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Easton Neston House, and Attached Wing, Easton Neston

Description: Easton Neston House, and Attached Wing

Grade: I
Date Listed: 1 December 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 234871

OS Grid Reference: SP7015749303
OS Grid Coordinates: 470157, 249303
Latitude/Longitude: 52.1376, -0.9763

Location: 51 Northampton Road, Towcester NN12 7HS

Locality: Easton Neston
Local Authority: South Northamptonshire District Council
County: Northamptonshire
Country: England
Postcode: NN12 7HS

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Listing Text


12/48 Easton Neston House, and
01/12/51 attached wing


Country house. Built c.1685-95 for Sir William Fermor created Baron Lempster
1692, probably to a design made by office of Sir Christopher Wren and executed
under direction of Nicolas Hawksmoor who modified the exterior c.1700-02.
Interior still unfinished at death of Lord Lempster in 1711. Limestone ashlar
(Helmdon stone), lead roofs, stone internal stacks. Double-pile plan with
central cross passage. English Baroque style. 2 storeys and basement; 9-window
range. Entrance front to west has central 8-panel double-leaf doors with
fanlight, stone surround with round-arched head, keyblock and imposts. Window to
first floor above with similar head and surround. Otherwise 40-pane sash windows
to ground and first floors with moulded eared stone surrounds. Giant order of
composite pilasters and columns, the latter flanking central bay, pilasters
defining the others. Channelled rustication to basement which has
segmental-headed, keyblocked windows. Door approached by double-armed outer
staircase with intermediate landing either side, wrought-iron balustrade and
window below central landing with stone lintel and keyblock. End bays break
forward slightly, 5-bay centre breaks forward slightly further with pronounced
break-forward to central bay. Full entablature with plain frieze except to
central bay which bears Fermor motto HORA E SEMPRE. Segmental-arched pediment
above framing family coat of arms. Balustraded parapet, with piers above
pilasters bearing urns except for pair of lions facing inwards above inner
pilasters either end. Garden front to east has similar composition with
pilasters throughout, balustrade continued over central bay, whose frieze is
inscribed AD SAL MOCCII. North side elevation of seven bays has central ground
floor window similar to ground and first floor windows of main fronts. Very
large round-arched window above, lighting staircase. Giant pilasters flank
centre with sections of entablature either side of head of staircase window and
open pediment. Bays either end have round-arched windows to ground floor with
segmental hoods and first floor windows similar to those of main fronts but with
pediments. Intervening bays have mezzanine storeys with pairs of 18-pane sashes
to ground and first floors, square mezzanine windows above ground floor windows,
those above first floor windows with segmental-arched heads and all with moulded
stone surrounds. Lead rainwater pipes between these windows with heads dated
1702. Pilasters to either end with sections of entablature, continuous cornice
and balustraded parapet. Single-storey brick quadrant corridor to ground floor
far right joins house to surviving wing and attached buildings. Corridor has
round-arched heads to windows with keyblocks. South side elevation has 5 bays
and similar articulation, but sash windows to ground floor matching those of
main fronts, 18-pane first floor windows, and attic windows with
segmental-arched heads; all with moulded eared stone surrounds. Wing, originally
one of pair flanking forecourt, of brick with stone dressings and hipped slate
roof; 1 storey and attic; 9-window range. Pedimented central bay is ashlar-faced
and has large door with moulded stone surround and segmental pediment on
brackets; chamfered quoins to angles. Tall leaded wood mullion and transom
windows with moulded stone surrounds. Hipped roof dormers. Similar L-plan
attached building to rear left, now boiler-house, has large limestone Tudor rose
and coat of arms incorporated in brickwork, probably from earlier house. Wing of
similar character to rear right. Interior: double-height hall sub-divided
horizontally c.1900 retains chimneypiece by William Kent and stone Corinthian
columns. Stone cantilever staircase rises in two long flights with intermediate
landings and has fine wrought-iron balustrade with inter-linked Ls for Lempster.
Stone niches for statues and grisaille wall-paintings by Sir James Thornhill of
the Triumph of Diocletian. Several secondary staircases of wood with turned
balusters. Drawing Room, formerly Dining Room, has fine plasterwork frames to
large hunting paintings by Snyders and Hondius and plaster ceiling depicting
Venus and Adonis - c.1730-40 and attributed to Charles Stanley. Black and white
marble chimneypiece by William Kent. First floor gallery above cross passage has
fielded panelling and large niche flanked by Corinthian pilasters and plain
barrel-vaulted ceiling. Fine carved cornices to several of the larger rooms
upstairs. One has corner fireplace with veined marble bolection-moulded
fireplace surround and stepped chimneybreast for displaying china. Original
chimneypieces in mezzanine rooms, mostly bolection-moulded. Stone-vaulted
basement with former servants hall and kitchen. The former has painted stone
relief of Wheel of Fortune, the latter a groin-vaulted ceiling of 3 bays,
supported by elliptical arches which span the room. Hall and staircase were
designed as setting for some of the Arundel marbles purchased by Lord Lempster
1691 and presented to University of Oxford by 2nd Countess of Pomfret in 1755.
Seat of the Fermor-Heskeths.
(Park and gardens included in the H.B.M.C.E. Register of Parks and Gardens at
Grade II*; Buildings of England: Northamptonshire: 1973, pp203-204; Connoisseur:
October 1964; Country Life 7-14 November 1908, 20-27 August 1927 and October
15th 1970; D.E.L. Haynes, The Arundel Marbles 1975, pp14-16 (pamphlet))

Listing NGR: SP7015749303

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.