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Windsor Lodge and attached gateway, Compton Castle

A Grade II Listed Building in Compton Pauncefoot, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.0286 / 51°1'42"N

Longitude: -2.5052 / 2°30'18"W

OS Eastings: 364664

OS Northings: 125587

OS Grid: ST646255

Mapcode National: GBR MV.HH3W

Mapcode Global: FRA 56MD.KSK

Entry Name: Windsor Lodge and attached gateway, Compton Castle

Listing Date: 24 March 1961

Last Amended: 17 February 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1056524

English Heritage Legacy ID: 263369

Location: Compton Pauncefoot, South Somerset, Somerset, BA22

County: Somerset

District: South Somerset

Civil Parish: Compton Pauncefoot

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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Lodge and attached gateway, built in the Gothick style in c 1825, with a south range added in two phases in the early and late C20.


Lodge and attached gateway, built in the Gothick style in c 1825, with a south range added in two phases in the early and late C20.

MATERIALS: constructed of Cary stone rubble with Doulting stone dressings, under a stone slate roof.

PLAN: the north part takes the form of a tower, with three angled faces, flanked by circular turrets; attached to the south is a long rectangular range added in the early and late-C20.

EXTERIOR: the principal (north) elevation is arranged as a two and a half storey, three-sided, castellated tower with a tall circular castellated turret to either side. To the central face of the tower is a stone plaque, with a coat of arms, believed to be those of William Peake Mason, with the motto 'facta non verba' ('deeds not words'). To each face of the tower, at first and second floor, are centrally-placed leaded windows set within recessed openings with square hoodmoulds and label stops. The building continues to the south and its west elevation consists of two, two-bay ranges in matching materials under a stone slate roof. To the ground and first floor of the range to the left are two, two-light stone mullion windows with leaded lights. They are set within recessed openings beneath square hoodmoulds with label stops. The two-bay range to the right is blind at ground-floor with a single-light and two-light window to the first floor, again in recessed openings with square hoodmoulds and label stops. The rear elevations were not inspected (2012).

INTERIOR: not inspected (2012).

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: attached to the north end of the lodge is a 4m high wall with stone slate capping and a setback buttress with offsets to the left-hand end. Within the wall is a moulded four-centred arched gateway with a pair of timber, six-panel gates. To the right is a Tudor-arched pedestrian entrance with a 12-panelled door. A short length of stone wall continues to the north-west, with swept coping, ending in a low square pier with ball finial.

In recommending the extent of designation, we have considered whether powers of exclusion under s.1 (5A) of the 1990 Act are appropriate and consider that they are not.


Compton Castle and its landscaped garden were constructed in c 1820-25 by John Hubert Hunt (c 1774-1830). The Hunt family appears to have had an estate in Compton Pauncefoot since the mid-C17; John Hubert Hunt inherited the estate from his father in 1807. He never married and it was not until his later years that he created the new house and park. The suggestion in the current list description that the house incorporates part of an earlier, C17 house, is refuted by the map evidence of an 1800 survey of the estate, which shows the site of the castle as open farmland.

Hunt’s architect is generally thought to have been John Finden (c 1782-1849), who exhibited drawings for the ‘Elevation of a House now building for J.H. Hunt Esq, at Compton Pauncefoot’ at the Royal Academy in 1821. He was probably also responsible for the design of the lodges, and some of the other structures within the landscape. Finden is not known to have worked on landscape commissions, and it is supposed that Hunt was closely involved in the design of the landscape, or possibly that another designer was employed.

After Hunt's death in 1830, Compton Castle was let by the family (Husey-Hunt from 1830) to a series of tenants, with a relatively frequent changeover. In 1836 the estate was described by William Phelps in his History of Somerset as consisting of 'a castellated mansion delightfully situated in a small amphitheatre of wood; with an enormous mass of artificial rock-work, erected at a great expense, which forms a striking object from the castle. [...] The approach to the castle from the turnpike road is by a drive through the plantation, and over the dam thrown across the valley, which keeps up the water of the lake. Here a good view of the castle presents itself. The grounds contain many striking features, and the whole may be designated as a picturesque and comfortable residence’.

The landscaped garden and its features, as described in the early C19, are shown on the Tithe Map of the Parish of Compton Pauncefoot published in 1839, and subsequent historic Ordnance Survey maps indicate that the overall layout of the landscape has remained largely unchanged. In 1911, Compton Castle and its landscaped garden were sold to William Peake Mason, later Lord Blackford, who commissioned the architect Charles Biddulph-Pinchard to make alterations to the house. After Lord Blackford's death in 1947 his wife continued to live at Compton Castle for some time, and during the 1950s she regularly opened the gardens to the public. Lady Blackford died in 1958. It is not known when the family sold the house, but the contents were sold in 1961. Compton Castle remains (2013) in private ownership.

Windsor Lodge, listed as West Lodge, is included on the Compton Pauncefoot Tithe Map (1839), and the 1856 estate map depicts it as a having an hexagonal plan. The 1st edition Ordnance Survey (OS) map (1887) shows that the building has some form of extension to the south; this was enlarged and fenestrated, or re-fenestrated, with the plaque bearing Lord Blackford's arms being set into the north wall, in the mid-C20. An additional two-bay extension has been added since 1975.

Reasons for Listing

Windsor Lodge and attached gateway, built in c 1825, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural Interest: as an early-C19 example of a lodge built in the Gothick style. It is well-executed with good attention to detailing and anticipates the architectural quality of the house, the Grade II* listed Compton Castle;
* Historic interest: the addition of the plaque bearing Lord Blackford's coat of arms in the mid-C20 gives added historic interest to the lodge;
* Degree of survival: externally, the lodge survives well and retains its attached gateway. The later additions to the south are sympathetic in their design and use similar materials and architectural features, and do not detract from the principal building;
* Group Value: the lodge at the west entrance of the estate makes an important contribution to the historic ensemble of the Compton Castle estate and the Grade II registered park and garden in which it stands.

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