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Dingestow Court

A Grade II* Listed Building in Mitchel Troy, Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7834 / 51°47'0"N

Longitude: -2.7978 / 2°47'51"W

OS Eastings: 345064

OS Northings: 209715

OS Grid: SO450097

Mapcode National: GBR FG.YYF8

Mapcode Global: VH79J.GF9P

Entry Name: Dingestow Court

Listing Date: 1 May 1952

Last Amended: 27 September 2001

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2061

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Standing in its own grounds, about 1km SW of the church of St Dingat.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Monmouth

Community: Mitchel Troy (Llanfihangel Troddi)

Community: Mitchel Troy

Locality: Dingestow

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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History

A c.1600 manor house of the Jones family, of which part of the gatehouse range survives; the main house rebuilt by James Duberley in the late C18; acquired in 1801 by Samuel Bosanquet of Epping, Essex; S front added 1845-6 by Lewis Vulliamy for Sir John Bosanquet (judge, privy councillor, lord commissioner of the great seal); slightly enlarged in 1859 by Prichard and Seddon (who also added the stables, q.v.); porch added c.1870, and single-storey E wing 1877, both by Lawrence & Goodman of Newport. Some interior remodelling in 1888 by Richard Creed. Still the home of the Bosanquet family.

Exterior

An interesting house in which successive enlargements have resulted in an entertaining confection of styles (such as would have warmed the heart of Osbert Lancaster), beginning with genuine late-Tudor, followed by genuine late-Georgian subsequently adorned with a Gothic Revival porch, and ending with Tudor-copyism on a large scale. It has an elaborated L-plan formed by the late-Tudor gatehouse range on a N-S axis with the multi-phase main domestic range linked to the S end of its E side on an E-W axis. The principal element of the N entrance front is the late C18 house, which is rendered and has a hipped slate roof. It is 3-storeyed in a symmetrical composition of 1:5:1 bays, the outer breaking forwards slightly, with a string-course over the ground floor and an eaves cornice with blocking-course; segmental-headed 12-pane sash windows to the 2 main floors and short 6-pane sashes to the 2nd floor. Attached to the centre, and bizarrely at odds with this demure Georgian design, is a tall 2-storey Perpendicular-Gothic style porch of sandstone ashlar, which has a Tudor-arched outer doorway with shafts and foliated spandrels (opening onto a simple round-headed inner doorway with panelled and glazed door and fanlight with Georgian tracery), a tall 2-centred arched 3-light window at 1st floor, with Perpendicular tracery, and a balustraded balcony to the top floor accessed by an enlarged window. Towards the right-hand end of the roof is a low hipped-roofed lantern to the staircase, and rising behind the centre of the ridge is a linear cluster of 6 tall Tudor-style octagonal chimney shafts (belonging to Vulliamy's addition). Wrapped round the E corner of this range, and projecting slightly, is an ashlar Tudor-style wing of Vulliamy's S range, 2 storeys and 2 bays, the left gabled. (E of this is a much later range of single-storey outbuilding.) At the W end a short 2-storey 2-bay continuation, rendered and windowed like the main range except that the 2nd bay is projected as a flat-roofed porch with round-headed arches at ground floor, links to the gatehouse range, which is also rendered.
The gatehouse range is long and 2-storeyed. The principal feature of its E front is a broad gabled centre which rises above eaves level and carries a large late-C19 crow-stepped ashlar bellcote with a clockface below and a tall delicately-fashioned weathervane finial above. At ground floor is the modernised portal of the coach-passage (see below) and above this a segmental-headed blind or blocked window. The portions to N and S of the centre differ, that to the S having higher eaves and a roof of graduated slates and 2 windows on each floor (all different) and that to the N a more steeply-pitched roof of small stone slates and five 12-pane sash windows at 1st floor, the first 3 smaller. Attached to the N end is a lower 1-bay addition. On the W side of this range, which is of rubble, the principal feature of interest is the original gatehouse, 3-storeyed and gabled, with a sunk-chamfer string-course over the ground floor and a thin chamfered one over the 1st floor. The W portal to the coach-passage, segmentally arched, has a surround of large blocks of creamy-white stone with sunk-chamfer moulding; the floor above has a restored 4-light transomed window and the top floor a 3-light mullioned window with a hoodmould. Inside the coach-passage are exposed ceiling beams and joists. At the N end of this side is a pair of C19 Tudor-arched coach-house doorways; attached to the N gable wall is a recent harmoniously-designed external staircase to domestic accommodation on the upper floor; and there are various altered or inserted windows to both the N and S portions, including dormers in the roofs. At the S end a short 2-storeyed kithchen wing projecting to the W has a large extruded chimney stack to its N side; and on its S side the E corner has a short turret bearing a louvred wooden lantern with an oversailing pyramidal roof.
On the S side of the main range Vulliamy's addition of 1845-6 is architecturally almost another house in itself, being in fact a close copy of an Elizabethan original in Kent (Franks, at Horton Kirby), but in sandstone ashlar rather than brick. It is 2½-storeyed over cellars, in a symmetrical design of 1:2:1:2:1 bays, the paired bays projecting and twin-gabled, the inner gables slightly smaller than the outer, and its roofline is ornamented by tall octagonal chimney shafts, both clustered and single. The inner of the W pair of bays has a Renaissance-style architrave to a recessed porch, with a round-headed arch flanked by Tuscan columns. The outer of each pair of has a 2-storey canted bay window with a pierced parapet. Throughout, both main floors have large mullion-and-transom windows; the attics have 3-light mullioned windows.
Set back at the W end is a 2-bay element (added by Prichard and Seddon in 1859), 2½-storeyed in similar style, with (inter alia) a doorway at ground floor and a pair of tall steeply-gabled dormers in the roof. Set back at the E end is a 1-storey 3-bay wing (added by Lawrence & Goodman in 1877), in Perpendicular style, which has 3 large multi-light transomed windows with quatrefoil top lights and hoodmoulds, a Lombard frieze and embattled parapet.

Interior

In the late-Georgian part is an entrance hall extending the full width of the 5-bay centre and now in the form resulting from Creed's remodelling in 1888: it has a beamed ceiling and panelled walls; an extremely elaborate wooden chimney-piece at the rear wall, with twisted side columns and various ex situ materials (probably designed by Samuel Bosanquet in 1845); and a fine open-well staircase at the W end, of late C17 character, with closed string, turned balusters and a heavy moulded and ramped handrail.
In Vulliamy's addition of 1845-6, a drawing room/library in the SE corner is lined with pilastered wooden bookcases and has a French-style red marble fireplace and a Jacobean-style coffered ceiling with plaster pendants; a small ante-room next to this has original wallpaper (green, with panels of naturalistic flower sprays), an elaborate white marble fireplace, a modillioned polygonal plaster cornice, and fleur-de-lys ornament to the centre of the ceiling; and in the SW corner a dining room (enlarged by Prichard & Seddon in 1859) has a Tudor-style rib-work plaster ceiling copied from the Queens Head Inn, Monmouth.
In the back-hall of the servants' wing to the W is a complete set of 14 bells to rooms, each with an identifying label, e.g. "SRB's room", "Tapestry room", "Green room", "Miss Bosanquet's room", etc.
In the gatehouse the room at 1st floor contains a moulded Tudor-arched fireplace.

Reasons for Listing

Included as one of the county's major country houses, of interesting multi-phase character including a late-Tudor gatehouse, a late-Georgian block, and an excellent early-Victorian addition by Lewis Vulliamy with some original interiors of high quality.

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