History in Structure

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St. James's House

A Grade II Listed Building in Monmouth, Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8133 / 51°48'47"N

Longitude: -2.7114 / 2°42'40"W

OS Eastings: 351056

OS Northings: 212977

OS Grid: SO510129

Mapcode National: GBR FL.WVFX

Mapcode Global: VH86T.YPG9

Entry Name: St. James's House

Listing Date: 27 June 1952

Last Amended: 10 August 2005

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2324

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Prominently sited within the main group of historic buildings on the east side of Monmouth and about 300m east of the town square.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Monmouth

Community: Monmouth

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

History

This house is an amalgamation of two c1600 houses with possibly more ancient origins. These houses were gable end to the street and a range was built parallel with the street later in the C17. This part was then heightened and given a mid C18 brick facade and in the early C19 the entrance with its portico and the window above it were added and the lower range to the right was incorporated with the main house. There has been little external change on the street side since then but the rear wings have been altered in the late C20 and a whole additional rear wing built. In use as a Monmouth School Boarding House and the resulting alterations have disguised much of the internal evidence.

Exterior

Red brick in Flemish bond with rusticated stone quoins, the rear wings are red brick (modern) and local red sandstone rubble. The section to the right is rendered and painted both front and rear; it has horizontally grooved pilasters rather than quoins. All parts have Welsh slate roofs.
The house has a seven window range parallel with the street but in two distinct parts 5 : 2. There are three wings to the rear.
Left hand section. Three storeys, five windows, with central entrance. The windows are all early C19 type sashes but in mid C18 openings with keystones except for the larger semi-circular headed one in centre on first floor which was enlarged to light the inserted staircase (see Interior). Six-panel door with fan-light and Doric wood portico: both added in the early C19. The sashes on the ground and first floors are 6 over 6 pane. The central first floor one is 8 over 8 with a stucco architrave. The top floor windows are 3 over 3, the central one again with a lugged stucco architrave. Hipped roof with stack on left gable. The left return is blind but shows clearly how the street range was heightened at the front only. Late C20 two storey rear wing with three sash windows.
Right hand section. Two storey wing on right incorporated with main house. Two windows, early C19 6 over 6 pane sashes. No door to street. Plain roof.
Wrought iron spear head railings along whole front of building.
Rear elevation shows three gabled wings. From the left a two storey one rendered and painted with uneven gable and 6 over 6 sash window. Next a three storey one with modern door and flat roofed extension on the ground floor. Massive external stack now truncated (a photograph in Kissack shows the stack complete, an additional stack and no modern wing) flanked by 2-light mullioned windows on the first floor, small attic window. Finally the late C20 brick wing.

Interior

The interior is very difficult of interpretation since its use as a school boarding house has meant the disguising of many features; as well as having broken through walls, different floor levels and divided rooms. The main door enters a stairhall with a mid C18 there-and-back-again stair which is fitted slightly awkwardly into an existing space. It has a wide curtail and two turned balusters with knops to each tread. It rises only to the first floor and the attic stair is a late C20 construction. Pedimented architraves to the doors. The room to the right of the hall is broken through into the adjoining wing and this section has a 3 x 3 compartmented ceiling of c1600 but the beams have been hacked back to remove either roll mouldings, or plaster decoration as survives in an upper room. The attic rooms show a full height wall on the front and a principal rafter ceiling with two tiers of purlins which is presumably C17 on the rear slope. The first floor of the stone rear wing contains another compartmented ceiling with decorated plasterwork on the beams and relief fleur-de-lys in the compartment corners.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special architectural interest as a multi-period building of definite character and some good internal features near Monmouth town centre.

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