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Description: Thame Park House
Date Listed: 24 April 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 248430
OS Grid Reference: SP7167203727
OS Grid Coordinates: 471672, 203727
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7277, -0.9637
Explore more of the area around Thame, Oxfordshire at Explore Britain.
SP7103 (East side)
7/3 Thame Park House
24/04/51 (Formerly listed as Thame
Park, including stable block)
Country house, incorporating part of former abbey complex. C14 north wing,
remodelled C1; early C16 south wing of 3 stages; main front c.1745 by William
Smith of Warwick for the 6th Viscount Wenman; some interiors remodelled c.1830;
restoration and alterations c.1920 by W.H. Gardiner and G. Berkeley Wills;
passage and staircase added to north side of south wing c.1939 by G. Berkeley
Wills. Ashlar stone; complex old plain-tile roof with lead ridges; various brick
and stone chimney stacks. Single-depth main range with cross-wings to rear. 2
storeys on raised basement, and attic; 11-window range. 4:3:4. 9-pane unhorned
sashes to basement with rusticated surrounds. Central panelled door to
round-arched opening beneath central staircase. Double flight of stone steps
with stone balustrades to first floor. Central glazed double doors with stone
Corinthian columns supporting segmental pediment. Flat stone band between
basement and first floor. 12-pane unhorned sashes to left and right of centre
with stone eared architrave surrounds having keystones. 15-pane unhorned sashes
with stone eared architrave surrounds having sills on brackets. Bracketed
cornice to base of plain parapet. Triangular pediment to centre 3 bays has coat
of arms to tympanum. Attic windows not visible behind parapet. Right return:
basement, 2 storeys and attic; 3-window end of main front: 2-storey, 6-bay C16
range with 3-storey tower to right end. 2-storey angled bay windows to left and
right of centre with stone mullion windows and battlemented parapets. Angled
staircase tower to centre with battlemented parapet. The other windows of this
range are stone mullioned, some altered late C19. 3-storey tower to right has
stone oriel bay window to first and second floors of left return. Tower has
battlemented parapet to roof. Interior: open-well cantilever staircase with
column-on-vase wooden balustrade from basement to second floor at centre rear.
Dog-leg staircases with baluster balustrades, from basement to attic, to rear
left and right of centre of main block. Stone spiral staircases to south wing.
Armory, right portion of south wing, has 6-bay butt-purlin roof with probably
C19 king-posts and 2 irregular rows of mostly false windbraces. Main entrance
hall, to main block, first floor centre, has stone floor; 6-panel mahogany doors
with probably pine architrave surrounds and triangular pediments on carved
brackets, with pulvinated friezes having carved fruit to central panel. Stone
richly-carved fireplace has consoles supporting carved frieze of mantelshelf;
overmantle has richly carved wood frame surround with scrolled pediment having
basket of fruit to tympanum. Plaster garlands and swags to walls and rococo
decoration of ceiling, probably by Thomas Roberts of Oxford. Small Drawing Room,
to main block first floor left of centre, is wood-panelled with 6-panel mahogany
doors with architrave surrounds and pulvinated carved frieze and cornice. Carved
wood fruit-swag overmantel surround to richly carved wood fireplace with marble
inner surround. Most other roods in main block were remodelled in Rococo-style
c.1830, and then remodelled in Georgian-style c.1920 reusing some C18 wood
fireplace surrounds. Abbot King's parlour, to first floor of tower to right end
of south wing, was decorated c.1530 for Abbot Robert King in Renaissance style.
Richly carved linen-fold panelling; frieze of panels in arabesque style, of
mermaids, scrolls and urns, some panels with medallions, formerly having heads.
Intersecting ceiling beams have similar decoration with initials R.K. Interior
parch has linenfold panelling and frieze of arabesque panels. Original door
furniture to door. Stone fireplace with Tudor-arched stone moulded surround.
Library, to first floor left of south wing, has boarded ceiling with 3 moulded
cross-beams, and intersecting ribs. Frieze carved with Renaissance ornament and
"Robertus King". History: the house incorporates part of the former Thame Abbey
complex, originally founded by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln in 1138. Abbot King
was abbot from 1530 to 1539. At the Dissolution the estate passed to Lord
Williams of Thame, and in 1559 it passed to the Wenman family.
(Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, 1979, p.809-12; V.C.H.: Oxfordshire, Vol.7,
p.160 et seq; Country Life, Vol.26, p.90; Country Life, Vol.122, ps.1092 et seq,
p.1148 et seq; Architectural Review, Vol.51, 1922, p.16 et seq; The
Archaeological Journal, Vol.86, p.59-68; Nathaniel Lloyd, History of the English
Listing NGR: SP7167603730
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.