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Description: Wilton House
Date Listed: 4 August 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 319345
OS Grid Reference: SU0993330976
OS Grid Coordinates: 409933, 130976
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0780, -1.8596
5409 WILTON PARK
SU 0931 5/1 4.8.51.
SU 0930 5/1
Outstanding for both historical and architectural reasons.
A courtyard house in landscaped grounds, probably on site of the mediaeval
nunnery. Rebuilt by 1st Earl of Pembroke after 1544 and largely finished
by 1563. The Holbein porch (qv) and the centrepiece of the east front survive
from this period. South wing remodelled by Solomon de Caux in early C17
and rebuilt after 1647 fire by John Webb with Inigo Jones supervising the
internal arrangements. Gothicised by Wyatt circa 1801 who built the cloister
in the courtyard and remodelled the north and west fronts. The exterior
Gothick features mostly removed in early C20 and replaced by classical.
Built of ashlar. 2 and 3 storeys with corner and gatetowers one storey
higher. Modillion cornice and balustraded parapets.
East front: former entrance front. Central gatetower circa 1550: 4 storeys,
3 bays with mullion and transom windows (long on 1st floor) and central
3 storey oriel over Tudor archway. Gothick parapet (by Wyatt circa 1801)
and cupola (modern restoration). Entrance flanked by Doric aedicules surmounted
by achievement of arms. C16 arms over central 1st floor window. Flanking
2 bay wings link with corner towers (of 2 bays also), glazing bar windows
with architraves, cornices on 1st floor, sashes on ground and 1st floors,
South front: 9 wide bays, end towers of 1 bay with pedimented gables and
quoins. Towers have segmental pediments to 3rd floor windows (glazing bar
casements). All windows have architraves, with cornices 1st floor (piano
nobile), segmental headed with heavy voussoired keystones on ground (semi-basement)
floor. 2nd floor windows casements, rest glazing bar sashes. Central 1st
floor window Venetian, with blank sides, surmounted by an achievement of
arms flanked by carved figures. End 1st floor windows have pediments.
These and centre window have projecting square baluster balconies on porches.
West front: 1, 2 and 3 storey infill between corner towers. Crenellated
parapets. Central canted bay window with wide stairs leading to Italian
North front: 2+3 + central entrance + 3 + 2 bays, remodelled with mullioned
windows. Internal courtyard has 2 storey crenellated cloisters by Wyatt,
1st floor windows with wide Tudor perpendicular 4-light windows.
Wilton House is one of England's principal country houses. The Herbert
family (Earls of Pembroke) have been great patrons of the arts and builders.
The south range of Wilton is of seminal importance to the development of
Palladianism, almost a century later. The suite of state rooms on the piano
nobile by Inigo Jones are by far the best surviving C17 rooms in England.
Fully described in Pevsner, Guidebook, Country Life May 1904, Jan 1944 and
especially May, July and August 1963.
Listing NGR: SU0993330976
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.