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Brightwell House, Farnham

Description: Brightwell House

Grade: II
Date Listed: 29 December 1972
English Heritage Building ID: 290828

OS Grid Reference: SU8423046955
OS Grid Coordinates: 484230, 146955
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2156, -0.7954

Location: A325, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7TY

Locality: Farnham
Local Authority: Waverley Borough Council
County: Surrey
Country: England
Postcode: GU9 7TY

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Listing Text


Brightwell House
SU 8446 NW 6/375


House, later incorporated in theatre. Built between 1792-5 by a local builder, Thomas Turner but substantally remodelled c1827 and west wing added c1852 in matching style. Originally brick but stuccoed with incised lines in 1820s. Roof was slate but replaced in later C20 by fibre cement slates.
EXTERIOR: Entrance or east front: 2 storeys, originally 3 window bays but right side bay demolished in early 1970s. Right side former central bay projects slightly forward and is wider. Eaves band. Hipped roof. Plain pilasters at left hand end and flanking centre bay. In bay at left hand end, nine-pane sash to first floor, ground floor window blank. Right side 12-pane sash. Right side pro-style Ionic porch in antis. Segmental headed doorway; segmental fanlight with radiating tracery; original 6-fielded-panelled door with reeded design. South-East front facing Brightwell Gardens: 2 storeys. 4 window bays with 2 splayed bays rising through both storeys in 1st and 3rd bays from south-west end. Moulded eaves cornice. Band between lst and ground floors. Plain giant pilasters at ends and flanking splayed bays. Nine-pane sashes in reveals to first floor; C19 style French windows below. Veranda on metal columns with C19 capitals between splayed bays. 1970s theatre to north and west. West wall of stucco with incised lines survives. North wall could not be accessed.
INTERIOR: Staircase hall retains three 1820s doorcases with pilasters and paterae and remains of an early C19 well staircase with scrolled tread ends of which the lowest six feet of treads, balustrading and handrail were missing at tinme of survey. Corner east room retained 1820s architraves with paterae, shutters and c1850s black marble fireplace. The central room has a moulded cornice, two pilasters divided by a wide opening with plastered design of paterae and sunflower, C19 marble fireplace in rococo style with grotesque male masks and console brackets, two elaborate ceiling roses, heavy cornice with floral motifs and four french windows with architraves with paterae. End room has three french windows and cornice of paterae and ovolo moulding. The former stairwell on the first floor has an early C19 ceiling rose of leaf motifs and moulded cornice. The south east room has an early C19 marble fireplace with reeded pilasters, paterae and central panel with oval decoration, shutters to window and wide early C19 doorcase with four panels, original architraves and skirting boards. The original central room has been subdivided but retains part of the original cornice and original window shutters.
HISTORY: Property built between 1792 and 1795 on part of an estate known in the early C18 as Canterburies and described in an indenture dated 1795 as "a brick messuage or dwellinghouse". In 1827, the house was left in trust to Richard Garth,who inherited the title of Lord of the manor of Morden and a fortune. A condition of the will was that this house should be his habitual place of residence. Richard Garth was a barrister, Member of Parliament for the Guildford Constituency which also included Farnham, was knighted in 1875, and was chief Justice in Bengal until 1886. The property is shown on the 1839 Tithe Map. In 1852, a further acre of land was acquired to the west and a two storey wing added to the west which is first shown on the 1871 O S map. Visitors who stayed at the house (then called Lowlands) included Florence Nightingale and Sir Arthur Sullivan. Later in the C19 Colonel Patrick Paget of the Scots Guards, related by marriage to the Garths, succeded to the estate and his widow lived here until her death in 1912. In 1905 the name was changed to Brightwell, after Brightwell Baldwin in Oxfordshire, the home of one of the first owners of the property. In 1920 the house and grounds were acquired by Farnham Urban District Council and the house used successively as a library, a health clinic and offices for the local housing department. In 1967 it was offered to Farnham Repertory Theatre Trust as a site for a new theatre. The north eastern bay and stabling was demolished to provide a site for the purpose-built theatre and the remainder became part of the Redgrave Theatre (Green room, Dressing Rooms bar etc.) until the theatre was closed in 1998.

["Buildings of England. Surrey" p236.
Nigel Temple "Farnham Buildings and People" 1973. P113.]

Listing NGR: SU8422946950

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.