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© Mr Gordon Richards

IoE Number: 178867
Photographer: Mr Gordon Richards
Date Photographed: 11 March 2004
Date listed: 01 August 1952
Date of last amendment: 04 July 1986
Grade I

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In entry for: TQ 65 SE MEREWORTH MAIDSTONE ROAD (south side) 2/43 Mereworth Castle 1.8.52 (main block) with GV moat walls to north the moat walls shall be omitted to read: Mereworth Castle (main block) ------------------------------------ TQ 65 SE MEREWORTH MAIDSTONE ROAD (south side) 2/43 Mereworth Castle (main block) with 1.8.52 moat walls to north GV I House. Roofed 1723. Designed by Colin Campbell for John Fane, 1736 to become the Earl of Westmorland. Interior plasterwork by Francesco Bagutti and Fresco painting by Francesco Sleter. Based on Palladio's Villa Capra near Vicenza stuccoed in C18 'stone colour' with Portland stone porticos, entablatures and window surrounds. Leaded ribbed dome. Large square block with 4 identical fronts, excepting the lack of portico steps to east and west. String-course above basement, cornice-band at portico entablature level. Hipped slate roof carrying heavily banded almost hemispherical dome with blind lantern surrounded by high half-columns. Single pedimented and balconied 1st floor windows each side of Hexastyle Ionic porticos. Flight of steps up to north and south porticos. The block was originally moated, parts still visible to north. Garden balustrades to north, connecting with side walls and abutments of portico steps. Interior: Extremely important and an almost complete survival. Entrance Hall: Barrel-vaulted with plaster busts in shells over side doors and pair of female allegorical figures over arched doorway into central rotunda. Rotunda: 2 storeys and dome with plaster copping. Four major axial and four minor diagonal doorways on both floors, the upper to deep balustraded gallery on carved volute brackets. Cornice under gallery. Sumptuous plasterwork with pairs of female figures, putti and busts in shells over doorways, and rectangular relief panels, portrait busts and foliage drops arrayed on the walls. Axial doors with Ionic fluted doorcases in deep recesses with arched heads containing, east and west eagles with cartouches and wreaths, south, the Fane crest, and north, a bull's head in a coronet. Subsidiary doors below and axial doors above with triangular pediments. Library: Coved vault with central rectangular plaster compartments. Main doorcase with Corinthian half-columns and pediment, subsidiary doors with flat hoods. Shelves standing proud of the walls. West Bed-Chamber: Corner fireplace, compartmented painted and plastered ceiling with allegorical and antique scenes. Modillion cornice work pulvinated freize. West Dressing Room: 2 storey fireplace with 4 corner volutes supporting mantel. Compartmented painted and plastered ceiling with allegorical and Antique scenes. Modillion (cont'd ) cornice with pulvinated frieze. Long Gallery: Deep cove painted illusionis- tically in the early C18 Venetian style by Francesco Sleter, dated 1732. Central plaster compartments with 5 'quadro riportati' allegorical scenes by Sleter. Modillion cornice with frieze-decoration of masks and wreaths. 3 doorways, with Corinthian half-columned and triangular pedimented surrounds. 2 pedimented chimney-pieces. East Dressing Room: Central rectangular panel to ceiling with allegorical scene and painted decoration in ceiling corners. 2-storey pedimented chimney-piece. Apple floor in geometrical patterns. Modillion cornice with acanthus frieze. East Bedroom: Compartmented painted and plastered ceiling with allegorical and Antique scenes. Corner fireplace. Modillion cornice, scroll and putti relief frieze. Dining Room: Coved ceiling with scrolled plaster supports in corners. 3 compartment plaster ceiling in rectangular surround. Mid C18 rococo fireplace with volute supports. See Howard Stutchbury, the Architecture of Colin Campbell, Manchester, 1967, 54-58. Also John Harris, The Palladians, London, 1981, 66-67: Country Life, XLVII, 808,876,912; XCV, 242; CIV,728; CXVI, 209.

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