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Berwick House, Pimhill

Description: Berwick House

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 29 January 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 259132

OS Grid Reference: SJ4705114794
OS Grid Coordinates: 347051, 314794
Latitude/Longitude: 52.7282, -2.7855

Location: Pimhill, Shropshire SY4 3HW

Locality: Pimhill
County: Shropshire
Country: England
Postcode: SY4 3HW

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Listing Text

SJ 41 SE
10/71 Berwick House

Country house. Dated 1731 (rainwater heads), attributed to Francis Smith
of Warwick, for Thomas Powys. Altered and enlarged in 1878 (dated on down-
pipes) by Stevens of Birmingham, for Mr. James Watson. Red brick with grey
sandstone ashlar dressings. Hipped plain tile roofs. 1731 block enlarged
at the rear in a Jacobean Revival style. Early C18 L-plan wing (formerly
stables) to north-east, forming entrance courtyard. South-east front:
2:2:1:2:2 bays. Giant Corinthian order of pilasters with hierachical
ornament, the inner pair unfluted with carved drops, the middle pair fluted
and the outer pair cable fluted. Rusticated plinth with moulded ground-floor
cill string course, moulded sub-plinth, moulded cornice, breaking forward over
pilasters, panelled dies to attic supporting second moulded cornice, and C19
balustrade with square dies and urn finials with swags. Four C19 brick
stacks with moulded pilaster strips and cornices; further C19 brick stacks
behind ridge. C19 octagonal lead-covered cupola over hall, behind front
ridge off-centre to left, with round-arched openings and double-curved lead
cap with finial. Glazing bar sashes with gauged-brick heads and triple
keystones with moulded tops; moulded stone cills to attic windows. C19
first-floor stone balconies on carved brackets and central first-floor keystone
with carved device. Central pair of half-glazed panelled doors with elaborate
stone doorcase consisting of shouldered and lugged moulded architrave on
panelled dies, flanking raised and fielded panels, and cable-fluted Corinthian
pilasters supporting sections of entablature (with continuous frieze between)
and open segmental pediment with broken-back centre and much carved ornament
in tympanum, including cornucopia, palm fronds and central shield. Five stone
steps up to door with moulded nosings. North-east front: 2:2:2 bays, the
left-hand side blank and some inserted C19 windows to right. Central C19
two-storey porte-cochère : 1 x 3 bays to ground floor with keyed arches and
Corinthian pilasters, and first-floor Ionic corner pilasters with carved
drops; pair of half-glazed doors behind screen. South-west front: end
of front range set back to right with C19 two-storey square bay. 1878
range to left with giant Corinthian order at corners and 3 bays with applied
orders to each floor, pediments over central ground-floor windows, and central
Flemish gable. C18 square lead downpipes to each end of C18 block, with dated
and richly-decorated rainwater heads and ornamented fixing straps. North-east
wing: formerly stable block. 2 storeys and attic. Double-chamfered stone
plinth, chamfered stone quoins, and moulded stone eaves cornice, breaking
forward over keystones. C19 brick ridge stacks with fluted pilasters and
moulded cornices. Large C19 dormers (3 to front and 5 to side) consisting
of glazing bar sashes, ogees in blind segmental tympana, flanking pilasters
supporting open triangular-pedimented gables, and tile-hung sides. South-
east front: 2:1:2 bays; boxed glazing bar sashes with moulded stone
cills and gauged-brick heads (segmental to ground floor) with triple keystones.
Central pair of half-glazed doors with stone doorcase consisting of moulded
architrave, fluted frieze and triangular pediment; 3 stone steps to doorway
with moulded nosings. Left-hand return front: 11 bays; blocked or blind
windows, except for 2 ground-floor glazing bar sashes to right. Door in third
bay from right with 8 raised and fielded panels, rectangular overlight, and
stone doorcase consisting of moulded architrave, fluted frieze and triangular
pediment. Keyed segmental-arched through-passageway to left. Some refenestra-
tion to ground floor at left. Link block returning at north-west end.
1:3:1 bays. 3-bay triangular pediment to central break; circular clock in
tympanum with stone surround consisting of pilaster strips,moulded cornice and
flanking scrolls. Central octagonal wooden cupola with square base, round
arches with keystones, balustrading, dentil cornice, small triangular pediments
to cardinal faces, and ogee lead cap with weathervane. Ground floor
refenestrated in C19 and segmental arches blocked. C19 ground-floor additions
too, including covered walkway on 2 sides of service courtyard. Circa 1878
brick screen wall to service court, with paired brick pilasters, cornice and
balustrade; segmental-headed doorway to left. Interior: remodelled in 1878
by Stevens in an exuberant free Jacobean/Baroque Revival style but some
1731 work remains. Central ground-floor front room (former entrance hall):
surviving 1731 work includes raised and fielded bolection-moulded panelling,
Corinthian pilasters, and 2 well-carved over-doors depicting military
trophies, attributed to Grinling Gibbons (Leach). The 1878 additions at the
rear are planned around a vast central full-height square hall with balustraded
first-floor gallery, balustraded attic gallery to one side, clerestorey with
stained glass, and coving above with pendants; panelling, marble fireplace
with pilastered overmantel, and shell niche to one side of first-floor gallery.
C19 five-flight square-well staircase rising from one side of the hall, with
balustrade and square newel posts. Further rooms with panelling, panelled
ceilings, fireplaces etc. First-floor rooms not inspected but it is said
(B.O.E.) that the central first-floor room also has early C18 panelling and
decoration. The house stands within a landscaped park, including a chapel
(q.v.), almshouses (q.v.) and Gothic folly (q.v.). A map (still kept at
Berwick) made of the house and its surroundings in 1760 by Thomas Ansell
shows the house and stables before the 1878 alterations. It also shows a
pair of fine wrought-iron gates by Robert Davies of Wrexham in the park to
the south-east of the house, which are now at Newnham Paddox in Warwickshire.
Robert Mylne made some alterations and additions to the house in 1780 but
these no longer survive. B.O.E., p.74; Colvin, pp. 467, 577 and 752;
Ed. Francis Leach, The County Seats of Shropshire (1891), pp.1-6;Ifor Edwards,
Davies Brothers. Gatesmiths (1977), pp. 83-5; Shropshire Libraries map
collection (photocopy of Berwick map).

Listing NGR: SJ4705114794

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.