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Attingham Park, Atcham

Description: Attingham Park

Grade: I
Date Listed: 29 January 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 259253

OS Grid Reference: SJ5498909891
OS Grid Coordinates: 354989, 309891
Latitude/Longitude: 52.6848, -2.6673

Locality: Atcham
County: Shropshire
Country: England
Postcode: SY5 6QH

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Listing Text

SJ 50 NW and

5/28 and 6/28 Attingham Park


Mansion. 1783-5, by George Steuart for the first Lord Berwick; internal
alterations of 1805-7 by John Nash. Grey Grinshill sandstone ashlar with
some red brick at rear; hipped slate roofs. Central U-shaped block with
curved colonnaded wings to set-back flanking pavilions. Main block:
basement and 3 storeys. Basement with chanelled rustication and moulded
top, moulded band linking ground-floor windows, first-floor cill band,
moulded second-floor cill band, moulded cornice with blocking course
above, and 8 symmetrically placed ridge stacks with moulded cornices.
11 bays, 4:3:4 rhythm; glazing bar sashes; round-arched basement windows;
each ground-floor window with small wrought iron balcony, moulded architrave,
frieze and cornice; recessed blank rectangular panels above central 3
ground- and first-floor windows. Central tetrastyle Ionic portico
with attenuated unfluted columns, on panelled and moulded plinth, and
supporting entablature with triangular pediment and panelled soffit with
decorative moulded plasterwork. Wrought iron balustrade to plinth and
curved flanking staircases with spearhead railings, oval paterae, and
curtail steps with wreathed handrails and columnular newels; central half-
glazed door with 2 lower flush panels and 6-part overlight. Lead downpipes
with moulded semi-circular rainwater heads between second and third and
ninth and tenth bays. Return fronts: 6 bays; 2:2:2 rhythm; paired
pilasters supporting short sections of entablature flanking centre 2 bays;
central lead downpipe. Rear: flanking wings with full-height canted
bays; recessed centre has projecting circa 1807 circular stair tower with
arcaded ground-floor porch and door with 6 flush panels under radial fan-
light, imposts and keyed surround; full-height circular service stair-
tower in angle to left. Wings and pavilions: 12-bay colonnades with
quadrant link to house. Moulded plinth, unfluted Ionic columns supporting
entablature with moulded cornice, and panelled parapet; balustraded parapet
at rear onto inner service courtyard behind house. Wrought iron balustrade,
steps up in each end bay, pilasters on rear wall, blind windows in rear
wall onto inner courtyard; blocked end bays adjoining house on each side
with single glazing bar sash and 6-panelled door onto colonnade; pair of
2-panelled doors into pavilions; soffits with oval plaster Paterae. 2-
storey pavilions, each with moulded plinth, first-floor cill band, Ionic
pilasters supporting entablature with moulded cornice, and interrupted
balustraded parapet; hipped roof and pair of ridge stacks with moulded
cornices. 4 bays; glazing bar sashes. 3-bay outside return fronts;
central bay slightly recessed and outer bays have recessed blind round-
arches, that towards front with blind window and blind lunette above, and
that to rear with blind lunette; inner return fronts have recessed blind
round arches with blind lunettes in bay to rear and central porch with
moulded cornice and blocking course, blind doorway to courtyard with lunette,
and that to north-east pavilion with 6-panelled door to rear. Rears of
pavilions of 3 bays; south-west pavilion with red brick ground floor and
pair of central half-glazed doors. Interior: symmetrical arrangement of
largely masculine apartments to the left of the entrance hall- and largely
feminine to the right; by George Steuart alterations by Nash include
blocking the former entrance-hall screen, creating a top-lit picture
gallery behind, and a new staircase beyond. Entrance hall: 3 x 3 bays;
scagliola Ionic pilasters 3/4 and columns to former screen, supporting guilloche-
ornamented frieze and dentil cornice; panelled enriched plaster ceiling;
inlaid marble chimney-piece set in a blind arch on the north-east wall;
pairs of 3-panelled doors with doorcases consisting of moulded architraves,
and console brackets supporting moulded cornices; marbled walls and
grisaille panels of circa 1807 by Nash; service stair to basement against
south-west wall also by Nash. Picture gallery: 1807, by Nash; screen
of 2 Corinthian columns at each end; guilloche band above plinth and over
doorways, fluted frieze and dentil cornice; coved toplight to central
space with curved cast iron ribs from Coalbrookdale, reputedly the earliest
use of curved cast iron ribs to support window frames; central flat part
