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Latitude: 52.3313 / 52°19'52"N
Longitude: -3.3886 / 3°23'18"W
OS Eastings: 305474
OS Northings: 271261
OS Grid: SO054712
Mapcode National: GBR 9P.V8C8
Mapcode Global: VH691.6NYQ
Entry Name: The Hall
Listing Date: 3 September 2004
Last Amended: 12 July 2005
Source ID: 83105
Location: In its own grounds on an elevated site above the Abbey ruins and to the E side of the parish church.
Community: Abbey Cwmhir (Abaty Cwm-hir)
Community: Abbey Cwmhir
Traditional County: Radnorshire
Built 1865-7 for Francis Aspinall Philips by J.W. Poundley & D. Walker, architects who also built the
contemporary parish church. There is a date of 1868 on the S front and the date 1869 over the main entrance and on rainwater heads. The polygonal-ended billiard room to right of the entrance was added in 1894. An earlier house by Thomas Wilson is said to have been completed in 1833 and to have been incorporated into the rear of the present house, although the 1839 Tithe survey recorded no such building.
A muscular Gothic Revival country house of 2 storeys with tall attics, of coursed dressed ashlar composed of two parts with three bays each. Three bays set back to far (W) side with recessed centre two bays and advanced gabled wing to outer end. Slightly earlier symmetrical 3-bay block to right (E) with main entrance in side elevation. Very steep slated roofs with precipitously gabled dormers, elaborate cusped and pierced bargeboards and larger gables with collars and kingposts; ironwork finials. Stone chimneys with sloping caps and Gothic setoffs. Single-light dormer windows with segmental heads and hoodmoulds, cusped lights to sash frames. Mostly paired windows to first-floor with straight heads, three lights in echelon to far left. Elaborate stone brackets to bargeboards and original ironwork gutters and downpipes with dated hopperheads.
Ground-floor windows to left have varied Gothic details including patterned and shouldered strainer-arches under hoodmoulds with foliated stops. Large buttress with setoffs to left gable, triple-light towards centre. Twin bays to ground floor on right with raised gablets over blind oculi, paired french windows to square bay towards centre, single french window to canted right-hand bay flanked by single lights. Transoms and shouldered lights with chevron patterning to lunettes over.
Three-bay asymmetrical entrance facade with taller gable to outer (S) angle - detail as before - and slightly
adorned hipped roof to right wing with gable over two-light window with red granite mullion and carved capital and patterned Gothic arch over carved Philips shield with monogramme. Three lights below with Gothic detailing mixed as before. Single-storey canted bay forward to far right. Gabled and buttressed porch in angle of frontage with heraldic device and supported to far left. Fat red granite columns to entrance and side-light with ironwork infill. Low relief tympanum with the date 1869 entwined in foliage and a further heraldic device under low Gothic patterned arch. Interior of porch with ribbed and boarded ceiling and finely carved bosses; inner door flanked by granite colonette with side-light; three Gothic niches to right wall.
The house is planned with a spinal hallway, off which the principal rooms open to overlook the garden, with staircase and library to the north, and billiard room beyond the library. The hallway continues as a service corridor. This broad arrangement is repeated on the first floor, though with principal rooms opening off a square landing at the head of the stairs. Throughout the house, original fittings of a high quality survive virtually intact: their variety illustrates the way in which the vocabulary of decoration in the High Victorian house was intended to reflect the ordering and use of space within. The interior is characterised by the range of materials used, and by the range of styles applied. Thus most rooms retain fireplaces with surrounds in a variety of marble finishes and cast-iron inset grates similarly varied; most have strong plaster cornices of varying patterns and degrees of elaboration, together with central rosettes. Well-finished woodwork to skirtings, dado-rails and architraves throughout. The hallway has fine Minton-Hollins tilework, and the staircase is a decorative tour-de-force not only for the quality of its carpentry, but also for the richness of plaster decoration to the painted glazed lantern which surmounts it.
Listed grade II* for its architectural interest as a fine and well-preserved High Victorian country house, forming an impressive pair with the contemporary parish church, and for its contribution to the historic character of the village.
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