Description: Wilbury House
Date Listed: 10 January 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 319984
OS Grid Reference: SU2217341401
OS Grid Coordinates: 422173, 141401
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1714, -1.6842
NEWTON TONY -
SU 24 SW
2/92 Wilbury House
Large house, c1710/12-1725 by William Benson, possibly with
assistance from Colen Campbell, and probably on site of earlier
house built by Nathaniel Fiennes, the home of Celia Fiennes. Roman
cement with rusticated stone basement and quoins, slate roof. Plan
derived from Palladio's Pojana Maggiore, with axial hall and saloon
at right angles containing north entrance, and flanked by stairs.
Bedrooms and withdrawing rooms in angles. Main south elevation
design based on Webb's Amesbury Abbey (1661) modified by influence
of Inigo Jones. Original design published in Vitruvius
Britannicus, probably modified during construction, now two storeys
over basement, 7 bays, the central three with large Corinithian
tetrastyle portico with perron stair of Malcontenta type.
Tripartite south door of c1770 alterations with entablature and
long consoles. Fifteen-paned sashes, 22-paned to upper floor, all
with moulded architraves. Frieze full length, fluted, interspersed
with paterae. Cornice and low parapet with 6 waisted urns.
Elevation extended both ends c1760 with half-octagonal single
storey bays on raised basement, and balustraded parapets. North
elevation has 8 window bays, with rusticated quoins, the centre 4
bays broken forward and with loggia porch on 4 Ionic columns and
central pair of glazed doors with fanlights. Fifteen-paned sashes
to ground floor, 12-pane above, all with moulded architraves. Arms
at centre at first floor level. Service wing on north-east side.
West room has bow window with sliding shutters on west elevation.
Interior: An outstanding period interior of early C18, improved by
Henry Hoare c1731-40, and plasterwork for Fulke Greville after
c1742, and minor alterations c1770. Hall, entered axially,
panelled walls with Greek fret frieze and central door to saloon
with broken pediment, and matching side niches. Ceiling with
central oval feature and border. Saloon, proportion 3:4, has
richly moulded doorcases, moulded frames and niches, with applied
plasterwork including busts of Roman emperors in roundels.
Entablature and coved ceiling with illusionary coffering.
Scagliola floor. Chimney piece with mantel on consoles. Relief
plaster dolphin scene over. Red drawing room in south-east corner,
has panelled walls, cornice, timber fire surround with marble
slips. Wing room, once a chapel, has moulded relief by Burne Jones
over window. Benson, whose deeds of conveyance were witnessed by
Celia Fiennes, disposed of the house to Henry Hoare II in 1734, who
then sold to Fulke Greville in,1742.
(Campbell: Vitruvius Britannicus; Country Life, January 23 1932,
and 3rd and 10th December, 1969. RCHM Survey notes. Stutchbury,
H.E., The Architecture of Colen Campbell (1967); Pevsner, Buildings
of England (Wiltshire); Interiors, May 1986)
Listing NGR: SU2216841396
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.