Orwell House


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


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

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:



930-1/0/10013 Nos. 54-55 Orwell House


House, now used as shop. Circa late C18 or early C19; extended circa 1847 by Rowland Brotherhood; extended as shop C20. Limestone rubble with dressed quoins and ashlar front. Slate roofs; front range with stone coped gable ends, parapet and cornice; rear wing hipped and with deep eaves. Ashlar gable-end stacks. Plan: 3-bay late C18/early C19 front range with single bay extensions at either end and wing to rear right [NW] added in 1847. In the C20 projecting shops [not of special interest] were built across the front of the ground floor and extended at the rear covering the back garden. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys and attic. Symmetrical 1:3:1 bay east front, the centre three bays with moulded stone cornice and parapet, raised at centre over round-headed window and 16-pane sashes to left and right; flanking bays with parapets, flat roofs and mullion windows; across the whole front a large projecting C20 shop. Rear west, the single storey shop covers former back garden; 3-window rear elevation of front range; 1847 wing to left [N] has 3-bay south elevation, with string course, moulded stone window architraves to sashes with margin panes; the ground floor windows with cornices to the architraves and with round-headed statue niche between. INTERIOR: Front range: ground floor much altered and used as shop; stairs to attic with stick balusters, column newels and mahogany handrail; fireplace in north gable-end of attic with simple chimneypiece and basket grate. 1847 rear wing has lofty dining room on ground floor with moulded plaster modillion ceiling cornice, central rose with acanthus leafs, marble chimneypiece and panelled window shutters; stairhall with fine plaster segmental vault on small putti brackets and scagliola pilasters and floor with patterned encaustic tiles; staircase with decorative cast-iron balustrade, a moulded mahogany handrail and a moulded plaster ceiling cornice to stair well; chamber over dining room has moulded plaster ceiling cornice, marble chimneypiece and panelled window shutters. NOTE: From 1842 Orwell House was the home of Rowland Brotherhood, I.K. Brunel's principal contractor for the Great Western Railway. In 1847 Brotherhood added the dining room wing and it is reported that Brunel stayed with Brotherhood at Orwell House when he was conducting railway business in the area.


Books and journals
Robertson, M, The Railway Heritage of Chippenham, (1998)


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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