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© Miss Esther Harbour

IoE Number: 481301
Location: STANMER HOUSE, STANMER PARK
  BRIGHTON, BRIGHTON AND HOVE, EAST SUSSEX
Photographer: Miss Esther Harbour
Date Photographed: 09 August 2005
Date listed: 02 November 1954
Date of last amendment: 02 November 1954
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

BRIGHTON TQ3309 STANMER PARK 577-1/9/1107 Stanmer House 02/11/54 GV I Country house, now in the care of the local authority. Principally of 1722-7, though incorporating part of an earlier house, and with additions of the early C19 and of 1860. The architect was Nicholas Dubois, for Henry Pelham and later for his brother, Thomas Pelham, at a cost of »14,000. Brick, faced with cream-coloured sandstone ashlar to the principal (that is, north-east and south-east) fronts and to the immediate north-west return, the rest mostly rendered; roof of slate. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys with attic; the entrance front, facing north-east, was originally of 7-window range with a centrepiece of 3-window range; an 8th bay was added to the north probably in 1860. Early C19 enclosed porch decorated with banded rustication and with Tuscan pilasters supporting an entablature and blocking course, the blocking course raised at the centre; flat-arched entrance with overlight and double panelled doors of original design. All windows flat-arched; the centrepiece projects slightly and is pedimented with an oculus in the tympanum; modillion eaves cornice. The additional northern bay matches the rest of the front and there is a single-storey canted bay window to the return, with a pierced parapet; hipped roofs and corniced stacks. The south-east (or garden) front is of 9-window range and the central range of 5 windows has an additional attic storey; the cornice over this part was missing at the time of inspection. The courtyard plan which used to incorporate parts of the earlier house has been demolished, leaving 2 wings at right angles to each other. INTERIOR: the entrance hall, of the 1720s and in 'Board of Works' style, is plastered from floor to ceiling in imitation of wooden, fielded panelling; 2 flat-arched doorways to either side with architraves, pulvinated frieze and dentil cornice to overdoors, and 6-panelled doors with fielded panels; between these on the left side is a round-arched niche, and on the right, a massive fireplace and bust, recorded in the list description of 1986 but boarded up at the time of inspection in 1991; in the wall facing the entrance, a round-arched niche on either side of a simpler, flat-arched doorway giving on to the staircase hall. The staircase hall is plastered more simply, the plaster removed from the south-west wall at the time of inspection; open well stair by Nicholas Dubois with curtail step, newels square in plan and with Corinthian detailing, turned balusters, moulded, wreathed and ramped handrail, open string carved with foliage, and wooden panelled dado. Library to right of entrance hall, also by Dubois, with fireplace boarded up at the time of inspection and egg-and-dart mouldings to bookcases and to architraves, reveals and panels of double doors to library extension in northernmost room, of c1860, which has egg-and-dart mouldings to the bookcases, cornice and paterae to ceiling moulding, and fireplace now boarded up; business room to rear, now divided in 2, with panelling of 1720s. Left of the entrance hall is the Little Drawing Room, panelled in wood with fielded panels and coved cornice, with south doorway having panelled reveals, and pulvinated bayleaf frieze and dentil cornice to overdoor; fireplace now boarded up. The Drawing Room beyond belongs to James Wyatt's work for Thomas Pelham II in 1775, with dado rail of acanthus ornament, elaborate neo-Classical frieze and ceiling decoration, architraves to doorways carved with guilloche ornament, the overdoors having rosettes in wreaths of husks, and the door panels carved with flutes; fireplace now boarded up. The Dining Room, of c1735, has wooden dado, ornate frieze of festoons, modillion cornice and ceiling decorated with arabesques and fruit; chimneypiece flanked by bay-leaf ornament, fireplace now boarded up; at the south-east end, a screen of coupled Corinthian Columns distyle in antis; door architraves and panels carved with egg-and-dart mouldings, overdoor decorated with festoons and dentil cornice. The first-floor landing has fielded panelling (some of which had been removed from the north-west wall at the time of inspection), with Vitruvian scroll to dado rail, and coved cornice; Ionic pilasters flanking windows and passage; fireplace now partly removed, leaving cast-iron early C19 grate; fielded dado to passage. The State Bedroom on the north-east side is panelled, with coved cornice and elaborate rocaille fireplace. North of this, a room of similar size with plainer panelled dado, coved cornice, doorways with egg-and-dart mouldings to architraves and overdoors with pulvinated frieze of bayleaf ornament and dentil cornice; fireplace removed. At the north corner, a smaller room with cornice and C19 fireplace. Dressing room south of the State Bedroom with plain dado, coved cornice, and a fireplace surround with shouldered architrave and rocaille frieze. South-east bedroom, now subdivided, has panelled dado with Vitruvian scroll, coved cornice, 2 doorways with egg-and-dart mouldings to the architrave, and pulvinated bayleaf frieze and dentil cornice to overdoor; fireplace surround with neo-Classical ornament of urns and festoons, and C19 cast-iron grate. Rear staircase at south-west corner is open well to 2 storeys with a turned newel at the bottom and square newels at angles, turned balusters, moulded and ramped handrail and open string. Central first-floor room to south has panelled dado with Vitruvian scroll, coved cornice, fireplace and chimneypiece now boarded up; dressing room with panelled dado with Vitruvian scroll, coved cornice and early C19 cast-iron grate. Bedroom to south-west corner with moulded cornice and fireplace surround of late C18 or C19 date. Dogleg stair in north-west wing to 2 storeys with curtail step, stick balusters and ramped handrail as far as landing between first and second floor, then square newels, turned balusters and moulded handrail for one flight.

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