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© Mr Terence Harper

IoE Number: 88466
Location: POLTIMORE HOUSE,
  POLTIMORE, EAST DEVON, DEVON
Photographer: Mr Terence Harper
Date Photographed: 12 July 2003
Date listed: 11 November 1952
Date of last amendment: 11 November 1952
Grade II*

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SX 99 NEPOLTIMORE5/154Poltimore House-11.11.52

SX 99 NE POLTIMORE 5/154 Poltimore House - 11.11.52 - II* Mansion of the Bampfylde family (after 1831, Lords Poltimore). Mainly late C16, late C17, C19 and a western range of 1908, with internal decorative schemes. Stuccoed, the whole building including moulded stonework painted white, with slate hipped roofs. An L-shaped Tudor house now forms the rear and east ranges of a large mansion that has undergone considerable expansion, enclosing and ultimately almost completely filling an internal courtyard. The front block was built by Sir Coplestone Bampfylde (d.1691; built possibly in 1681, the date inscribed on a gatepier to the estate). In the mid C18 the salon was redecorated; other principal rooms were refurbished in the later C18, and the Hall in the early C19. Also in 1908, a new range was attached to the left-hand side of the building. 2 storeys throughout with the exception of a service wing. Exterior. Front. The original 11-bay front remains much as it appears in Edmund Prixeaux drawing of 1735. Central 3 bays project slightly. All corners with rusticated quoins; pilasters mark each bay; plat band, moulded cornice and parapet. 9 dormer windows just visible above parapet which have since lost their gables. 2 axial stacks. All stacks are now rendered and capped. Original entrance arrangement has lost its architrave and is obscured by porch of 1831 with 2 Doric columns in antis. This porch has had a circa 1970 glazed screen inserted. Extending to the left of this range is the 2-bay addition of 1980, set back slightly, its parapet marginally higher, also treated with rusticated quoins. All windows with timber hornless sashes, 9-panes above 9 panes to each window above, the lower window sashes with 2 panes and margin panes, the glazing hand range: 7 bays, treated as front; and of the same date, and marking the Tudor work. 2 panes to each sash, plus margin panes to ground-floor windows; 3 panes to upper and 6 to lower sscheme of 1831, (4 panes and margin panes with horns to C19 extension). Right- ashes of first floor windows. 6th and 7th bays occupied by a C19 singled storeyed extension, rusticated quoins, with a sash window to either end, 2 blocked windows to the side. Rear range: 3 separately gabled Tudor bays which form a 7 window range, sash windows inserted, sashes hornless, 2 with 12 panes to each sash; 2 with 12 above, 8 below; 4 with 6 per sash; but retaining original 3-light 4-centred headed windows in gables, jambs and mullions, stone, with cavetto mouldings, some lights retaining leaded panes, 28 to each light in the left-hand gable, 8 to the others, all with cames. To the right of the Tudor range the elevation is taken up with 2 wings, one of 2 storeys and another of one. Left-hand elevation: C19, 7 bays; sash windows, 2 panes per sash to first floor. 4 panes above and 2 below to ground floor. A single- storeyed rear extension treated with rusticated pilaster buttresses. C19 outbuildings all with wavy bargeboarding. Late C17 or C18 rainwater heads to main range. Internal courtyard, elevation of Tudor range; one 3-light window (as to rear elevation) in a gable wall with mullions and transoms; angle stair-turret, late C17, polygonal, with two 3-light windows to basement, 1 to ground floor, 2 to first floor and 3 to attic; 10 leaded panes per light with cames. Interior: (described in chronological order). Internal Tudor work has been removed except for one internal stone 4-pointed arch chamfered with pedestal stops. Sir Coplestone Bampfylde's great rear open-well staircase runs through 3 floors from basement to attic: square-profile newels with moulded caps surmounted by balls, and pendants, with turned balusters. The north-east C19 vestibule contains what is supposed to be a copy of a C17 plaster ceiling in the adjoining room, but possibly surviving under present false ceiling. Original C17 roof to south range survives (Mercer). Roccoco salon, perhaps of the 1740s, occupies 4th part of right-hand side, possibly occupying the site of the Tudor Hall, is an interior of high quality : ceiling with central sunburst (containing female face), with foliage surround with swirls and herons; oval wall mirrors between windows with foliage and heads; end panelled doors with moulded architrave, egg and dart motifs and modillions to cornice, with broken pediment; side door similarly treated but with no pediment; 2 large mirrors to inner walls with festoons and cherubs' heads; white marble chimney piece with wooden surround on scrolled brackets with centrally placed ram's head. Dining Room and Red Lounge: (flanking entrance hall), the former with Adam decorative style plaster and woodwork detailing and ceiling with roundels and corner panels containing classical scenes. 2 fluted columns and moulded cornice. Lounge rather less elaborate, with 2 composite columns, and marble fire surround. Early-C19 Hall still entered through C18 door with fanlight; 2 rows of Ionic columns cross hall at foot of Imperial stairs with metal openwork balusters. Corinthian columns and pilasters to landing. 1908 Banqueting Hall and other principal rooms with neo-classical detailing, the Banqueting Hall quite elaborate in its detailing, with rich plaster cornice and marble fire surround. The whole of the parapet has been covered in bitumen as has the slating over the C16 work. The front roof may have been raised and the side roof is covered in various rooflights and solar panels. Historical note: the treaty for the surrender of Exeter (April 1646) was negotiated at Poltimore House. References: the best account is by Eric Mercer (RCHM), 1978. A full history is J Fortescue-Foulkes, Story of Poltimore House.

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