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Sarsden House, Sarsden

Description: Sarsden House

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 27 August 1957
English Heritage Building ID: 254083

OS Grid Reference: SP2891423006
OS Grid Coordinates: 428914, 223006
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9049, -1.5811

Location: 1 Stable Court Yd, Sarsden OX7 6PW

Locality: Sarsden
Local Authority: West Oxfordshire District Council
County: Oxfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: OX7 6PW

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Listing Text

7/188 Sarsden House


Country house. Rebuilt for William Walter after a fire in 1689; some internal
remodelling by Humphry Repton c.1796 and further alterations by his son, G.S.
Repton in 1823-5, carried out for John Langston and his son, James Haughton
Langston, respectively. Limestone ashlar with rusticated quoins; open-well
hipped stone slate roofs. Main block square around central open well (later
infilled by Humphry Repton) with projecting wings at right-angles to rear
forming U-plan. 2 storeys and attic with continuous moulded floor band and
plinth. Modillion eaves cornice, that to front Corinthian with egg and dart
moulding beneath. 1:3:1 bays, centre section forming slightly projecting
pedimented break with quoins and continuation of cornice to plain pediment.
Glazing bar sashes in eared architraves. Balustraded portico added to centre by
G.S. Repton has 4 pairs of Ionic columns supporting moulded entablature with
triglyph frieze. Half-glazed double doors to centre in late C17 enriched
doorcase with carved garlands and husked wheat to sides and bearded head as
keystone; consoles to cornice with egg and dart moulding. Pedimented dormer 5
(possibly late C17) in roof slope to left and right and prominent rusticated
ridge stack with dentilled capping to right; arrow-shaped weathervane behind
ridge to centre. East front in 9 bays with glazing bar sashes in plain moulded
architraves, some enlarged including to 15-paned sash to sixth bay from left on
first floor. Infilled window to far left on first floor. Doorway in sixth bay
from left similar to that on entrance front but retaining segmental broken
pediment; 6-panel door (opening to bottom 4 panels only) in fluted pilastered
wood surround. 4 integral lateral stacks far left with 4 rebated shafts, left
with triple rebated shafts, 2 to right paired and rebated, all with moulded
capping. Ridge stack, like that to entrance front, on right and another to left
on line with far left integral stack. Roughly symmetrical arrangement of 8
pedimented dormers in roof slope. Round-headed chamfered arch with plain
entablature forming continuation of floor band at right-angles to left of third
window from left links house to north-west corner of Church of St. James (q.v.).
Late C18/early C19 two-storey service range projecting at right-angles to east
on south has hipped roof with plain parapet. Glazing bar sashes including
tripartite window on ground floor to east, and integral lateral stack with 5
rebated shafts on south side. Single-storey hip-roofed parallel projection on
south also has tripartite sash window to east. Flat-roofed porch (Probably
c.1825) in angle between service and main ranges. West front. In 8 slightly
irregularly-spaced bays has glazing bar sashes in plain moulded architraves.
Full-length balustraded loggia by G.S. Repton supported on 5 coupled Ionic
columns with single Ionic columns at each end, includes canted bay window with 5
glazing bar sashes at left end. Glazing bar sashes also under loggia, left with
panelled extension to bottom forming French window (c.p. Sarsden Glebe). 6
pedimented dormers in roof slope and roughly central rusticated ridge stack with
dentilled capping. Attached to right end and flush with loggia is conservatory
also added by G.S. Repton on site of earlier range. Double-span glass roof
concealed by balustraded parapet at same level as that of loggia; nine 32-paned
glazing bar sashes to west and 4 to south side, all in plain moulded
architraves; wide corner pilasters. South side presenting U-plan (including
conservatory) to garden has glazing bar sashes and pedimented dormers in roof
slope to all ranges. Interior. Staircase reached through doorway in east front
has open string with 3 slim irontwist brass balusters to each tread. Mahogany
handrail, wreathed to bottom with irontwist newel. Simple plaster cove.
Round-headed arch leads to central rotunda, the work of Humphry Repton: this has
8 Ionic Roman columns supporting simple dentilled cornice. Plain twice-sunk
coffered dome with plaster guilloche decoration to ribs. Stained glass lantern
with cortical plain-glazed top light. Entrance hall to north of rotunda has Roman
Doric distyle in antis screen to one side. Room to left (morning room), largely
remodelled by G.S.Repton, has white marble fireplace having panelled pilasters
with husks to sides and frieze of grapes and spread eagle. Double-darted egg and
dart plaster cove to ceiling. Room to right of entrance (library) has Corinthian
marble columns in antis forming columns to each end but not to large bay. White
marble fireplace with frieze of Vesuvius erupting by moonlight probably by G.S.
Repton. Plain plaster cove to ceiling with delicate guilloche moulding. Library
leads to ante-room on south, which in turn leads to drawing room, both with
white marble fireplaces. Elaborate white marble fireplace in dining room to
south of rotunda. First floor. Corner of corridor at north end has small
unadorned groin vaults. Bedrooms generally very plain with C19 cornices. Stout
butt-purlin trusses, probably of 1689, to roof. Conservatory has elliptical
trellised recess with wood bench to each end. Cast-iron columns and roof
trusses. An engraving of the north front in Kennett's Parochial Antiquites
(1695) shows it to have been of 2:3:2 bays, having central pediment with foliage
carved in high relief flanked by oeils de boeuf. Formal gardens lay to the north
and west.
(Buildings of England: Oxfordshire: p752; Colvin (1978), pp.679-80; Nigel
Temple: 'Sarsden, Oxfordshire'; Journal of Garden History, Vol.6, No.2 (1986),
pp.89-111 RIBA Drawings Collection (G.S. Repton additions): K2/11, 1-3)

Listing NGR: SP2891423006

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.