Description: Thenford House
Date Listed: 11 September 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 234498
OS Grid Reference: SP5218641797
OS Grid Coordinates: 452186, 241797
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0721, -1.2400
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7/226 Thenford House
Country House. Built c.1761-5 for Michael Woodhull. Ironstone ashlar, limestone
dressings, stone slate roof, stone stacks. Double pile plan with detached wings
linked to centre by short walls screening service courtyards. Principal block: 2
storeys, attic and basement, 7 bays. Three central bays project under pediment,
string course at first floor level, angles emphasised by chamfered quoins.
Entrance in centre, approached by steps with stone balustrade, has doorcase with
Tuscan columns, metope frieze with pediment and 8-panel double doors. All
windows 12-pane sashes. Ground floor windows have moulded stone frames, 3
central windows on first floor have bracketed pediments and blind balustrading
beneath the sills. Windows in outer bays have straight entablatures on brackets.
Bracketed cornice. Rococo cartouche in pediment surmounted by Woodhull crest. 4
flat headed dormers with sashes. Octagonal cupola in centre between two hipped
roofs. Side walls have shaped gables with stack at apex. Side wings, former
kitchen and laundry, each 2 storeys, 8 bays with pediment, flanked by one-storey
outer bays with lean-to roofs forming half pediment. Central sash window flanked
by 8-pane sashes in plain frames and 12-pane sash windows in outer bays. Smaller
sash windows on first floor. Trompe d'oeil roundels in pediments. 4 sash windows
in left wing also trompe d'oeil. Stone mullioned windows at rear, Service wings
flanked on either side by walls with 8 bays of blind arcading, the inner walls
linking with the principal block. Rear elevation has 2 storey canted bay window
at each end and flanking red brick walls screening service courtyards. Interior:
Hall and Saloon on middle axis. Hall has stone fireplace with double volutes and
entablature with modillion cornice. Similar modillion cornice to ceiling. Saloon
on south front has carved wooden fireplace with frieze of flowers and tablet of
rocaille work. Ceiling has frieze of acanthus scrolls. Doorways have moulded
frames with friezes of leaves and flowers and 6-panel doors. 3 windows in wall
opposite fireplace have carved frames with consoles. Drawing Room has carved
wooden fireplace with crossed torch and quiver of arrows and ceiling has frieze
of scrolls and flowers. Dining Room has C19 plasterwork and C18 finely carved
wooden fireplace with frieze of musical instruments and relief of allegorical
figures seated on clouds. Open-well staircase to right of Hall has 2 turned
balusters to a tread and carved tread ends. At foot of staircase is basement
with a Roman tessellated pavement removed from a site north east of village.
Main bedroom has carved wooden fireplace, ceiling with border of rococo scrolls
and flowers, and doorcases with Chinese fretwork friezes. Other bedrooms have
enriched doorcases. Re-used C17 panelling in attic rooms. Park with lake
landscaped in C18. No architect is recorded for Thenford House. Some of the
features are more typical of late C17 work and it is thought that it may have
been designed by Michael Woodhull assisted by a local architect. The old manor
house stood near the church. Michael Woodhull succeeded to the property in 1754
at the age of 14. He became well known as a collector of early printed books and
published a volume of poems.
(A. Oswald, Thenford House, Country Life, Vol.100, 1946, p.624 and p.670,
Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, p.425).
Listing NGR: SP5218641797
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.