History in Structure

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Troy House

A Grade II* Listed Building in Mitchel Troy, Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7987 / 51°47'55"N

Longitude: -2.7129 / 2°42'46"W

OS Eastings: 350935

OS Northings: 211352

OS Grid: SO509113

Mapcode National: GBR FL.XTZ7

Mapcode Global: VH870.X1NZ

Entry Name: Troy House

Listing Date: 1 May 1952

Last Amended: 27 September 2001

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2060

Building Class: Domestic

Location: On the S bank of the River Trothy, off the S side of a bend in the road about 1.5km S of Monmouth.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Monmouth

Community: Mitchel Troy

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

History

A C16 manor house built on the site of a medieval manor, greatly enlarged between 1682 and 1699 by the addition of an imposing classically-designed main range by Henry Somerset, 1st duke of Beaufort of Badminton, Gloucestershire, for his son and heir, the marquis of Worcester on his marriage. This new building further re-inforced the Beaufort influence over Monmouth, where the 1st duke had built Great Castle House in 1673.
The C16 house had been the property of the Herbert family, descended from an illegitimate son of the 1st earl of Pembroke. At the end of the C16 this was sold to William Somerset, 3rd earl of Worcester, whose successor Edward Somerset, 6th earl and 2nd marquis of Worcester, soon afterwards bought the manor of Great Badminton, to which Troy subsequently became subordinate. Edward Somerset's son Henry, president of the Council of Wales, was created 1st duke of Beaufort in 1682; and, Raglan being in ruins since the Civil War, built the present mansion at Troy as the family's main residence in Wales. It remained in the Somerset family until 1901, when the whole Troy estate, amounting to some 1,670 acres (676.35 hectares), was auctioned. Although the house itself was not sold at that time, in 1904 the Sisters of the Good Shepherd took possession of the house for use as a convent school; and subsequently, with the financial assistance of the Home Office from 1935, as an Approved School. That school having closed, the house is currently occupied by a caretaker.

Exterior

A mansion apparently built in three distinct phases, the first two of which are externally disguised by the third, which is an imposing but somewhat austerely-designed late C17 classical block on the N side, facing N. This is built of mixed random rubble with red sandstone dressings and slate roof. It has a double-pile plan under a hipped 2-span roof, and is 3-storeyed plus attics, the ground-floor level being a full basement. The facade is a symmetrical composition of 4:5:4 bays, the centre breaking forwards very slightly and pedimented, with regular dressed quoins to this and to the outer corners. In the centre a very prominent T-plan stone staircase, with nosings to the steps and solid ashlar parapets with plain ramped copings, leads to a large square-headed doorway which has a moulded architrave with a swan-neck pediment on consoles, and tall panelled double doors. The windows at this level (the piano nobile) are tall 24-paned hornless sashes with plain architraves, over each of which is a shallow relieving arch of rubble. There are similar rubble arches over the basement windows, which are shorter and have modern joinery and glazing in cross-window form. The 2nd-floor windows have cross-window joinery and small-paned glazing. In the roof there are 4 gabled dormers each side of the central pediment, with small-paned 2-light casement windows; and between the ridges of the roof are 4 wide ashlar chimneys with cornices at the tops. The 3-bay W return wall has matching fenestration except that the windows at 1st-floor level have cross-window joinery and small-paned glazing. [Pevsner and Newman report a much smaller 4-bay, 4-storey C18 block set back at the E end and masking an early-C17 wing (the remains of a house built for Sir Charles Somerset), and another wing projecting to the S, also probably early C17.]

Interior

Not seen, but Bradney reported that the hall is in the centre, with the state dining room to the left and a suite of withdrawing-rooms to the right; very broad stairs in a large square volume to the rear of the hall, with "balusters of handsome oak of the time of Charles II". Pevsner and Newman describe this as "a magnificently spacious open-well staircase . . . in its own pavilion . . . from ground floor level through two storeys . . . (with) thick twisted baluster, which are formed into groups of fours, and a ramped handrail." They also mention plaster ceilings, etc.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as an exceptionally fine late C17 country house, one of the major Welsh houses of this period; a fine statement of Beaufort patronage.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Barn at Troy House Farm
    About 50m S of Troy House, beside a farm track off the S side of a bend in the road about 1.5km S of
  • II Gateway and gates to Troy House
    About 50m NW of Troy House, on the E side of the farm track leading to Troy House Farm.
  • II* Walled Garden to W of Troy House
    On sloping ground about 50m W of Troy House on the S bank of the River Trothy, on the W side of a fa
  • II Troy Cottage
    About 1000m south of Monmouth centre at the entry to the lane leading to Troy House.
  • II Trothy Bridge
    About 1000m south of Monmouth centre on the community boundary.
  • II Tollgate House
    Midway between Monmouth and Mitchel Troy, on border with Monmouth Community. Prominently sited at t
  • II Railway Bridge
    About 750m south of Monmouth centre and accessed by footpath.
  • II The Cell
    On the corner of Wyesham Avenue and Redbrook Road (A466)

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