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Description: Hanbury Hall
Date Listed: 29 December 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 147796
OS Grid Reference: SO9441863741
OS Grid Coordinates: 394418, 263741
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2718, -2.0832
Explore more of the area around Hanbury, Worcestershire at Explore Britain.
HANBURY CP SCHOOL ROAD (north side)
SO 96 SW
3/120 (11/2) Hanbury Hall
Country house in landscaped park. Dated 1701 with early and mid-C19 alterations.
Built by William Rudhall for Thomas Vernon. Red brick in Flemish bond with
ashlar dressings; plain tiled hipped roof with broad eaves and large brick stacks.
Central block with wings to front and rear returning to project on side elevations
as independent pavilions. Two storeys and attic with dormers and central cupola;
moulded plinth, band between storeys and wood modillion eaves cornice; Queen
Anne style. South-east entrance elevation: 3:1:3:1:3 bays; outer three bays
wings; central three bays break forward, are pedimented and are flanked by
engaged Corinthian columns on high pedestals. Windows are mainly 18-pane sashes,
most retaining their thick glazing bars, and have moulded architraves, sills
and keyblocks; central first-floor window has an elaborately carved surround
with large scrolls and an apron carved with the Vernon coat of arms flanked by
the date "1701". The dormers are pedimented, the pediments of the central five
bays being alternately segmental, and have 12-pane sash windows; contained within
the central entrance pediment is an oeil-de-boeuf window. The entrance porch
with its two Corinthian columns and entablature is an early C19 addition; the
front and sides have glazed infill and, within, are the half-glazed double
entrance doors. The central octagonal timber cupola was rebuilt in 1809 and
has glazed semi-circular headed sides, a clockface to front and rear, a moulded
cornice and an ogee dome with ball finial and weathervane. The south-west side
elevation is articulated by a regular 2:7:2 arrangement; the north-east side
elevation is of 3:4:2 composition, the left bay of the recessed centre having
a blocked doorway with pedimented surround. The rear elevation has two small
square mid-C19 additions in the angles with the wings. The lead rainwater
goods throughout are decorated with lions' heads and rosettes. Interior:
Hall occupies five central front bays and is panelled and has painted ceiling
with trompe l'oeil saucer domes; wall facing the entrance has an original
bolection-moulded chimney-piece above which is niche containing white marble
bust of Thomas Vernon, possibly by Francis Bird; against right wall are set
three Corinthian half-columns and to left side of hall is the staircase.
Staircase: large open-well type with turned and fluted balusters, some
original parquet on landings; former dado removed to make way for wall paint-
ings by Sir James Thornhill, c1710. These are set within architectural
surrounds and depict scenes from the Life of Achilles; the ceiling above shows
an assembly of the classical deities. There are also two panels by Thornhill
on the ceiling of the Long Room of Apollo and Leukothea and the Rape of
Orithyia; in the same room is an ornate Rococo chimney-piece of c1750. During
the late C18 Emma Vernon undertook some internal alterations including the
redecoration of the Library and Drawing Room in the front wings in a Neo-
Classical style. In the Parlour to the rear of the Hall is further panelling
and another bolection-moulded chimney-piece. Upstairs a similar chimney-
piece survives in a complete three-room apartment (known as the Hercules apart-
ment), to the rear of the south-west wing which is panelled throughout, and
has an additional small corner fireplace with pilastered surround and ogee
The actual authorship of Hanbury Hall is uncertain. It incorporates elements
of William Talman's designs, notably the centre-piece of Thoresby, Nottingham-
shire of the 1680's, the garden front at Swallowfed Park, Berkshire of 1689-91
and the interior layout of Fetcham Park, Surrey of 1705. It also bears strong
similarities to the nearby Ragley Hall, Warwickshire of 1679-83 by Robert Hooke
with its old-fashioned hipped roof, central pediment and "pavilion" wings. The
surviving drawing by the builder William Rudhall is not unlike Thoresby and, as
it is quite possible Rudhall may have worked at Ragley, the consequent design
of Hanbury could be his amalgamation of these two influences. Hanbury Hall was
the seat of the Vernon family until 1953 when it was given to the National Trust.
(Country Life, xxxix, p 502; CXLiii, p 18 and 66; Gardens X, - 368; VCH 3 (ii),
p 372-3; BoE, p 184-6; Hanbury Hall, The National Trust Guide, 1981).
Listing NGR: SO9441863741
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.