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Mereworth Castle (Main Block), Mereworth

Description: Mereworth Castle (Main Block)

Grade: I
Date Listed: 1 August 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 178867

OS Grid Reference: TQ6689553230
OS Grid Coordinates: 566895, 153230
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2538, 0.3902

Location: Mereworth, Kent ME18 5JB

Locality: Mereworth
Local Authority: Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
County: Kent
Country: England
Postcode: ME18 5JB

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Listing Text

In entry for:

(south side)

2/43 Mereworth Castle
1.8.52 (main block) with
GV moat walls to north

the moat walls shall be omitted to read:

Mereworth Castle
(main block)


(south side)

2/43 Mereworth Castle
(main block) with
1.8.52 moat walls to north


House. Roofed 1723. Designed by Colin Campbell for John Fane, 1736 to become the
Earl of Westmorland. Interior plasterwork by Francesco Bagutti and Fresco painting
by Francesco Sleter. Based on Palladio's Villa Capra near Vicenza stuccoed in C18
'stone colour' with Portland stone porticos, entablatures and window surrounds.
Leaded ribbed dome. Large square block with 4 identical fronts, excepting the lack
of portico steps to east and west. String-course above basement, cornice-band at
portico entablature level. Hipped slate roof carrying heavily banded almost
hemispherical dome with blind lantern surrounded by high half-columns. Single
pedimented and balconied 1st floor windows each side of Hexastyle Ionic porticos.
Flight of steps up to north and south porticos. The block was originally moated,
parts still visible to north. Garden balustrades to north, connecting with side
walls and abutments of portico steps. Interior: Extremely important and an almost
complete survival. Entrance Hall: Barrel-vaulted with plaster busts in shells over
side doors and pair of female allegorical figures over arched doorway into central
rotunda. Rotunda: 2 storeys and dome with plaster copping. Four major axial and
four minor diagonal doorways on both floors, the upper to deep balustraded gallery
on carved volute brackets. Cornice under gallery. Sumptuous plasterwork with pairs
of female figures, putti and busts in shells over doorways, and rectangular relief
panels, portrait busts and foliage drops arrayed on the walls. Axial doors with
Ionic fluted doorcases in deep recesses with arched heads containing, east and west
eagles with cartouches and wreaths, south, the Fane crest, and north, a bull's head
in a coronet. Subsidiary doors below and axial doors above with triangular pediments.
Library: Coved vault with central rectangular plaster compartments. Main doorcase
with Corinthian half-columns and pediment, subsidiary doors with flat hoods. Shelves
standing proud of the walls. West Bed-Chamber: Corner fireplace, compartmented
painted and plastered ceiling with allegorical and antique scenes. Modillion
cornice work pulvinated freize. West Dressing Room: 2 storey fireplace with 4 corner
volutes supporting mantel. Compartmented painted and plastered ceiling with
allegorical and Antique scenes. Modillion (cont'd )
cornice with pulvinated frieze. Long Gallery: Deep cove painted illusionis-
tically in the early C18 Venetian style by Francesco Sleter, dated 1732.
Central plaster compartments with 5 'quadro riportati' allegorical scenes
by Sleter. Modillion cornice with frieze-decoration of masks and wreaths.
3 doorways, with Corinthian half-columned and triangular pedimented surrounds.
2 pedimented chimney-pieces. East Dressing Room: Central rectangular panel
to ceiling with allegorical scene and painted decoration in ceiling corners.
2-storey pedimented chimney-piece. Apple floor in geometrical patterns.
Modillion cornice with acanthus frieze. East Bedroom: Compartmented painted
and plastered ceiling with allegorical and Antique scenes. Corner fireplace.
Modillion cornice, scroll and putti relief frieze. Dining Room: Coved ceiling
with scrolled plaster supports in corners. 3 compartment plaster ceiling
in rectangular surround. Mid C18 rococo fireplace with volute supports.
See Howard Stutchbury, the Architecture of Colin Campbell, Manchester,
1967, 54-58. Also John Harris, The Palladians, London, 1981, 66-67:
Country Life, XLVII, 808,876,912; XCV, 242; CIV,728; CXVI, 209.

Listing NGR: TQ6686353282

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.