Wing some of the room decoration and chimneypieces may be part of an early C20 decoration scheme or later. The East Wing has been subject to more recent redecoration with most of the chimneypieces on this side dating to the late-C20 or early-C21.

The main western entrance opens into a small hexagonal entrance lobby. Beyond, the central hallway contains the principal open-well timber staircase which has a curtail step, rounded handrail, barley-corn balustrading and contrasting dark-wood fluted newel posts with Corinthian capitals; the stairwell and landing are half-panelled. Opposite the stairwell is an elaborately carved timber fire surround with green-marble inset. The octagonal tower ground-floor room has fully panelled walls topped by plaster-cornicing decorated to imitate the wood work, a timber chimneypiece topped by a carved mantel shelf and with green-marble surround, inbuilt cupboards and arched alcoves. There is also a concealed panelled passageway between this room and the adjacent drawing room. The drawing room is decorated in a lighter classical style with panelled walls and an Adams-style fireplace; part of this scheme may be a later adaption and the walls have been modified to incorporate later cupboards. Behind the stairwell is the kitchen with modern fittings. The East Wing has a separate entrance on the east elevation. The floor in the ground-floor hallway appears to have been slightly raised. This side of the building includes a modern kitchen and further reception rooms. The original service dogleg staircase is within this wing and it has a simple timber handrail, rounded newel posts with square heads and stick balustrading.

In the West Wing there is a mezzanine level with small bedrooms linked by a corridor to the north of the principal staircase; one room retains an early plain timber chimneypiece with metal fire grate. The staircase continues up to first-floor landing which includes a hinged shelf to the left. The larger main bedrooms are on the first floor. A second set of stairs leads up to the second floor of the octagonal tower; above is a hatch that provides access to the tower’s roof. The East Wing first floor has further bedrooms, including one with a shallow coffered ceiling which appears to be a later addition. A set of stairs leads to the attic rooms at the top of this wing.

Below the house is a substantial brick and stone cellar with a brick-vaulted roof supported by brick pillars. It is divided into various cells and is accessed via a set of stone steps beneath the service staircase. The complex includes store rooms, a coal store with coal shoots, brick-lined floors with drainage, and large cast-iron pipes supplying heating and water to the house and also water to the former kitchen gardens.

The former north wing (North Court), was not inspected internally. It was converted into a single dwelling in the late C20, including the extension which was adapted from a late-C20 carport. An internal opening behind the service staircase that internally linked the north wing to the main house, has been blocked.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURE: in front of the west elevation is a stone mounting block.


Books and journals
Williamson, E, Hudson, T, Musson, J, Nairn, I, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England Sussex: West, (2019)
Edward Blore, accessed 30 August 2019 from http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=100094
Edward Blore, accessed 30 August 2019 from http://www.victorianweb.org/art/architecture/blore/ index.html
Notes for a History of Lodsworth, accessed 30 August 2019 from http://lodsworthheritage.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Lambs-Notes.pdf
Aerial photographs: RAF/CPE/IK/1966 10 April 1947, OS/93353 29 June 1993 and OS/001008 12 July 2000, held at Historic England Archives
Edwards Blore: Papers: Account books for Lodsworth, Sussex , MSS.Add.3947-3948 held at Cambridge University Library
Hasler Hollist’s diaries, WSRO AM 16171, held at West Sussex Record Office
Listing application supporting information
Lodsworth Tithe Map, 1841
Map of Gosden’s Heath, surveyed by WHH Shorts of Midhurst, 1835


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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