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Description: Highnam Court
Date Listed: 10 January 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 134321
OS Grid Reference: SO7935419329
OS Grid Coordinates: 379354, 219329
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8722, -2.3013
Explore more of the area around Highnam, Gloucestershire at Explore Britain.
9/30 Highnam Court
Country house. Said to be 1658, for W. Cook; altered 1760's, 1772
for J. Guise; and C19 for Sir B.W. Guise; altered c1840, 1855 by
L. Vulliamy for T. Gambier-Parry, 1869 by J. Brandon for same.
English bond brickwork, ashlar dressings, artificial stone to some
openings, slate roof. Nine-window garden front, 2 1/2 storeys, 2
rooms deep, single-storey wing across back, extending 4 windows to
east; 2-room wide service wing to rear, 2 storeys, 5 windows long.
Garden front: symmetrical, slightly recessed 5-window centre;
stone quoins to angles. Centre, double French doors, semi-
circular single-pane fanlight; stone pilasters each side with
swags and fruit in high relief, projecting keystone, broken,
scrolled pediment, coat of arms with baroque surround. Each side 4
sash windows, 6 pane, centre panes widest, moulded stone surround,
pulvinated frieze: end pairs with flush panelled doors below.
Moulded string course above; 20-pane sashes, lower sash smaller,
in moulded stone surrounds, cornice over. Central stone niche,
shell head, moulded architrave swelling out at foot, keystone:
statue of female (statue of Hercules in garden wall, q.v.,
considered originally to have been in this niche). Wide, moulded
eaves on consoles, box eaves gutter, hipped roof, central lead
flat: 5 dormers, outer 16-pane sashes, lead cheeks, segmental head
roofs: central dormer 2-light casement, cut into roof at foot,
otherwise similar. Panelled stone chimneys with moulded caps
centre rear and on ridge at ends centre recess. Service wing well
set back on left, Billiard Room on right. Entrance front: on left
tetrastyle portico in antis, unfluted Ionic columns, rusticated
piers each side, up 3 stone steps with nosings: pediment with
mutules. Rear of porch, rendered wall lined as ashlar, double
doors, each 3 panels, up stone step, narrow, panelled pilaster each
side, console to cornice over. Two-pane sash each side, moulded
surround. To left of portico, plain brick wall, plinth, rusticated
piers either side of chimney breast, stone quoins. Dentil cornice,
ball finials ends, chimney with consoles to foot, moulded cap. To
right of portico, moulded plinth, 2 semi-circular headed sash
windows, marginal lights, fruit and leaves in high relief on
surround, decorative keystone with shield over, all in
reconstructed stone. Rusticated pier between and to right of
windows, urns over. To right service wing. Behind, rear wall of
main block: scattered windows: Venetian sash window in recess
with elliptical head, stone surround: to right recess with semi-
circular head and stone surround, line of earlier quoins carried up
above jambs (infilled original recess). Eaves, roof and 5
scattered dormers as front, 2 chimneys on ridge as front, central
brick chimney from eaves.
Interior: panelled shutters to windows to main rooms ground and
first floor garden front and returns: 6-panel mahogany doors to
front corner rooms ground floor; moulded dado to end rooms ground
floor. Entrance hall 4-leaf door to Music Room, each 3 panels with
dummy fielding, sliding 3-panel doors to Billiard Room wing, marble
fireplace surround, moulded plaster cornice. Music Room, moulded
surrounds to panelled doors, coloured marble fireplace, musical
instructions in high relief plaster on walls, with rococo
surrounds. Gold Room beyond, moulded surrounds to doors,
anthemion and urn cornices over. Marble fireplace surround, with
caryatids and leaf carving over: marble buffet opposite, supported
caryatids, gilt surround to mirror over. High relief rococo
plaster ceiling, with lion, eagle, dolphin and phoenix in corners.
Central room garden front, segmental arch to recesses each side
fireplace, fruit and leaf carving to surrounds. Wood surround and
overmantel to fireplace, terms each side, carved panels said to be
C16 after Durer, set in C19 frame framed by bishop and priest.
Moulded cornice. Green Room (left, garden front), marble fireplace
with rococo carving. C18 fireplace surround to room behind,
dentil cornice. Main stairs 1772-73, stone floor with black
inserts, cantilevered stone stair around open well, shaped soffit
to treads, decorative iron balusters, moulded handrail, wreath at
foot. Arches to first floor passage: Tuscan pilasters to Venetian
window with keystone to centre arch: ornate dentil cornice. Old
stairs stone for bottom four treads: wood above, dogleg, heavy
turned balusters, moulded string and handrail, square newels,
pendants below, ball finials. Bolection moulding to doors of old
stairs and panelling to stairs first floor. Elliptical timber arch
with strapwork carving over. First floor 2 fireplaces with rococo
carving east end, 2 Adam style centre. Some 2 panel doors in
attics. Cellars, heavy chamfer to ceiling beams with bar stop.
Earlier house burnt in Civil War battle, 1643. Architect to
present house not known. Original entrance to garden front. House
turned round by Gambier-Parry 1840's, single-storey wing added
across back; early C19 service wing also extended. Billiard Room
added 1869. Important example of mid C17 house, with fine rococo
plasterwork in 2 rooms. Forms group with garden features and
(R. Bigland, Historical...Collections, 1791; Gloucs. R.O., D 326 F
2; A. Oswald, article in Country Life, CVII, 1950; D. Verey,
Gloucestershire, the Vale and the Forest of Dean, 1970; V.C.H.
Gloucestershire, X, 1972; H. Colvin, Biographical Dictionary of
British Architects, 1600-1840, 1978)
Listing NGR: SO7935419329
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.