History in Structure

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Great Pool Hall

A Grade II* Listed Building in Grosmont, Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8658 / 51°51'56"N

Longitude: -2.9144 / 2°54'51"W

OS Eastings: 337136

OS Northings: 218970

OS Grid: SO371189

Mapcode National: GBR F9.SRQ8

Mapcode Global: VH792.FCNK

Entry Name: Great Pool Hall

Location: Approximately 2 km NE of Llanvetherine, located at the end of a short farm track that runs E off the minor road between Llanvetherine and Llangattock Lingoed.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Abergavenny

Community: Grosmont

Locality: Llanvetherine

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

Listing Date: 6 May 1952

Last Amended: 19 October 2000

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Building Class: Domestic

Source ID: 1924

History

This remarkable timber-framed mansion is more reminiscent of the tall jettied town houses of Hereford or Gloucester than the typical stone regional house normally found in Monmouthshire. The building may simply reflect the idiosyncratic taste of John Powell of Llangattock Lingoed, for whom Great Pool Hall was built in 1619, or perhaps this type of tall timber-framed house was once more common in the area.
In the later C17 the house was extended: a stone parlour block was added to the back of the timber framed house, together with an impressive new staircase, dated 1665. A break in the masonry between the gable- end and the side walls of this parlour wing, suggests side walls of this parlour block may too originally have been timber framed, and only later rebuilt in stone.
Apart from changes to the roof, the house survives remarkably unaltered. A photograph of c1906 in Bradney's ‘History of Monmouthshire' shows the roof formerly had twin parallel spans with four gabled dormers to attic, and diagonally set flues to the end chimneystacks.

Exterior

Substantial C17 timber framed mansion. Rubble stone gable walls and front wall to a height of about 2m, upper two storeys of front wall are timber framed and rendered; some ashlar dressings, slate roof with projecting stone chimneystacks. Three storey range. E front, first and second floors are jettied: the overhang on the second floor and at the eaves is carried on shaped brackets. Windows are 5-light sunk chamfer mullions; first floor has two C17 mullions with centre casements, second floor two C20 reproduction mullions with lattice glazing. Ground floor has centre gabled porch; lower walls are stone, upper walls timber framed with closely spaced studding. Flat headed doorway with chamfered oak frame, studded door with strap hinges. To left of porch a 6 6 6 pane casement in chamfered frame has angled dripstone with dropped and returned ends; to right, is a C20 plank door with 4-pane window panel, and then a 2 2 pane casement under one long angled dripstone. NW gable has broad off-centre projecting stack; to left on first and second floors are C17 2-light mullions, to right is a C20 3-light transom on the ground floor and a 2- light mullion in attic. SW elevation is two storey. Middle bay of facade is slightly recessed with steps leading up to broad entrance doorway with segmental arch of stone voussoirs and keystone; big C20 studded door with strap hinges. Directly above on first floor is small 2 2 pane casement. To left of doorway, ground and first floors have 4-light windows with angled dripstones; to right are stair windows: a shallow 4-light mullion (below) and a 3-light transom (above). SW parlour wing (to right) has projecting gable and broad centre stack with oversailing courses at cap. Each side, on ground and first floors, are C17 2-light sunk chamfer windows with angled dripstones. SE wall of parlour wing has blocked window opening with angled dripstone (left); to right is a break in masonry, then further right, ground, first and second floors of parlour block have tall C20 3-light sunk chamfer transom windows with segmental arches and stone sills.

Interior

Fine and well-preserved C17 interior. Entry from porch into stone flagged hall. Hall fireplace has chamfered C20 lintel, to left is bread oven (presumably in position of former fireplace stair), and to right, spice cupboard with Tudor arcaded ornament to door. Axial and two transverse ceiling beams are chamfered with straight cut stops. The joists are now visible, but formerly were hidden by an ornamental plaster ceiling which carried date 1619 (this dated fragment survives ex situ). The ground floor ceiling of the parlour block must also have been plastered. Doorway at back of hall (to parlour block) has flat head and composite ovolo and ogee moulding. Opening off the lower end of the hall is a large service room, mortices in the headbeam suggest that this was formerly partitioned. At rear, magnificent oak dog-leg stair has square newel posts with flat ornament in reserved panels and great turned ball finials and pendants; a closed string also with flat ornament; turned bulbous balusters and reeded handrail. The stair rises in six flights of eight steps, oak treads are 185cm (6ft) wide and the risers are reed moulded. The pendant of the fourth newel is inscribed:
1665
T . P
R
very probably the initials of Thomas and Rachel Powell of Pool Hall. On the first and second floors the most obvious internal feature is the exposed timber-framing on long walls of the early C17 house. Timbers are two panels high with closely spaced studs which are of large scantling and well finished. The chamber above the hall, entered through a Tudor arched doorway, has a panelled plaster ceiling with moulded cornice and chamfered ceiling beams and C17 fireplace with chamfered timber lintel and stone jambs with broach stops. Separating this room from the adjoining chamber is an oak panelled partition, also two panels high. The second chamber has a panelled plaster ceiling with a reeded cornice. Next to the staircase is a great segmental arched studded door with vertical planks backed by horizontal boards and strap hinges. Inset into this massive door is a semi-circular arched wicket door, which opens into the timber framed lobby of W entrance. The ribbed plaster ceiling in the parlour looks C17 but could be restored. Second floor has panelled partition (as before) separating two upper chambers; both rooms have C17 fireplaces, one with chamfered stone jambs and broach stops, the other plain. The parlour fireplace is unusual in that the sides are finely worked and comprise tall pieces of coved stone. Attic and roof rebuilt in C20.

Reasons for Listing

Highly graded as an important and well-preserved early C17 timber-framed three storey house with fine later parlour wing. Fine interior detail including exceptional staircase dated 1665.

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