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Latitude: 51.748 / 51°44'52"N
Longitude: -2.7964 / 2°47'46"W
OS Eastings: 345116
OS Northings: 205776
OS Grid: SO451057
Mapcode National: GBR JG.1195
Mapcode Global: VH79Q.HB0B
Entry Name: Court St Lawrence
Listing Date: 31 January 2001
Last Amended: 31 January 2001
Source ID: 24725
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Approached by a private drive of 0.5 km entered from near the turning to Llangoven off the Pen-y-clawdd road.
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
Early C19 country house, possibly of c1802-12, with N range, and other alterations probably of c1873-5. The early name, Llanlawrence, implies an early religious site, and houses are recorded from the C17 when held by Sir Charles Jones of Dingestow, and by his descendants until 1702 when mortgaged to Thomas Webb of Gloucester. It changed hands several times in the C18. In 1719 it is still referred to as a farm in an indenture from John Jones to Walter Churchey of Usk. In 1733 it was sold to Roger Coningsby, in 1776 to Henry Morgan of Caerleon, and in 1789 to William Jones of Clytha House. In 1802 sold to a Yorkshireman, Edward Berry, then of Monmouth, who had made his fortune with silk-mills in Spitalfields, London. Berry created a small country house estate, but by about 1812 appears to have started work at Llancayo near Usk, and this house was rented to his business partner Robert Vaux, who bought it after Berry died in 1818. A watercolour of this time shows the house more or less as at present but with a veranda of Tuscan columns and windows with arched glazing bars instead of the present small panes. Robert Vaux died in 1838. The estate was sold in 1870 to J. H. Skyrme of Ross, and in 1873 to Hugh Earnshaw. The house was then extended and the new entrance created on what had been the rear wall. The original stair hall was given some remarkable High Victorian naturalistic carved work of the type promoted by Ruskin, and first seen in the carving by the O'Shea brothers at the Oxford Museum, which would suggest the hand of an architect such as J.P. Seddon or J.H. Pollen.
Country house, whitewashed roughcast with slate roofs and corniced whitewashed stacks. Two-storey, L-plan original range with low-pitched hipped roofs with broad eaves and square brackets. Windows are sashes with cambered heads. Three-window W front with canted S end and 2-window hipped SE rear wing. Twelve-pane ground floor windows, 6-pane above, door in left bay. Flat roofed verandah on 4 C20 turned oak posts replacing rustic posts. Flagged veranda floor with Pennant stone blocks under posts. Canted W end has 6-pane sash over 12-pane sash. Rear wing has S side 2 similar 6-pane sashes over 4-12-4-pane tripartite sashes, while N end also has 2 6-pane sashes over tripartite sash to left of centre, door to right.
Extension to the N end of W front of 1870s is a 2-storey, 2-bay stuccoed gabled range with corniced end stacks, bracket eaves, heavy string course and 12-pane sash windows with stucco architraves. Rear wing parallel to earlier C19 rear wing with louvred lantern on E end and 12-pane sash each floor on s side which projects beyond rear of earlier rear wing. In angle between these rear ranges a new entrance was created in line with the original front door, but approached by an oak diagonal porch with triangular bay over with tripartite window with top lights on each face.
Running N is former barn range the left end converted to service use. Whitewashed roughcast with steep slate roof, one ridge stack and large projecting entry to right of centre with steep bargeboarded gable, mock half-timber and clock. Diagonally-braced barn doors within. Bell under apex, vane above. To left of porch, 2 eaves-breaking C19 dormers, one slightly higher than the second. Ground floor left lean-to porch with decorative half-timbered small gable, then triple casement under first dormer, and another stepped up under second dormer. Rainwater head with date 1875. To right of porch, one earlier C19 casement pair. On SE corner projects a small gabled dovecote with ashlar trefoil opening, small slot and small carved corbel head on S front, possibly reused medieval. Rear has brick dove-openings in gable. Rubble end to barn range with loft opening over door.
Early C19 house has entrance hall to left and drawing room to right, with dining room behind. entrance hall gives onto stair hall with open well staircase. Early C19 stick balusters and ramped rail. In the 1870s alteration the stair hall was given a new ceiling of painted roll-moulded beams with panels between, the panels boarded. Main beam supported on thick pilasters with roll-moulded angles and freely carved capitals, with carved corbels under other beams. On both ground and first floor the original end wall of the house is pierced by an ornate 2-light opening with fat column between piers all with similar carved capitals. Capitals exhibit highly naturalistic carvings of botanical items. Drawing-room has neo-classical white marble fireplace with anthemion decorations.
Included as small country house of the earlier C19 sustantially enlarged in the 1870s with Gothic Revival carved detail to stair-hall.
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