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Eastnor Castle, Eastnor

Description: Eastnor Castle

Grade: I
Date Listed: 18 November 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 152453

OS Grid Reference: SO7350036876
OS Grid Coordinates: 373500, 236876
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0297, -2.3877

Location: 1 The Stables, Eastnor HR8 1RL

Locality: Eastnor
County: Herefordshire
Country: England
Postcode: HR8 1RL

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Listing Text

SO 73 NW

4/31 Eastnor Castle



Country house. 1811 - 1820 by Robert Smirke for 2nd Baron Somers;
internal alterations, mostly decorative by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, 1849/50 and GE Fox 1860s; Sir G G Scott also proposed alterations but these were
not fully undertaken. Ashlar; lead and slate roof concealed behind
embattled parapet; the roof trusses and floor beams are cast iron,
an early example of the use of iron in domestic buildings; octagonal
ashlar stacks disguised as turrets. A Picturesque, yet still symmetrical
castle in a serious neo-Norman and early English style: rectangular with
E-plan entrance front and flanking towers joined by short diagonal links.
2 storeys and cellars in a battered plinth; to the north- and south-east
the castle is raised on a mound and has tall retaining walls. Entrance
front is dominated by a boldly massed centre which raises through 3
stages and is stepped up towards the middle of the building; round corner
turrets and arched parapets to the outside; projecting porte-cochere
under an embattled parapet and with 3 tall round archways of 3 orders
of columns which have cushion capitals. To hither side of the centre
are 3:1 bays, the outer ones being advanced and terminated by tall, 3
stage corner towers which are clover leaf on plan and have corbelled
parapets and single-light, round-headed, windows set in deep embrasures.
The central 3 bay sections have 3-light Early English style windows on
the ground floor set back in recesses and divided by flat buttresses,
roll-moulded cill band below and corbelled blob.king course above, behind
which the upper floor is recessed with large pane sash windows in neo-
Norman style surrounds which have columns and cushion capitals. The
outer single bays have 3-light Gothic style windows but set in neo-Norman
surrounds; plain tripartite windows on first floor. Large central double
doors and simple round-headed doors at base of outer towers, that to the
left leads to an outer parapet walkway at the foot of the side elevation.
The north-east (side) elevation rests on a tall, battered retaining wall,
and is of 3 bays, the centre being a full height canted bay of 3 windows;
the fenestration is a variation of the Entrance Front. Garden elevation
of 4:3:4 windows and tall corner towers as Entrance elevation. The
central 3 windows are set in a 3 stage tower which is canted to the out-
side. 2-light Geometric style windows on ground floor; neo-Norman style
surrounds and columns to the centre; 3-light plain, round-headed windows
on the first floor, but Geometric style outer windows. To the south-west
of the Castle is the attached kitchen wing of 2 storeys forming a T-plan
with a court on the south side; four 2-light casement windows under hood-
moulds;.tall, 2-stage square towers terminate the 2 arms of the wing.
Interior: little of the original Smirke interiors survive. Front Staircase
Hall, redecorated by G E Fox 1860s. Entrance Hall: Smirke, probably re-
modelled by Scott, and redecorated by G E Fox in the 1860s; the carving
is by William and James Forsythe of Worcester; the dimensions are 60 feet
long by 55 feet high; Romanesque style "triforium" gallery and 2-light
"clerestorey" windows with Venetian style tracery; panelled ceiling and
braced trusses; panelled doors in neo-Norman style surrounds; decorative
stencilling in canvas by Fox. Octagon room has a coffered ceiling. Gothic
Drawing Room: the plasterwork is by F Bernasconi and Son but the painted
decoration was designed by Pugin and executed by the Crace firm in 1849-50;
fan vaulted ceiling: large, wrought, 2 tier chandelier by Pugin, 1850
but made by Hardman of Birmingham; highly elaborate fireplace with ogee
head and family heraldry, a painted family tree is above; linenfold
panelling, chairs, table and sideboard all by Pugin. Library: by G E Fox
late 1860s, in an Italian Renaissance style; find inlaid woodwork, Istrian
stone chimneypiece apparently with a representation of Garibaldi; coffered
ceiling with paintings of the Virtues and the Vices. Little Library: also
by Fox, incorporating woodwork from the Accademia degli Intronati at Siena,
1646) Malvern Hills granite fireplace and Gibbons carving from Reigate Priory
flanking the overmantel mirror. Dining Room: by Smirke but altered, painted
and panelled ceiling; panelled dado and built-in Gothic style sideboards;
furniture also by Smirke. Staircase Hall: plain staircase by Smirke, arcaded
balustrade of cast iron and wood. State Bedroom: some of the earliest work
of the Royal School of Needlework, early C20 for Lady Henry Somerset. Many
drawings and work books survive in the muniment room of the house. The
accounts for the 1811-12 period amount to £85,923 13s 11½d. (N Pevnser,
The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, 1963. Country Life, 7.3.68;
14.3.68 and 21.3.68).

Listing NGR: SO7350036876

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.