Description: Woolverstone Hall
Date Listed: 22 February 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 277323
OS Grid Reference: TM1938838662
OS Grid Coordinates: 619388, 238662
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0030, 1.1948
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TM 1938 WOOLVERSTONE WOOLVERSTONE PARK
7/44 Woolverstone Hall
Country house, now school. 1776 by John Johnson for William Berners with
alterations and additions of 1823 and later. 1823 work by Thomas Hopper.
Woolpit brick with Portland stone dressings and rusticated facing to basement.
Coade stone ornament. Slate roofs. Adam style. 2 storeys and basement to 7-
bay centre, C20 2-storey single-bay additions recessed to each side behind 5-bay
quadrant walls which link with wings of one storey and attic and 5 x 3 bays.
Service courtyards behind screen walls to either side. Centre range: 3-bay cen-
tral pedimented breakforward. Rusticated basement with 3 round-arched recesses,
the centre one containing half-glazed double doors flanked by pilasters beneath
patterned radial fanlight, further double doors to right and a sash window with
glazing bars to left. Outer bays have further sashes with glazing bars. Above,
tetrastyle Ionic portico with ornamented frieze, cornice and modillioned pedi-
ment containing roundel with figure of Diana. Urns to pediment. 1st floor:
Round-arched recesses to portico containing sashes with glazing bars in archi-
traves on balustrades surmounted by panels of sphynxes with urns. Outer windows
have dentilled pediments on consoles with paterae in the friezes. 2nd floor: 6-
pane sashes in architraves. Plain frieze and modillioned cornice to outer bays.
Hipped roof. Rusticated quadrant walls, with end pilasters and round-arched
recesses containing sashes with glazing bars, surmounted by balustrades. Side
wings: Remodelled in 1823. 3 bays to front with tetrastyle Roman Doric porticoes
to central breakforward originally containing round-arched niches to ground
floor, now replaced by windows. Frieze and 6-pane sashes to attic with cornice
and blocking course. 5 bays to inner returns with round-arched recesses.
Hipped roofs with tall stacks. Courtyard screen walls are pilastered with cor-
nice and blocking course, part rusticated stone to front with eliptical carriage
arch. Sashes with glazing bars to return walls and rear. Garden front: Centre
range 3 storeys, 7 bays including central full-height 5-window bow. French win-
dows to centre, otherwise sashes, mostly with glazing bars in architraves with
cornices. 1st floor band. Similar windows to 1st floor, on balustrades, the
central one pedimented. 2nd floor: 6-pane sashes in architraves. Frieze,
modillion cornice and blocking course. Single-storey linking ranges to each
side with engaged Doric colonnade containing tall sashes with glazing bars, sur-
mounted by balustrade. Interior: The principal features with Adam-style
decoration remain intact including the entrance wall with oval bas-relief panels
of nymphs, a modest staircase with wrought iron honeysuckle balustrade and three
principal rooms on the ground floor with good plasterwork ceilings and fire-
places. The music room (now library) has bowed ends. To the first floor the
domed hall and main bedroom retain the original decoration with a fine hand-
painted fireplace and good ceiling to the latter. William Berners was responsi-
ble for the development of the Berners estate in London with John Johnson (who
became County Surveyor for Essex in 1782) as his architect for part of that
estate. The house was sold to Oxford University in 1937 and became a school
Briggs, N, Woolverstone Hall: some reflections on the domestic architecture of
John Johnson (1732-1814). Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology
and History. Vol XXXIV Pt 1. Photographs in NMR.
Listing NGR: TM1938838662
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.