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© Mr David Jefferson

IoE Number: 82806
Location: BRETBY HALL,
Photographer: Mr David Jefferson
Date Photographed: 08 August 2007
Date listed: 31 October 1985
Date of last amendment: 31 October 1985
Grade II*

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SK 32 SW BRETBY BRETBY PARK 1259/2/2 Bretby Hall 31.10.85 II* Country house, now hospital. Early C17 north west range extensively restored in C19. James Wyatt did work at Bretby before 1813. Extensive rebuilding in castellated Gothic revival style, 1813-15 by Sir Jeffery Wyatville for the 5th Earl of Chesterfield. Coursed squared sandstone, sandstone ashlar with pitted tooling and red brick. Plain tile roofs with various stacks, mostly hidden behind castellated parapets. Chamfered plinth and moulded cornice. One to four storeys. Four ranges around a rectangular courtyard. Wyatville designed the south and west fronts. Symmetrical three storey south front of 3-1-3 bays, flanked by four storey circular towers. Castellated parapets. Advanced centre bay rises as a square tower above with flanking bays. Circular angle turrets, with four tiers of blind decorative openings. Broad four-centred arched entrance has C20 doors flanked by side lights and with traceried overlight. Flanked on each side by three windows with C20 glazing, the middle one on each side altered into a doorway. Seven glazing bar sashes above and seven similar but smaller above again. The circular towers have four tiers of glazing bar sashes, diminishing in size towards the top, the lower ones partly altered in C20. Horizontal hoodmoulds. The west elevation represents just over half of a symmetrical composition left incomplete in 1815. Central tower with polygonal angle turrets and four-centred archway giving the courtyard. Canted oriel above and a small glazing bar sash above again. To the right, four bays and two tiers of gothic windows with Y-tracery. The upper ones smaller and with margin lights. Moulded hoodmoulds. Taller bay to right with polygonal angle turrets and three tiers of similar windows. C20 single storey brick range to left not of special interest. To left again the three bay return range of the C17 north west range. Centre bay advanced, with a 3-light recessed and cavetto moulded window, flanked by similar 2-light windows. One smaller 2-light above. North elevation of nine bays, the end bays projecting and gabled. Two storeys and a parapet. Irregular fenestration of 2, 3 and 4-light recessed and chamfered mullioned windows, mostly enlarged in C19. Four-centred arched doorways. The last two bays to the left before the projecting end bay, have disturbed masonry, possibly indicating an external stack, and a gabled dormer. East elevation of three storeys, of 1-4-1-4-1-4 bays plus the return elevation of the north west range. Glazing bar sashes, the ground floor partly destroyed by C20 alterations and additions not of special interest. The single bays are square projecting towers. The interior of the courtyard has on three sides glazing bar sashes, extruded angle bays and square projecting tower bays on two sides. The entrance side has similar fenestration to its outer elevation and the first floor is set back. Extruded angle bay to left has a Venetian window. INTERIOR: mostly Classical and re-using late C17 and C18 materials. Staircase hall has Corinthian pilasters, with impressive cantilevered stone staircase with central flight dividing and returning in two. Ornate gilded wrought iron balustrade with wooden handrail, lower newels as winged cherubs. Panelled plaster ceiling. Main former reception rooms all have fine mahogany panel doors. State dining room has a three-bay Corinthian arcade at one end and ornate carved wooden door and window surrounds, probably part of the original late C17 decoration. Entrance hall has thin Gothick decoration and fine white marble fireplace. Drawing room has ornate moulded cornice, fine moulded doorcases, shutter and dado rail. Circular music room has good quality inlaid wooden floor and reflected delicate plaster ceiling, fine plaster door surrounds and curved doors, carved white marble fireplace. Room to west (used as theatre) has panelled ceiling, panelled dado rail and shutters. Upper landing has four-centred arches and doorways, some with gothic overlights. All the upper floor rooms retain their original skirting, coving, doors, door surrounds and marble fireplaces. The north range was originally a range of outbuildings built at the same time as the earlier house, it retians much of its original late C17 roof structure. Nothing now survives of the magnificent country house built for the Second Earl of Chesterfield.

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