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Latitude: 51.7218 / 51°43'18"N
Longitude: -2.8617 / 2°51'42"W
OS Eastings: 340570
OS Northings: 202917
OS Grid: SO405029
Mapcode National: GBR JC.2NW4
Mapcode Global: VH79P.BZZF
Entry Name: Cefn Tilla Court
Listing Date: 31 January 2001
Last Amended: 31 January 2001
Source ID: 24741
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Situated in landscaped grounds some 1.5 km SW of Llandenny down drive W of lane to Gwernesney and Usk.
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
House of 1616, thoroughly remodelled and extended in 1856-60 by Matthew Digby Wyatt for the 2nd Lord Raglan, as a testimonial to the services of Field Marshal Lord Raglan (d1855), commander in chief in the Crimean War. Some further extensions c1885. Originally a substantial gentry house of 3-room and cross-passage plan, dated 1616 on the hall fireplace with the arms of the Herbert family, it was owned by 1630 by Roger Oates, and was General Fairfax's head-quarters for the siege of Raglan Castle in 1646. The surrender terms were signed 'in the dining room of Mr. Roger Oates' house of Kevntilla'. Owned by Edmund Jones, MP for Breconshire 1654, and sold by the Jones family in the late C18, by which time it was derelict. Derelict in 1856 when sold by Crawshaw Bailey MP to the Raglan Memorial Committee. Plans for the remodelling marked T.H. Wyatt (the practice was shared) are at the house and show that the C17 house remains, with a small addition at the E, a new front porch, stair tower on the back, and service wing to W. The hall with the 1616 lateral fireplace became the dining-room, with a very fine C16 painted oak heraldic frieze inserted (from Usk Priory, but the heraldry suggests a secular origin). The other two C17 ground floor rooms became Lord Raglan's room and the butler's pantry, with the drawing room and library placed on the first floor, all now wholly C19 in character.
As illustrated previous to 1856 the house was of 5 bays, with mullion and transom windows: a large 2-storey bay to the left, flush windows in the second bay, the third bay had a 2-storey porch, while the last 2 bays were of 3 storeys, with generally smaller windows. The roof was steep and hipped to right, with 3 dormers. Wyatt rewindowed, reroofed, raised attic windows through the eaves and replaced the porch. His added kitchen and service range has large N gable but was low at the W end. This was raised to 3-storey for extra bedrooms in the 1880s, and presumably then the service ranges were extended S to enclose the rear court.
Country house, purple sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings. All roofs of red plain tile with broad bands of fish-scale tiles, and crested ridge tiles. Coped shouldered gables with kneelers. Tall corniced chimneys (all raised in height in the 1880s). Two storeys and attic, Jacobean style with ashlar mullion and transom windows. Close eaved roof with C19 ashlar eaves course. N front has original C17 walling to 5 main bays but all windows are C19, some relieving arches over may be C17. Four large stacks, 2 to end walls and 2 to ridge. C19 short E end addition, and large C19 service range to W raised to same roof height in the 1880s for additional bedrooms. Low T-plan service and stable ranges to SW.
N front from left: E end addition has lower roof, tall lateral stone chimney on N and ornate half-round ashlar oriel on E gable carried on a diagonal pier. Moulded half-round base, carved motto, 5-light window and cornice. Two-light window to ground floor left. Main N front of 5 bays, 3 marking former hall and passage, and one bay each for two rooms to W, marked by chimneys. First two bays have stone 2-storey canted bay to left and flush windows to right, of grey (Forest of Dean?) stone, 3-light with mid transoms and dripstones. Bath stone dressings thereafter, smaller windows with top-lights rather than mid transom. Third bay has large Jacobean-style porch with arched doorway flanked by paired pilasters, under scrollwork parapet with ball finials. Inscription commemorating the gift of the house. Two-light window above and then first of 3 close-spaced 2-light attic windows breaking eaves under shouldered gables. Fourth bay has 3-light window each floor and last bay is 3-storey with 2-light window under eaves, 2-light to first floor and 2 2-lights to ground floor, only the first floor window with top-lights.
Kitchen range to right has big slightly projected gable with shoulders and kneelers. Three-light attic window, 3 2-light first floor windows all with top-lights, and ground floor projections, a pyramid-roofed smoke-house to left with louvred lantern, and then a stepped parapet over 4-light kitchen window. Projection continued to right across last one-window section, with first floor 3-light window.
W side raised in the 1880s has gable to left and short wing to right gabled to S, all two and a half storeys with varied fenestration.
Service Court: W range of the service court is an attractive low range in 2 parts, each with ridge stack: the first has 2 eaves-breaking gabled dormers and broad elliptical-arched carriage entry to right, second part is stables, lower, hipped to S end, with timber louvred lantern and 2 tall doors with cambered heads and big overlights. Through the arch, the cobbled courtyard has a wall across E side and single-storey added S range just right of the throughway. This S range has 2 sections, the first hipped to W with chimney to E and the next a 3-bay coach-house, with lower roof hipped to E. Courtyard face of W range has two half-dormer gables and a veranda on timber posts in front of 3 doors
Rear of house is complex. From right: C17 main house has SE buttress, 3-light ground floor and 3-light first floor mid-transom windows in grey stone, then the tall ashlar wall-face chimney of the hall fireplace, then the added stair gable with 3-light windows set to left on main floors, central 2-light to attic, all with top-lights. The next bay left has attic 2-light gabled window breaking eaves, over a decorative projected timber gallery (to solve circulation problems) with red-painted quatrefoil patterns, 3-light timber window and pent roof. Ground floor 2 later C20 French windows with 1889 date between and C20 conservatory. Next bay, the last of the main house, is a short hipped wing with 3-storey 2-window range of 6 cambered-headed windows, 2 on the right blank. Curious structural joint to left of windows, suggesting that this is later than the gable to the left. Chimney to left, in valley to C19 next gable which has narrow service stair lights to right, cambered headed centre window each main floor and 2 narrow attic lights. Chimney on left in valley to end of W wing which projects tslightly further, with one-window range on E face.
Porch gives access to former cross-passage now open to room to W, the principal C17 room, dining-room in C19, now music-room. Exceptional S wall painted plaster overmantel with Herbert arms and two supporters in crude classical armour, dated 1616. Fireplace has fluting and guilloche ornament to frieze and Tudor-arch, early C17, but reputed to come from Raglan Castle. Exceptional painted carved oak heraldic frieze around, said to come from Usk Priory. One shield initialled EW, several with emblems of Passion and other religious symbols, the rest armorial including arms of Henry VIII, and the Percy, Clare and Lucy families. Improbable that Priory is the origin, but Raglan Castle may be. C19 E end panelling with linenfold below, and door to E end smoking room, added in C19, now garden room. Opposite front door is arch to C19 added stair hall. Open-well stair with pendants to newels, moulded rail and turned balusters. Present drawing room (former study) was divided by a C19 passage along S side, removed in C20, and 2 French windows opened in S wall. Stone Gothic fireplace inscribed 'R 1971'. Oak and walnut bookcase on E wall. Butler's pantry beyond was within C17 house also, now opened into C19 kitchen. Large built-in dresser. Cambered arch to kitchen bay window. Passage behind to W rear entrance. Study on N side of passage in projecting wing was housekeeper's room, with scullery and servantts' hall further W.
First floor has C19 6-panel doors. Drawing-room to E with Gothic carved fireplace. Boudoir at E end with oriel window and Gothic small fireplace. Smaller rooms to W of drawing-room at lower floor level were dressing-room and lord Raglan's bedroom, one now a library.
Graded II* as an important house of 1616 with fine fireplace, incorporated into an important Victorian country house by Matthew Digby Wyatt, and for historical associations with Field Marshal Lord Raglan. Notable also the C16 carved heraldic frieze.
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