of ceiling with guilloche boarder; rare chamber organ of 1796 by Samuel
Green. Staircase: circa 1807 by Nash; circular well with reeded walls;
single flight to landing and 2 curved flights up to first floor; inlaid
risers, wrought iron scrolled balustrade, wreathed curtails with columnular
newels and inlaid ramped handrail. Right-hand suite of rooms begins with
the Drawing Room: moulded plaster wall panels, enriched plaster frieze
and moulded cornice, painted and gilded enriched plaster ceiling consisting
of wide bands with wreaths, and remaining space with swags, arabesques -
and further vine-leaf wreaths, and pairs of sphinxes at ends flanking
lamps; chimney-piece by John Deval the younger has pairs of Corinthian
columns, oval panels in frieze above and central marble relief panel.
The small Drawing Room or Sultana Room: guilloche-ornamented dado rail;
large segmental-arched recess in one wall with delicately painted spandrels
and flanked by attenuated paired Corinthian half-columns; enriched frieze
and moulded cornice; delicate enriched plaster ceiling with painted roundels.
East Anteroom: fluted frieze with triglyphs and paterae; segmental vault;
French painted wallpaper of circa 1815. Lady Berwick's Boudoir: circular
room; attached Corinthian columns supporting frieze with palmette ornament
and moulded cornice; dome with husk-ornamented bands and segments with
plaster wreaths and flaming lamps; wall panels and 6-panelled doors (some
only to cupboards) with delicate painted arabesques and painted roundels;
fireplace probably by John Deval of 1785 with ornamented frieze, console
brackets supporting cornice, and central roundel above with marble relief.
Left-hand suite of rooms begins with Dining Room: wall panels with inlaid
guilloche-ornamented borders; rich plaster frieze and cornice; enriched
plaster ceiling consisting of wide bands with wheat-ear decoration, wreaths
of vine leaves, and circular plaques in relief; doorcases with console
brackets supporting moulded cornices; chimney-piece probably by John Deval
consisting of paired Ionic columns and ornamented frieze with central relief
panel; English carpet of circa 1800. Library: austerely decorated with
palmette and urn frieze, and moulded cornice. West Anteroom or Anti-
Library: enriched plaster frieze and moulded cornice. Lord Berwick's
Study or The Octagon Room: octagonal plan; unfluted pilasters with
acanthus capitals; enriched plaster frieze, moulded cornice with guilloche;
ornament on soffit; dome with plaster arabesque enrichment and putti;
book cupboards with flanking paired pilasters supporting frieze and cornice,
and diamond-leaded doors; inlaid chimney-piece. Ground floor east passage:
groin vaulted with guilloche-ornamented bands. South-west pavilion contains
Outer Library: giant order of Corinthian pilasters supporting enriched
plaster frieze and cornice; panelled enriched plaster ceiling; bookcases
with grisaille panels above (library not inspected at time of resurvey).
First-floor rooms contain moulded cornices and Neo-classical fireplaces,
one room contains pilasters. The house was built immediately in front of
the early C18 Tern Hall, now largely demolished. Steuart's original
scheme was to have had an entrance hall, much as built, leading into a
domed circular staircase hall with an axial corridor leading in turn to
a 2-storey library occupying the centre of the old Tern Hall. Initially
as built a screen of coupled columns divided the entrance hall from a
more modest staircase hall and Tern Hall was used as offices or servants'
accommodation. Nothing survives of this arrangement as the screen was
blocked by Nash in 1807 when the picture gallery and new staircase were
built. The house contains Steuart's original plans and drawings,
including those showing the alternative scheme for the staircase and
library; there is also a water colour by Augustus Charles Pugin showing the picture gallery with oval lights instead of those as executed. The house is
important as a largely unaltered late C18 mansion showing the influence
of French Neo-classicism, and also in the early use of structural cast
iron in the picture gallery. The Park was initially laid out by Thomas
Leggett between 1769 and 1772, but is now largely the result of Humphry
Repton's recommendations in his Red Book of 1797-98. The bridge, ha-ha
and most of the planting probably date from this time. The Red Book
is kept in the house. H. Avary Tipping, Attingham, CL, Vol.XLIX (Feb.
5th, 1921), Pp.158-166 and 186-193; Michael Rix, Attingham Hall, CL,
Vol.CXVI (October 21st, 1954), Pp.1350-3; Christopher Hussey, English
Country Houses: Mid-Georgian, 1760-1800, CL, Pp.195-202; J. Cornforth
et al, Attingham Park, The National Trust (1981).

Listing NGR: SJ5498909891

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.