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Westwood House, Westwood

Description: Westwood House

Grade: I
Date Listed: 29 December 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 148144

OS Grid Reference: SO8756063967
OS Grid Coordinates: 387560, 263967
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2737, -2.1837

Location: Westwood, Worcestershire WR9 0AE

Locality: Westwood
Local Authority: Wychavon District Council
County: Worcestershire
Country: England
Postcode: WR9 0AE

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Listing Text


4/248 Westwood House


Hunting lodge, extended as country house, now flats. c1600 for Sir John
Pakington; extended c1660-70 for his grandson, Sir John Pakington; mid-
C19 alterations by P Hardwick, early C20 alterations by Sir Reginald
Blomfield for Lord Doverdale and further alterations during the mid-C20
when converted to flats. Red brick in English bond, red sandstone ashlar
dressings, plain tiled roofs. Jacobean style. Complex but symmetrical
plan; basically a central rectangle, being the original hunting lodge with
two full-height angled bays to each front, the north and south elevations
having additional large central bays. The interest lies in the four large,
angled wings of roughly matching design added to each corner so forming the
most distinctively shaped house in the county. Four storeys and cellar;
the principal front facing east being of three and four storeys; wide moulded
floor strings dropped or raised as necessary at junction with angle wings;
memorable cornices to all the elevations with heralic devices of gerbes
alternating with mullets from the Pakington coat of arms (see centre of
principal front); three shaped gables per front containing a mullet within
a circular panel at the apex, the outer gables rising from behind the angled
bays; all have moulded cappings and ornamental finials; angle wings end in
pavilions, with full-height angled bays, and capped by two-stage ogee cupolas
with fishscale tiles and finials, added by Sir Reginald Blomfield in the early
C20. Between these pavilions and the main block are shaped gables. Windows
are of tall mullioned and transomed type of 2-, 4- and 5-lights with king
mullions and leaded casements. Principal entrance front: remorselessly
symmetrical; central three bays flanked by two bays in each projecting angled
wing; the central entrance porch is of limestone with marble inlay panels
and is tripartite, incorporating a Triumphal arch motif with fluted Corinthian
columns; above are strapwork cartouches and a central eagle (headless) with an
allegorical figure astride it; within is a round-arched doorway with oak C17
style doors, flanked by pilasters enriched with lozenges; heraldic mullets
appear on soffits and also seriatim throughout the house, including the lead
guttering. The parapet above the entrance is capped by lead urns between
which is an unusual balcony made from a latticework of cast iron bars. On
the first floor above the entrance is a large achievement of arms set within
an enriched square panel. The ground and first floor windows have two transoms
and two sunk-chamfer king mullions. The wings have dressings in a more reddish-
coloured sandstone and have a chamfered stone plinth; the first of the two bays
on each side is set back with a small ogee-headed doorway situated at the
bottom of the outermost side. The opposing sides of the wings have slightly
irregular junctions with the main block and large external chimneys capped by
diagonally-set shafts. The west front, opposing the principal entrance front,
has two chimneys set between the outer angled bays and causing a change in
design to the central gable; each chimney has paired diagonally-set shafts;
at centre of this front is a single storey kitchen extension c1840. The
north front has sandstone angled buttresses to the central bay and projecting
from this bay is a late Cl7, single storey square bay window with chamfered
rustication to the dressings, angled in the voussoirs; the lattice-pattern
cast iron balcony above resembles that above the principal entrance porch;
C18 single storey extension with modillion cornice is situated to the right
of late Cl7 square bay in the angle with the north-west wing.
Interior: porch leads into the Hall and it is possible, assuming the porch to be c1660,
that the traditional entry arrangement was moved at this date. The panelling, and that
of the other ground floor rooms was replaced c1840. Behind the Hall and extending
across the full length of the house, from north to south, at first floor level is the
staircase hall, c1670. The staircase is of two main flights with a main landing, each
flight divided into eight risers separated by small landings of equal length; moulded
handrails with turned balusters and massive newel posts surmounted by Corinthian
columns with ball finials. The Saloon has a magnificent plaster ceiling c1670 with
a central oval wreath within a shaped panel, which is enclosed by a heavily moulded rib,
the soffit enriched with deeply undercut foliage: the remainder of the ceiling is made
up of wreaths and panels and the cove is decorated with large festoons; there is an early
C17 highly elaborate oak chimney piece framed by coupled columns of two superimposed
orders, the lower Ionic, the upper Corinthian, both with ornate carved friezes; above
the fireplace is a panel with enriched bolection moulding; the surfaces behind the
columns are ornatented with naturalistic carving and there are fluted niches with
strapwork detailing. The rooms in the wings leading off the Saloon have similar plaster
ceilings although on a smaller and less impressive scale; the north-east wing has a
fine wood chimney piece with naturalistic carving painted white.
The Westwood Estate was founded in the C12 as an abbey of the Order of Fontevrault; it
later became a Benedictine nunnery and, after the Dissolution, passed into the hands
of The Pakington family. The original hunting lodge was of a tall and compact design
comparable to Barlborough in Derbyshire and the hunting lodges at Cranbourne and
Sherborne (now known as Sherborne Castle). Bearing such analogies in mind it is
probable that the angle wings added in 1660 were actually enlargements of former angle
turrets or similar. The over-all layout of the ancillary buildings and the estate as a
whole, as shown in Kip's illustration of c1698, added to the unusual and dramatic
effect of the house plan, but this effect is now sadly diminished by the removal of
the garden enclosures, two of the four garden pavillions (qv) and the change of use of
the surrounding parkland. However the replacement of the former short spires on the
angled wings with two-stage ogee cupolas, by Blomfield in the early C20, has much
enhanced the appearance of the house and helped relate it once more to the gatehouse
and two surviving pavilions.
To the south of the house there is a late C19 formal garden with low perimeter walls
and a central basin; to one side is a small topiary garden.
(CL, xii, 689; Lxiv, 50, 94; Lxiii, 1689; Lxxxiv, 738; VCH III (i): BoE).

Listing NGR: SO8756063967

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.