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© Mr Adrian Exton

IoE Number: 315124
Photographer: Mr Adrian Exton
Date Photographed: 23 June 2005
Date listed: 20 December 1960
Date of last amendment: 20 December 1960
Grade I

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CORSHAMCORSHAM COURTST 87705/99Corsham Court20.12.60

CORSHAM CORSHAM COURT ST 8770 5/99 Corsham Court 20.12.60 GV I Country house, 1582, for T. Smythe, enlarged 1760-6 by L. Brown for P. Methuen, altered 1795-1803 by J. Nash for P.C. Methuen and 1846- 9 by T. Methuen for 1st Lord Methuen. Ashlar with stone tiled roofs, basement and two-and-a-half storeys. Main south front has recessed 3-bay centre, dated 1582, with wings projecting by 2 bays and 2-bay ends, the outerbay of each wing a matching addition of c1760 by Brown. Coped gables with heraldic finials to each bay and 3-light attic mullion windows with hoodmoulds. Main floors have moulded courses carried around projecting 2-storey bay-windows, 3 to south front, 2 to south end of each wing, all bays pedimented with heraldic finials except for centre porch-bay which has semi- circular carved head with finials. Mullion-and-transom windows. Centre bay has Doric porch with clustered piers, entablature, broken forward over piers, carved panel over with flanking panels and first floor mullion-and-transom window as elsewhere but with sill course. Windows each side of centre bay and side lights to bays are apparently later additions, though all the bays may have been reconstructed by Brown. Hexagonal leaded panes throughout. East front added by Brown in Palladian style was remodelled by Nash in Tudor-style, 2-storeys with low basement, 2-5-2 windows, the outer bays flanked by octagonal turrets. Dripcourses to each floor, crenellated parapet. Nine-pane upper windows, 12-pane below, all with hoodmoulds, outer windows closely paired. Central first floor canted oriel of 1-3-1 Tudor-arched lights. North end turret was replaced in 1846-7, the east front being intended for remodelling to match north. North front added by Bellamy, replacing a Gothic north front by Nash, itself replacing a Palladian front of 1747 by N. Ireson. Bellamy's front has massive projecting central 4-storey stair tower, 2-window, 2-storey sections each side and projecting 3-storey, 3-window wings flanked on inner returns by 2-storey one-window sections with curved heads based on 1582 south front. Detail is generally based on Elizabethan with motifs from south front but with heavy balustraded parapets and pinnacles. At north-west end a low Gothic octagonal dairy survives from Nash's work. West front is service end with, to right, return of Brown's addition with gable, as on south front, first floor Venetian window and 2 small quatrefoils below. To left, in angle to adjoining range, 2-storey square-plan block with cornice and stone-tiled square dome, 9-pane upper window and elliptical arches with keystone and impost blocks to south and west side, south side with door and west blank. Built by Brown as a muniment room and incorporating a reused medieval vault in the ground floor. Beyond, 'L'-plan 2-storey range by Brown with crenellations added by Nash, sashes, paired to ground floors and arched doors in angle set within enclosed porch. Interior: outstanding surviving interiors of 1760-6 with highly ornate plasterwork by T. Stocking and fireplaces by Scheemakers, notably the 72' picture gallery on east side, Cabinet Room to south and State Bedroom to west. In west wing former Library also of 1760-6 and present Library by Nash. Central part of the house remodelled by Bellamy including Italianate imperial staircase. Nash's hall fireplace survives in former servants hall on north side. Upper floor has fine early to mid C18 south-west room with panelling and Chinese wallpaper. Several c1800-30 fireplaces survive. Attic south-west room has C16 fireplace and cupboard doors. (F.J. Ladd, Architects at Corsham Court, 1979; C.L. 20 and 27.11.1937; N. Pevsner, Wiltshire, 1975 192-4.)

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