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Description: Knebworth House
Date Listed: 9 June 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 162092
OS Grid Reference: TL2299720868
OS Grid Coordinates: 522997, 220868
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8728, -0.2148
Explore more of the area around Knebworth, Hertfordshire at Explore Britain.
TL 22 SW KNEBWORTH OLD KNEBWORTH LANE
3/145 Knebworth House
Country House. Home of the Lytton family since 1492. It is one
wing of a mid C16 brick courtyard house, the other 3 sides
demolished in 1811 by Mrs Bulwer Lytton. Transformed as a Tudor-
style stuccoed mansion c1815 - 1820 by J B Rebecca and modified
in a more lavish Tudor style by H E Kendall for Sir Edward Bulwer
Lytton soon after 1843. A third storey added to the E, entrance
front in 1878 by John Lee. Servants' wing added at same time by
George Devey, this demolished and replaced in 1950. Alterations
including library by Sir Edwin Lutyens, 1907. 2-3 storeys.
Stucco on red brick. Some early brickwork exposed on E
elevation. This elevation has central and outer protections with
tall angle turrets. Central porch has extravagant castellated
attic. Carved gargoyles and blank heraldic motifs. The wings
have large mullioned windows with traceried horizontal banding.
Crow step central gables. Traceried octagonal turrets with ogee
domes. Wall right of porch has 3 tall pointed-arch windows.
Other windows are 2 liqhts with Tudor hood moulds. Late C19 3-
window projection on left, joining with screen wall at right
angles. This has massive gateway tower and round terminal tower.
Garden elevation is more richly detailed. Continuous traceried
frieze below battlements, interrupted by finials and slender
octagonal turrets. Central porch is a round turret with square
additions, including 1st floor oriel flanked by square turret.
Deeply moulded 4-centre arch door. 2-liqht Tudor windows with
rich cusping, those on left side larger and divided by transoms.
Extension on riqht of late C19 with 3-storey canted bay window.
S elevation is by Lutyens. It has 1:3:1 sash windows in moulded
stone frames and a 2-storey canted bay with a mullioned leaded
Interior. Hall to riqht of screens passage is in original
position and is an exceptionally well preserved examDle from the
C17. Circa 1620 carved oak screen with balustrated minstrels
gallery. 3 arches, the centre one with caryatid term figures.
Open strapwork panelling. Other three walls have full height
Corinthian panelling of cl7OO. Fluted columns and pilasters.
Enriched entablature, broken forward as sedimented fireplace
surround on W wall and as broad sedimented arch with detached
columns on N wall. Fielded panelling to doors, soffits and blank
arches. Continuous plinth imitating channeled ashlar. Original
leaded windows. The two arches on left of screens passage are by
Lutyens. W staircase is in 2 flights: Jacobean style c1843;
diapered Tudor brickwork exposed on E staircase wall. Library in
NW qround floor with bookshelves and fireplace by Lutyens, the
latter with a medallion of Bulwer Lytton by Gilbert. State
drawing room on N side 1st floor is decorated with painted
heraldry by John Crace. In Mrs Bulwer Lytton's bedroom is a
Jacobean overmantel; in the Falkland Room C18 Chinese wallpaper.
(Pevsner (1977), RCHM Typescript, Knebworth House guidebook).
Listing NGR: TL2299220874
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.