Description: Wroxton College and Attached Walls and Steps
Date Listed: 8 December 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 244756
OS Grid Reference: SP4166341619
OS Grid Coordinates: 441663, 241619
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0714, -1.3936
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WROXTON DARK LANE
10/199 Wroxton College and attached
08/12/55 walls and steps
(Formerly listed as Wroxton
Country house now College (for students of Fairleigh Dickinson University, New
Jersey, U.S.A.) and attached walls and steps. Present house dating from c.1618
was built on the site of an Augustinian Priory founded in 1217 by Michael Belet
in honour of St. Mary. North wing of the early C17 house incorporates monastic
remains including a C13 blocked arch and a C14 moulded doorway in the
boilerhouse. The early C17 house begun by Sir William Pope but left incomplete
at his death in 1631, comprised the Great Hall, Parlour, Porch and Pantry.
Additions by Roger North c.1672 include the north wing with Great Parlour,
Garden Parlour, and Chapel. Chapel remodelled in Gothic style by Sanderson
Miller in 1747 for Francis, later Earl of Guilford. Library by Sydney Smirke
added C.1830. Addition of the south wing 1858-9 by Baroness Susan North.
Restorations carried out by Fairleigh Dickinson University 1960-1980s. Ironstone
ashlar. Steeply pitched stone slate roof laid to diminishing courses. Stone
ridge, end and internal stacks. Stone coped gables with moulded kneelers and
finials. H-plan. 2 storeys plus attics and cellars. 9-window range. West front
has 7 gables and a central 4-storey porch with shaped gables and finials.
Doorway has an elaborate surround in the form of a triumphal arch with shell
niches flanking the entrance, and an entablature with strapwork and finials.
Above the third floor a heraldic shield. Entrance is reached by a flight of
stone steps with side walls. C17. 2 further sets of steps and walls on north and
south. North wing on left has a 2-storey C19 bay window with tall mullioned and
transomed windows. 1859 south wing to right has a similar window. Elsewhere
stone mullioned windows and mullioned and transomed windows, some replacing
earlier C18 sash windows. Hood moulds and label stops, some continuous. Rear.
Irregular, with bay windows to north and south wings and stone mullioned
windows, some original. Single-storey C19 library on right has mullioned and
transomed windows with arched lights and a pierced parapet. Chapel approximately
central has a 4-light intersecting window, with an ogee headed dripmould.
Interior. Hall with screens passage to service rooms on right. Jacobean carved
arcaded gallery with 4 pairs of arches divided by caryatids. Strapwork
cartouches along dado. C19 carved frieze of small figures and caryatids in
papier mache. Heraldic stained glass of the 1850s in the bay window at the dias
end of the hall probably by Willement. Chapel. C17 carved oak gallery round 3
sides, 2 doors dated 1618 and altar. Early C18 Flemish altar rail. Alterations
by Sanderson Miller c.1747 include the east window designed as a setting for
painted glass of 1623 by A Van Linge, and possibly the Gothic frieze and the
star enclosing the Agnus Dei on the ceiling over the alter. Elaborate woodwork
was introduced in the C19, dating from the C16 and C17. Font, a rectangular bowl
carved with swags of flowers. Great Parlour now Reading Room. Plaster ceiling
possibly Jacobean Revival of 1740s. C18 fireplace to design of Battey Langley.
Garden Parlour Room now the North Library. Fireplace dated 1698. Carving below
windows in the style of Grinling Gibbons. Red Drawing Room now Small Library has
fine carved wall panels. Library has fireplace dated 1859, a jib door with dummy
books and linenfold panelling. Openwell staircase probably C17. Gold Room on
first floor. C18, Ceiling redecorated in C19 and restored in 1964. Georgian
stone chimney piece in Caen stone. Probably C19 woodwork. Visitors to Wroxton
Abbey included James I, Charles I on July 13th 1643, Horace Walpole, Celia
Fiennes, George IV, when Prince of Wales, in 1805, 1806, 1808. Frederick 2nd
Earl of Guilford, Prime Minister to George II, lived here. Early C18 formal
gardens by Tilleman Bobart. Mid C18 landscaped gardens by Sanderson Miller.
Included in the H.B.M.C. Gardens Register.
(VCH: Oxfordshire, Vol IX, p172-3; Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, 1974,
p862-4; Wroxton Abbey Guidebook published by Wroxton College, 1982; Beesley, A;
History of Banbury, 1841, p79-85, 263,348,540; Eden, F.S., Ancient Stained and
Painted Glass, 1933, p185; Lamborn, E.A.G., Armonial Glass of the Oxford
Diocese, 1949, XXX; Photographs in NMR)
Listing NGR: SP4166141622
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.