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Melbury House, Melbury Sampford

Description: Melbury House

Grade: I
Date Listed: 4 December 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 105867

OS Grid Reference: ST5764705989
OS Grid Coordinates: 357647, 105989
Latitude/Longitude: 50.8519, -2.6030

Location: Park Lane, Melbury Sampford, Dorset DT2 0LF

Locality: Melbury Sampford
Local Authority: West Dorset District Council
County: Dorset
Country: England
Postcode: DT2 0LF

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Listing Text

2/119 Melbury House
Country House in parkland. c.1530 quadrangular house with Prospect Tower
built for Giles Strangways, by Ham Hill school of masons. c.1692 rebuilding
of east facade of house, and remodelling of north and south facades between
the C16 gable-ends, building of inner corridors in courtyard by Mr Watson
for Sir Thomas Strangways. Large rectangular courtyard to north of house
has only its west range surviving. 1872, orangery removed on south side;
Library and connecting link to mansion built by Salvin for 5th Earl of
Ilchester. 1884-5 great enlargement of house to west, with extensive service
range servants' courtyard and visitor accommodation in south-west tower by
G Devey. Late C20 restoration under Bertram and Fell. Rubble-stone walls
with Ham Hill ashlar facing, C16. Late C17 walls are of brick, faced with
Ham Hill ashlar, cramped to it, and with Portland stone dressings. Later
extensions: Ham stone ashlar walls. Roofs are mainly of Welsh slate, with
lead sheeting across flat tops. Stacks: C16 hexagonal stone stack with
zig-zag banding and moulded cornice, reduced, immediately north-east of
prospect tower. Late C17 tall stacks, regularly positioned on N.E. and
S. roofs; square of Ham stone with a fielded panel to each face and rusticated
Portland stone quoins, and framing; dentil cornice and a chamfered top stone.
Plan: C16 courtyard house, with hexagonal outlook tower over centre of west
range, and short C16 range, projecting to west. Extensively altered and
enlarged in C17, C18 and C19. C16 entrance front debateable. C17 entrance
on east front. Late C19 entrance hall, a rebuild by Devey W. of the mansion;
present entrance on main north front. North elevation of mansion: 2 1/2 storeys,
9 bays, the outer 2 at each end under the C16 gables with half-octagonal
buttressing and barley-sugar finials, cornices and bell-tops. 5 central bays,
rusticated Ham stone, with Portland stone pedestals, strings, Ionic pilasters,
and Corinthian pilasters over. Segmental pediment to centre bay with dentil
cornice and stone cartouches. Balustraded stone parapet: Sash-windows with
thick glazing-bars to 5 centre bays and with thin glazing-bars in the end gables.
5 pedimented dormers at centre with sash-windows. Central entrance has an oval
window with foliate stone surround, 2-leaf panelled-and-glazed door. East
elevation: 2 1/2 storeys, 11 bays. Rusticated Portland quoins. Central 5 bays
rusticated, and 3 bays divided by Portland half-columns. Roman Doric and
Corinthian over. Pediment over with stone cartouche. Parapet as above. Sashes
have Portland stone cills and keystones. 2-leaf door, flush-panelled and glazed
with stone cartouche over. South elevation: similar detailing to that of north
elevation. Early C16 west range: with gabling and buttressing details of C16,
stack position on S. face with coupled hexagonal stacks. 2 1/2 storeys. Continuous
string, returned round buttress and over window. 4-light stone mullions,
transomed and without transoms. Prospect Tower, square foundation, becoming
hexagonal in top stage via stone squinches, octagonal buttressing and finials,
castellated parapet and higher hexagonal stair-turret castellated on north-west,
6-light stone mullions with depressed-arch heads in a square framing, transomed
and with bowtell-moulds. Restored C20. Link-passage to library at south-west
corner, 1872, by Salvin. Single storey. Two windows, each of four 3-centred
lights, string and flat stone parapet. Pointed-arch entrance at left ground,
plank door, C19. Library, by Salvin, one large storey and gabled roof.
3 windows, canted bays at left and right ground, with 4-light mullion-and-
transom windows with elliptical arches, and 4-light window at centre. Parapet
has openwork trefoils and castellated parapet over. Service-accommodation and
visitor accommodation by Devey. Tower at south-west corner of house: 4 storeys,
windows with canted bays and straight bays, windows with 4 mullioned-and-
transomed lights, iron casements without lead lights. Half-octagonal stair-
turret at N.E. angle, with 2-light elliptical-headed windows, with labels.
Joining range to right of this, one storey, three windows with transomed mullions
and separate returned labels over, castellated parapet gabled at centre. Service
range returns to north. Servants' coach yard, immediately north-west of mansion,
by Devey, using'Tudor' motifs. Kitchen in the south range with a big canted bay,
armorial and shield-of-arms with motto, Faire Sans Dire. Accommodation in west
range: 2 1/2 storeys, 7 windows, same design of transomed elliptical-arched stone
mullions, with separate labels over. One storey on north side abutting the
stables, 2 storeys on the east side (now Butler's flat). Entrance with depressed-
arch head at left ground. Carriage-entrance with wide 4-centred archways, and
fleurons in the hollows. Rib-vaulted roof, carried on stone corbels and bossed.
C19 entrance to house, has a depressed-arch doorway with carved spandrels. Label
stopped over. 2-leaf door, panelled in C17 style, C19. Interior of the mansion:
for a summary of internal features, see RCHM, Dorset I, pp.166-7. Interior of
C19 extensions: Salvin's library has an arch-braced hammer-beam roof, carried
on stone corbels with painted shields, bays, irregularly spaced. Two fireplaces
in 16 style on back wall. Devey's Entrance Hall, converted from C17 kitchen,
and subsequently converted to Billiard Room, fully-panelled with square recess
panelling. Cambered wood roof, a pastiche of C17 style with hammer-trusses and
independent finials, carried on heraldic stone corbels. C19 (Devey) kitchens
and stores features survive.
(RCHM. Dorset I, p.164 ff.(2))

Listing NGR: ST5763405986

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.