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Belcombe Court, Bradford-on-Avon

Description: Belcombe Court

Grade: I
Date Listed: 18 April 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 312498

OS Grid Reference: ST8173860633
OS Grid Coordinates: 381738, 160633
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3445, -2.2636

Location: Belcombe Court, Belcombe Road BA15 1LZ

Locality: Bradford-on-Avon
County: Wiltshire
Country: England
Postcode: BA15 1LZ

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

(north side)

6/116 Belcombe Court

GV 18.4.52 I

the description shall be amended to read:

Country house. Building with C17 origins rebuilt 1734 by John Wood the Elder for
Francis Yerbury, clothier. Coursed and dressed limestone with ashlar facades in
Westwood stone to south and west; stone slate and Welsh slate roofs; ashlar ridge
and end stacks. Asymmetrical plan, with west wing having study and parlour to south
of central hall and service end; central connecting block with dining room between
west wing and smaller east wing. Palladian style. 2 storeys. Dining Room, west
wing and east wing enclose 3 sides of a central courtyard to south, paved in local
ragstone set on edge with centre in circular courses: 4-bay west (left) elevation,
with revealed C19 6/6-pane sashes, has 2 bays to left pedimented and brought forward
and set to left of pedimented principal doorway which has panelled door set in
square-headed moulded architrave with engaged Ionic columns to pulvinated frieze
enriched with bay leaf and garlands to cornice and triangular pediment; south
elevation (to central dining room) of 5 bays with revealed C19 6/6-pane sashes, has
carved stone bust set in circular recess above central semi-circular arched recess
with keystone and imposts; tall gable set above parapet and east wing to right has
small bellcote above 2 arched openings for bells and clock with initials "J.Y." and
date "1770". East (right) elevation has 2 revealed C19 6/6-pane sashes and similar
parapet, terminated by an end block which has keystone and imposts to semi-circular
arched archway, string course beneath similar bust and recess, supporting a circular
stone turret with stone domed roof surmounted by a circular lantern with cupola and
wind vane. Other east wing elevations have one one-light trefoil-headed window to
south and similar bust and archway to east of end archway block, late C17/early C18
two-light stone-mullioned windows and other elevations with C19 glazing-bar
casements and, to east, mid C18 4/4-pane sashes with thick glazing bars. Rear of
central dining-room range has four C19 6/6-pane sashes, outshut adjoining lateral
stack and moulded flat hood over C18 panelled door. West wing has principal garden
fronts to south and west. Pedimented 3-bay south elevation articulated by Ionic
pilasters from plinth course to cornice, pulvinated frieze, dentilled cornice and
dentilled pediment with egg and dart carving, circular window to tympanum and
garlanded stone urns to acroteriae; C19 ground-floor 6/6-pane and first-floor
3/3-pane sashes set in moulded stone architraves, those on ground floor with
pulvinated friezes, triangular pediments on enriched brackets and balustraded aprons
set on plinth course; stone balustrade each with 3 ornamental urns runs diagonally
from each angle. West elevation: 7-bay range of 1:2:2:2 fenestration with revealed
C19 6/6-pane sashes to slightly-projecting 2-bay pedimented wings to right and left
of centre, that to left having thick mid C18 glazing bars to ground-floor window
adjoining inserted C19 half-glazed door; bay to left, with cornice to parapet, has
tripartite sash above 6/6-pane sash set in Venetian architrave with Tuscan pilasters
and entablature to central triangular pediment; bays to centre, with similar cornice
and parapet and irregular fenestration, have tripartite sash above canted bay window
with C19 4/4-pane sashes and sash with radiating glazing bars to tall stair light
above C19 half-glazed door; paved area to front with some balustrading; mansard roof
with 2 flat-headed dormers. Rear north and east elevations of west wing, to service
court, have revealed C19 sashes of up to 8/8-panes, and stone bracketed hood over
panelled door. Interior: Dining Room to centre wing has foliate frieze to cornice
and late C18 neoclassical fireplace. Room to right of this has late C18
neoclassical fireplace, mid C19 flanking cupboards, panelled dado with Vitruvian
frieze to rail and mid C19 lincrusta frieze with pomegranates etc. West wing has
principal accommodation and rare surviving interiors by Wood: hall to centre has
decorative flag floor and fine dog-leg staircase with turned balusters to front of
segmental arch on fluted Corinthian columns to bay with fine c.1730/40 fireplace
with sunburst mask to frieze and flanking female terms (imported mid C20). Panelled
octagonal study to south has fine enriched carving to shutters, doors, window
architraves and 2 recesses, and pulvinated bayleaf-carved frieze over marble
fireplace with moulded architrave; particularly fine coved rococo ceiling, probably
by Thomas Stocking, with swags of leaves, grapes and roses to border, and enriched
modillioned cornice to octagonal panel having basket with fruit and flowers,
encircled by cherubs set against background of clouds. Drawing Room to west of
study (facing garden) has similar carvings to architraves and panelling, early C19
classical fireplace with Ionic pilasters and modillioned cornice to fine ceiling,
probably by William Stocking, with delicate interwoven tendrils and butterflies;
mirror set in pedimented Corinthian aedicule flanked by 2 niches. First floor: fine
panelled doors and shutters; mid C18 coved ceilings and moulded cornices; panelled
rooms with original fireplaces and basket grates; suite of 3 rooms, central room
(former dressing room) having fine plaster frieze with urns etc and flanking rooms
each having bed alcoves with elliptical arches on Doric columns, room to east having
overmantle medallion with Hercules and female figures.

