History in Structure

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Court Henry

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llangathen, Carmarthenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8829 / 51°52'58"N

Longitude: -4.0984 / 4°5'54"W

OS Eastings: 255664

OS Northings: 222560

OS Grid: SN556225

Mapcode National: GBR DR.RD22

Mapcode Global: VH4HV.XX5Z

Entry Name: Court Henry

Listing Date: 8 July 1966

Last Amended: 30 January 2003

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 11176

Building Class: Domestic

Location: In its own grounds on the W side of a minor road approximately 0.6km N of the A40 at its junction with the B4297.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Llangathen

Locality: Court Henry

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

Find accommodation in
Dryslwyn

History

Court Henry was built c1460 by Henry ap Gwilym, a powerful local landowner and rival to Thomas ap Gruffydd of Dinefwr. Their feuding was concluded by the marriage of one of Henry''''s daughters to Thomas''''s son, Sir Rhys ap Thomas, with Court Henry as her dowry. From there it descended to the Herberts of Court Henry, who were in residence before 1600. The late medieval house appears to have been a substantial 2½ storey house, to which was added what became in 1830s the small 2-storey chapel wing. The house was rebuilt for the Herbert family c1730 as a Georgian style country house with a symmetrical front and outer wings. After John Herbert''''s death in 1748, Court Henry passed via the Dyer family (a younger branch of the Dyers of Aberglasney) and the Lloyds of Laques, near Llanstephan, to the Reverend George Wade Green of Gloucestershire, who purchased Court Henry in 1830. Green set about modernising and enlarging the house, probably employing his friend Thomas Richardson, gentleman architect of Iron Acton. The house was enlarged at the rear to create the present double-pile plan, and a private chapel was created inside using reclaimed medieval masonry for the piscina and squint. The main house is shown in its present form on the 1839 Tithe map. The Ordnance Survey of 1887 shows additions to the single-storey service wing at the rear.

Exterior

A Georgian country house of 2 storeys with attic and double-pile plan, and symmetrical W front of 5 bays between end bays brought forward under lower hipped roofs. The main elevations are roughcast and painted white, with slate roofs on swept, bracketed eaves and brick stacks. The central doorway has a plain Doric portico of the 1830s, and a panelled door, incorporating arched panels, of the late C19. Windows are 12-pane horned sashes renewed in original openings. The end bays have similar windows, but the R-hand bay projects beyond the line of the gable end of the main range, while the slightly narrower L end bay is flush with the main gable end. In the R gable end is a margin-lit glazed door lower L to a former, C19 conservatory. The attic of the front pile has a 9-pane sash window to the L side. Between front and rear R gables is the late medieval projecting 2-storey former chapel wing, which also has a margin-lit door to the former conservatory. In the gable end the chapel wing has a wooden cross window in the lower storey with pointed glazing bars, and a large 2-light pointed upper storey window with Y-tracery and intersecting glazing bars. The rear wall of the wing has a segmental-headed doorway offset to the R side with a recessed studded door. The 4-window rear of the house has 3 12-pane hornless sash windows in the upper storey, and a smaller similar window further R. In the lower storey is a late C19 2-pane sash window lighting the dining room to the L, then a half-lit door, a 12-pane hornless sash window, to the R of which are parallel single-storey projections. The L gable end of the house has, in the front pile, 12-pane horned sash windows to the R and 9-pane attic window offset R of centre. In the rear pile are similar 12-pane sash windows R and L in each storey, and a smaller 12-pane window R of centre in the lower storey. The attic has a 9-pane window offset L of centre.

Interior

The stone-tiled entrance hall is part of the remodelling of the 1830s. It has an open-well stair leading to a cantilevered balcony, with moulded tread ends, turned balusters and clustered shafts to the newels. The ceiling has a central large ornate rose. The principal rooms are R and L but the house is not symmetrically planned, as the long drawing room to the L is one bay larger than the parlour to the R and has classical detail. From the entrance hall a pointed doorway leads to the rear pile, where there is a corridor on the L side leading to the service rooms. These include the 1830s kitchen which has an elliptical arched fireplace (now blocked) with similar arched recess to its L and a full-height built-in dresser.

In the upper storey is a long corridor in the rear pile. It incorporates, in the rear wall of the front pile and therefore the rear wall of the original house, a cusped pointed doorway of late medieval date, and to its R a blocked cusped window, also late medieval. The chapel room at the end of the corridor has a pointed doorway with continuous chamfer, of C19 form. The door is half lit and has intersecting Gothic glazing bars. The chapel itself has a plastered wagon roof, but the feet of earlier arched braces are also visible. The chapel has a cusped piscina and a flat ogee-headed squint, both salvaged from another site. The room below the chapel has stone corbels at ceiling level.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II* as a fine Georgian house with significant earlier fabric and high-quality late-Georgian remodelling.

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