© Mr Michael Perry
THE GROTTO AT NGR ST 3388 1601,
ASHILL, SOUTH SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Mr Michael Perry
05 May 2005
04 February 1958
Date of last amendment:
04 February 1958
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.
14-JUN-02 THE GROTTO AT JORDANS, NGR ST 3388 1601
Grotto/summer-house. Dated 1828. Stone rubble with freestone dressings. Thatched roof, gabled at front and half-hipped at rear.
PLAN: Rectangular on plan, containing three circular cells, the larger central room has a doorway at the front and projects at the back in a bow; the smaller flanking cells are aviaries, each with a fountain at the centre and nesting boxes in the walls.
Picturesque Gothic Revival style.
EXTERIOR: Single storey. Symmetrical gabled west front with pointed arch windows to left and right with stained glass leaded panes, cage grilles and internal shutters and cills with slots for feeding trays; central pointed arch doorway with later C19 Gothic stone porch with polygonal piers and pointed arch canopy and three diamond-shape windows above also with leaded stained glass panes. Left and right [north and south] sides have similar pointed arch windows to those at front. Rear [east] bowed at centre and with small pointed arch shuttered openings under eaves to left and right. Copper lantern with stained glass leaded panes and conical dome with flying-fish weather-vane on top.
INTERIOR: Three circular cells with domed ceilings, the larger centre room lined in minerals, fossils, corals, sea-shells and with two engraved mirrors, the cornice made up of fan- and tree-corals, the floor made of sheep's knuckle-bones set on end with date 1828 and with stone table at centre and bench at back with woven seat. Pointed arch doorways to aviaries left and right lined in patterns of sea-shells and with nesting holes for canaries, the window reveals with integral shutters, the cills with feeding trays and the floor having a small pool at the centre with a fountain operated from a pump outside. The domed ceiling of the central room has been restored around the drum of the lantern.
NOTE: The Grotto was built by the Speke family of Jordans, in the landscaped gardens of which it is situated, on a promontory in the lake. John Speke was the Victorian explorer who discovered the source of the Nile. The house, Jordans, was demolished in the 1960s.
This is a remarkably fine example of a country house garden grotto/summer-house.
SOURCE: Buildings of England, p.201.