One of the most celebrated of Wood's villa designs, "the most lyrical of all Wood's
creations" (Mowl and Earnshaw). Also notable for its rare surviving interiors by

Tim Mowl and Brian Earnshaw, John Wood, Architect of Obsession, 1988, pp 120-125;
Buildings of England: Wiltshire, p 138; H Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of
British Architects 1600-1840, 1978, p 910; G Nares, Country Life, 22 December 1950,
pp 2146-2150; A Hellyer, Country Life, 20 July 1989, pp 72-5.


5411 (North Side)

Belcombe Court
ST 86 SW 6/116 18.4.52.


(Sometimes known as Belcombe Brook.) General: Mainly C18. Dates originally
from C15, but in 1734 the Bath architect John Wood the Elder was commissioned
by the occupant, Francis Yerbury, a wealthy clothier, to add a wing.
At the some time Wood altered the older facades to bring them into harmony
with the new wing and made extensive alterations to the interior of the
house. Brief Description of exterior: The main facades are in ashlar
and the roofs, mansarded in parts, are now slated. Approached from the
drive, 3 inward-facing elevations enclose a courtyard paved in local ragstone
set on edge with centre in circular courses. From the courtyard, the
left-hand elevation has 2 storeys with pediment over 2 bays, 4 sash windows
in reveals and contains principal doorway. This has square head, moulded
architrave surround and 3/4 Ionic columns supporting architrave, pulvinated
frieze enriched with bay leaf and garlands, cornice and triangular pediment.
Panelled double doors. Central elevation: 2 storeys 4 windows on 1st
floor with circular recess between containing carved stone bust (sculptor
and subject unknown). 5 windows ground floor, centre one in semi-circular
arched recess with keystone and imposts (originally archway). All windows
are sashes in reveals with glazing bars. Moulded cornice, plain parapet.
Gabled portion to right has clock with initials "J.Y". and date "1770".
Above are 3 bells, the 2 lower ones in recesses and the upper in a small
bellcote on the gable. Right-hand elevation: This wing is part of the
original buildings, but has 2 later sash windows on the ground floor,
and to the right a semi-circular archway with keystone and imposts. Above
the archway is a plain string and a circular recess containing another
carved bust (subject unknown). The end portion of this wing, with the
archway, forms a square base supporting a circular stone turret with stone
dome, surmounted by a circular lantern with cupola and wind vane. The
interior of the turret was formerly used as a prison cell. In the end
face of the wing is a single-light trefoil-headed window and the outside
elevation shows some origianal leaded casement windows with moulded stone
mullions. South elevation: This is the main facade of John Wood's new
wing on the left of the courtyard. It has 2 storeys and basement and
is divided by 4 Ionic pilasters rising through both floors from a plinth
course and supporting architrave, pulvinated frieze, moulded and dentilled
cornice and dentilled pediment. Under the cornice and around the typanum
is egg-and-dart ornamentation, and the typanum has a circular window.
On the apex and at each side of the pediment is a garlanded stone urn.
All windows are sashes with glazing bars and moulded architrave surrounds,
those on the ground floor having also pulvinated friezes and triangular
pediments on enriched brackets. Ground floor windows have also moulded
sills with balustered aprons beneath. From each angle of the facade a
stone balustrade runs diagonally into the garden, following the downward
slope of the ground. West elevation: 2 storeys in 3 units with pedimented
side wings of slight projection. Slate roofs, mansard over centre recessed
portion with 2 flat-headed dormers. Side wings have 2 windows on each
floor, plain reveals. Some sashes with glazing bars, some blocked. Centre
portion has triple-light window on 1st floor and segmental bow with 3
windows on ground floor. Plain doorway to right of bow. Ground floor
of centre portion covered by wood-framed conservatory extension (later).
On the extreme left of this elevation is a lower 2 storey wing with a
plain triple-light window on the 1st floor and a triple-light window on
the ground floor. The ground floor window has Tuscan pilasters between
the lights, with moulded cornices and a pedmiment over the centre light.
Good plaster work inside, the octagonal study being particularly noteworthy.

Belcombe Court forms an important group with the Temple, Stables. Barn,
Grotto and Cottage to the west.

Listing NGR: ST8173860633

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.