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Somerset House, Guildford

Description: Somerset House

Grade: I
Date Listed: 1 May 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 288984

OS Grid Reference: TQ0003949602
OS Grid Coordinates: 500039, 149602
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2368, -0.5684

Location: High Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3JD

Locality: Guildford
Local Authority: Guildford Borough Council
County: Surrey
Country: England
Postcode: GU1 3JD

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Listing Text

(South Side)

6/118 Nos 220, 222, 224
1/5/53 and 226 (Somerset
House) (Formerly
listed as Nos 222 and

Former Town Mansion, now divided up into shops and offices. Late C17/possibly
c.1700, built for Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset; altered in C18, C19 (to
rear) and C20 on the ground floor. Interiors re-arranged in 1847. Good quality
purple/brown brick laid in Flemish bond on right half of front and on right hand
return front, with wooden eaves cornice above and hipped plain-tiled roof. Two
storeys and attics under two segmentally-pedimented, ribbed-roof casement dormers,
one either side of centre. Cross-ridge multiple stacks to left of centre, rebuilt
stack to left end. Symmetrical 7 bay front around a central projecting,quoined
bay under Dutch gable and pediment and with giant pilaster order of ribbed gauged-
brick on channelled plinths and with pulvinated frieze above. Plat bands over
ground and first floors. Central oculus in gable with decorative roundel glazing
and gauged-brick surround, string course rising up from frieze below to enclose it.
Round-arched glazing-bar sash window on first floor below with scrolled gauged-
brick architrave surround and casement doors to lower half, decorative quartered
roundel and shouldered lights above. Casement doors open onto small balcony with
wrought-iron brackets below and decorative railings in front, central,S-scrolled
roundel panel and flanking S panels with twisted railings between and on corners.
Double,glazed,doors below in architrave surround, approached up stairs of sedan
type i.e. two side flights to central landing, with similar scrolled iron panel
to centre of railings with swept ends to balustrade, spiral standards and urn
finials. Rusticated stilted-arched opening below stair landing. Three bays
either side with flush, 12-pane,glazing-bar sash windows under gauged-brick heads
on the first floor and C20 glass shop fronts below. Right hand return front -
blocked windows on both floors but two windows survive with thicker glazing bars
possibly suggesting earlier date than front windows.
Interior:- fine Imperial staircase, probably moved in various internal
re-organizations. Single flight up with barley-sugar twist balusters and ribbed
square end newels. Stairs divide to landings on first floor with blocked round-
arched panel on landing wall. Open archway formerly flanked the stairway on the
ground floor. Octagonal panelling on first floor landing wall with upper landing
panelled with reeded edges. Barrel-vaulted rectangular roof above with central
round panel and end semi-circular panelling all with reeded edges.
Charles Seymour, known as "The Proud Duke" built the house as a stopping-off
point on the journey from his estates at Petworth to London.


Listing NGR: TQ0003349596

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.