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Amesbury Abbey, Amesbury

Description: Amesbury Abbey

Grade: I
Date Listed: 10 January 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 321312

OS Grid Reference: SU1509741717
OS Grid Coordinates: 415097, 141717
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1745, -1.7854

Location: 32 Abbey Lane, Amesbury SP4 7EX

Locality: Amesbury
County: Wiltshire
Country: England
Postcode: SP4 7EX

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Listing Text

Amesbury Abbey

Large house in parkland, now nursing home. 1834-1840 and 1857-9 by
Thomas Hopper for Sir Edmund Antrobus. Chilmark limestone ashlar
with slate roofs. Cubic form, of 3 storeys and attics, being a
grander reinterpretation of its predecessor, built 1660-1 by John
Webb for the 2nd Duke of Somerset. Main south front of 9 bays,
with 5 narrowly spaced bays behind a giant portico of 6 Composite
columns raised on an arcaded rusticated plinth in form of porte
cochère. Ground and first floors rusticated, with raised quoins,
and plain band below first floor windows. On piano nobile, central
door, now blocked, within portico, with stepped keystone and
segmental pediment, repeating Webb's detail. Plate glass windows
with blind boxes, and stepped flush voussoirs worked into
rustication. Second floor has second plain band beneath windows,
architraves to sashes and cornice over on brackets. Dentilled
cornice throughout and low parapet. Portico has triangular
dentilled pediment. Roof hipped, with dormers with segmental
pediments. Entrance under portico within rusticated frame. Tower
to central light well with balustrade, set back from elevations.
West, garden, elevation and east facade identical, 5 bays, the 3
central-bays defined by attached Corinthian columns each carrying a
forward section of entablature. Balustrade between pedestals of
columns. Attic storey has windows between pilasters rising to urn
terminals. Main windows as south front but those between columns
have architraves and pediments. C20 'Amdega' garden room attached
to ground floor of west side. Symmetrical corniced limestone
ashlar chimneys and dormer windows to outer bays. To rear service
block necked off, plain ashlar, 3 storeys 3 x 5 bays equal in width
to main block. Central bay sets out.
Interior: Entrance hall leads through double arcade to grand stair
rising in 2 flights within full height light well. This has narrow
spaced arcades around first and attic floors with balustrades.
Blind arches over and coffered ceiling divided by Greek fret.
Octagonal lantern over light well. Corridor behind arcades at
first floor have coffered ceilings. Six panelled mahogany doors to
perimeter rooms. Front drawing room later Ballroom of piano nobile
subdivided. Sitting room on east side has panelled walls, marble
fireplace and an elaborately moulded plaster ceiling. To rear of
main stair, a secondary stair with flying treads and mahogany rail
on scrolled iron balustrade, giving access to second floor. To
rear, a circular service stair with iron balusters. In bakehouse,
now laundry at rear, an iron bread oven by William Jones. A major
example of Hopper's eclectic style, echoing much of Webb's
Renaissance house as illustraded in Vitruvius Britannicus, later
provided with l-bay Palladian wings by Henry Flitcroft (or James
Paine I) from which the present dining room and sitting room
fireplaces are said to come. Significant also as the centre of Cl8
culture and wit promoted by 3rd Duke of Queensbury and Duchess
(Pevsner: Buildings of England: WILTSHIRE; Country Life 1
March 1902; Colvin, H: A Biographical Dictionary of British

Listing NGR: SU1509741717

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.