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Grittleton House, Grittleton

Description: Grittleton House

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 29 February 1988
English Heritage Building ID: 315874

OS Grid Reference: ST8609179998
OS Grid Coordinates: 386091, 179998
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5187, -2.2018

Location: The Street, Grittleton, Wiltshire SN14 6AJ

Locality: Grittleton
County: Wiltshire
Country: England
Postcode: SN14 6AJ

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

In the entry for:
In the entry for:-

ST 87 NE
and ST 88 SE

7/63 and 3/63 Grittleton House


The description should be amended as follows:-

At the end of the first paragraph (line 65) after "slightly projected bays"


Statue in niche to south-facing wall of NE wing, depicting female figure in
classical dress, remains from auction of Neeld collection of statues in

Line 4 of the second paragraph after "Neeld sculpture collection was


Statue remaining from upper tier of niches, and from auction of Neeld
collection in 1966.


ST 87 NE
and ST 88 SE

7/63 Bind 3/63 Grittleton House


Country house, now school, c1832 to 1856 by James Thomson with some
modifications 1853-4 by H. Clutton, for Joseph Neeld. Ashlar, in
small coursed blocks, with stone slate roofs, Jacobean shaped
gables and numerous high shaped stacks. Very large scale, 2 1/2 to 3-
storey double-pile main range with 2-storey north end square plan
service court. Stylistically mixed reflecting two main phases of
building; c1832-40 and 1853-6 and also a change of architect in
1853-4, but essentially of a round-arched character, more crudely
detailed in the earlier, north end, and with a distinctive Italian
Trecento flavour and richer carving in the centre and south end.
The north end, the large wing at left end of entrance front and
right of garden front, with a single bay adjoining, was built by
1843 when it was illustrated in J.E. Jackson's 'History of
Grittleton', but with different gable treatment. This was a part-
refacing and addition to the existing C17 house, which was
demolished for the major extension of 1852-6, initially designed by
Thomson (his design published Builder 11 281), but in 1853 Thomson
was replaced by Clutton, who was in turn sacked in 1854, having
altered certain details, the bay-window designs, the design of the
central tower, the conservatory and substituted Jacobean gables for
the pyramid-roofed angle turrets proposed by Thomson. Thomson
appears to have completed the house 1854-6, though a design for the
porte-cochere was exhibited 1863 at the Royal Academy by J.J.
Thomson Jr. Exterior: both east and west fronts have tall centre
and end pavilions with Jacobean gables (that to garden front centre
dated PR 1827 I N 1851) and projecting bays of differing designs.
The wings between the gables also differ, though some measure of
over-all symmetry is achieved. Centre heavily detailed tower with
sunk panels to attic and flat pinnacles. West, entrance, front has
projected porch bay to centre pavilion and large porte-cochere
beyond. Porte-cochere is round-arched with Neeld motto in pierced
parapet. Ornate round-arched front door. First floor 'Florentine'
traceried arched window (i.e. with two arched-lights within main
arch) and attic semi-circular ashlar oriel with cornice and parapet
carried round. Main pavilion behind has ornate first floor angle
windows set diagonally behind an angle shaft with arch on each
face. Wings have similar cornices and parapets, but differ
otherwise, earlier wing to left has 3-storey 2-window elevation,
the left bay as illustrated in 1843, the right presumably added to
match. Left end pavilion has large 2-storey square bay of 1:3:1-
arched lights, the upper arches on full height shafts with carved
caps. Pierced parapet and attic 2-light, as illustrated in 1843,
but gable altered. Earlier work has small-paned windows while
later work has plate-glass. Wing to right of centre is of same
height but 2-storey, 3-window, with ornately carved and shafted 2-
light windows, square-headed below, round-arched above. Convex-
curved one-window section in angle to right. Right pavilion has
very large 2-storey square bay of 2:6:2-lights in a round-arched
version of Venetian Gothic Ca d'oro type (i.e. with quatrefoils
above tall ground floor lights). Stilted-arched heads, carved caps
and transom with shaft rings. Upper windows are simpler, without
transom or quatrefoils. East front is broadly similar but bay-
windows are canted. Centre has arched doorway with finely carved
boss, Ca d'oro type stair-light above, of large transomed curved
oriel with side-lights, pierced parapet and attic long 2-light.
South end has array of ridge stacks, pierced parapet, cornice, nine
first floor 2-light windows with stilted-arched lights and
hoodmoulds and very large ground floor ashlar conservatory with
corrugated plastic roof cladding. 4:3:4 bay front, 2 bays deep,
arcaded with chamfered piers and moulded arches, the centre 3 bays
bow-fronted. Some of the original cast-iron tracery survives in
centre and end bays. North end service court is relatively plain
with similar 2-storey, 4-window fronts and hipped roofs to west and
east. Mullion-and-transom windows, 2-light above, 3-light below,
vertically arranged in slightly projected bays.
Interiors: theatrical sequence of principal spaces on a cross-
plan, the short axis of entrance hall, central hall and grand stair
intersecting the long axial sequence of full-height top-lit
'vestibules' in which the Neeld sculpture collection was displayed.
The central-hall rises a full three storeys to a rococo-style
plaster roof, fine stone arcading all around and first floor
balcony, iron second floor balcony. The staircase is a
processional sequence of horseshoe approach to an imperial stair
with bronzed cast-iron railings of intersected arcade pattern.
Coffered ceiling. To north, two top-lit octagonal plaster-vaulted
spaces with angle shafting and barrel-vaulted space beyond with
plaster transverse ribs, as illustrated in 1843. Early C19 stained
glass in north end window. To south a single large top-lit space
with arcaded gallery. Main rooms are chiefly notable for
monumental marble fireplaces, as Neeld intended his pictures to be
the principal decoration. South west dining room and south-east
Drawing Room, then adjoining Billiard-Room on west and Library
opposite, this last with original mahogany bookcases, scagliola
Corinthian columns and curious bronze tripods as decorative feature
on bookcases and windows. Rooms to north of hall are considerably
simpler. First floor has one remarkable plaster ceiling to Winter
Drawing Room over front entrance, with Gothic pendants, more
typical of early C19.
(Wiltshire Record Office, 1305/83, has accounts of c1847-56 and
extensive material relating to 1855 lawsuit between Neeld and
Clutton. Among named craftsmen, Joseph White is mentioned for
stone-carving, Potter of London for ironwork, Parsons of London for
plasterwork; Original drawings by Thomson of c1852-3 are at the
house; J.E. Jackson, A History of the Parish of Grittleton, 1843,
contains illustrations of the house by C.J. Richardson; Builder,
11 279 and 281, gives elevation and plan as intended by Thomson,
1853; Countess Badeni, Wiltshire Forefathers, 1960, 68-75; N.
Pevsner, Wiltshire, 1975, 261-2; Country Life, 22 September 1966)

Listing NGR: ST8609179998

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.