Country House. Early C18, incorporating fragments of an earlier building restored early C19. Finely coursed ironstone with limestone ashlar dressings and Swithland slate roofs. 2 storeyed with attics. Entrance (west) front of 7-bays (2-3-2) the central 3 bays advanced slightly and pedimented. Central doorway in porch that is probably a C19 addition, but appropriately detailed with scrolly open pediment. 12-light sash windows flank the doorway, while above it, the central window is given emphasis by a lugged architrave with volutes. In the apex of the pediment is a finely wrought shield of arms. Outer bays have 2-light sash windows to each floor, blind to ground floor right. All windows are in architraves with key stones. Plinth and string-course which
is continuous across the facade and rises to form hoodmoulds to lower windows. Quoins on angles and to pedimented centre. Coved eaves cornice. Garden front (south) of 9 bays, 2-5-2, the outer bays forming projecting wings with hipped roofs and 12-light sash windows in each floor. Blank openings on their inner faces. Central doorway with broken pediment containing an urn, lightly supported on re-used Jacobean pilasters: high bases to fluted shafts with lozenge decoration in capital. Windows are all 12-light sashes with architraves with key stones, and string-course forms hoodmoulds to ground floor openings. Roof recessed slightly beyond parapet. 3 segmentally arched gabled dormers in central section. Axial stacks. Against rear wall a derelict single storeyed range with 3 windows and blocked door with shell canopy, re-used and probably late C17. In the north wall of the house a single 2-light caveto moulded mullioned window with
hoodmoulds to first floor suggests its earlier origins.
A tablet in the church records that Reverend Henry Palmer, d. 1856, extensively restored the house, and so presumably much of the interior work is his: 2
rooms have very richly worked plaster panelled ceilings, probably executed by Italian craftsmen. Deep rectangular panels in each, in the dining room these are heavily worked with a design of flowers and urns etc. in the sitting room each section of panelling is differently wrought with tiny intricate patterns, and there is a frieze with blank shields. Another room has parquet wall panelling throughout laid to form geometric patterns in dado. Central hall, top lit by lantern, also with fine plaster work ceiling, and late C18 staircase, cantilevered stone with wrought iron balustrade. House reputedly built by Matthew Johnson, d. 1723, who bought the estate from the poet and favourite of Charles II, Lord Rochester.
- Walled Kitchen Garden
Date unknown but machine made-bricks and major works by Rev. Henry Palmer suggest a date probably in the mid nineteenth century. The walled garden appears on the first edition O/S map c.1885-6.
The whole site of the WKG is approximately 1.5 acres. It is essentially a rectangle with curved corners at NE and the NW and a block of stables filling the SE corner. The 1st edition O/S map shows greenhouses and frames in 2 locations: northeast alongside trees, possibly an orchard; and in the south, between the stables to the east and west of a domestic-looking 2-storey building (see photographs).
The Sale Catalogue 1926 describes the WKG: ‘Excellent WKG with conservatories, peach house, cucumber house and forcing house. Also a range of brick and slated buildings consisting of bothy, potting shed, tool house, fruit chamber and mushroom house and also a brick-built and slated store chamber. Adjoining there was an orchard drying ground.’
Currently as seen from the public footpath the WKG no longer functions as a kitchen garden but is partially utilised for farm storage and machinery.
See our full research report on the Walled Kitchen Garden here: