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© Mr Cyril N. Chapman LRPS

IoE Number: 379717
Photographer: Mr Cyril N. Chapman LRPS
Date Photographed: 14 October 1999
Date listed: 08 January 1959
Date of last amendment: 30 December 1994
Grade II*

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BRISTOL ST5678NW HENBURY ROAD, Henbury 901-1/17/1370 (South West side) 08/01/59 Blaise Castle House and attached wall (Formerly Listed as: HENBURY ROAD (West side) Blaise Castle House (City Museum)) GV II* House, now museum. 1795-9. By William Paty. For JS Harford. Extended 1831-2 by CR Cockerell for J Harford Junior. Limestone ashlar and render with a slate roof. Double-depth plan around a central hall. Neoclassical style. 2 storeys; 5-window range. 1:3:1 fenestration with a pedimented and slightly projecting centre. A central semicircular Ionic portico on a low platform, banded square-cut rustication to the ground floor, first-floor plat band, modillion cornice and balustrade. An exedra behind the portico has 2 niches and a swag frieze with bucrania, a half-glazed door with a fine fanlight; 6/6-pane sashes with thick bars, with moulded architraves below sunken panels on the first floor. Garden front remodelled c1832, a central ground-floor arcade with French windows, altered to match those of the Ionic tetrastyle portico to the right, added by Cockerell as an Exhibition Room. To left of front a lower 2-storey service wing, extended by Cockerell, of L-shape plan with front left wing; facade of 1831-2 is rendered with rusticated ground floor beneath a plat band, moulded cornice and balustrade; 3/3-pane sashes in moulded architraves. INTERIOR: a complete Neoclassical decorative scheme by Cockerell, with statuary collected by Harford Jnr on his 1832 Italian tour. Large Portland-flagged hall with square columns and medallions; wide, central open-well stair with moulded stone steps and cast-iron balusters, with panels from the Parthenon and a niche with a Michelangelo cast; plaster panels and cornices to the walls and ceilings, marble and plaster fireplaces, with a cast-iron basket in the Dining Room; the Library has fluted Corinthian columns; the Exhibition Room has scagliola distyle-in-antis Corinthian columns, wainscotting, and an oval lantern with a plaster surround; the first-floor stair well has balustraded arches; mahogany 6-panel doors; a dogleg stair in the service wing has stone treads and cast-iron balusters. SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: an attached rubble wall enclosing the yard to the east end, ramped up to 2 segmental-arched openings with Pennant dressings. HISTORICAL NOTE: the house is set in a landscape planned c1796 by Humphrey Repton, John Nash's partner at the time, whose Red Book is preserved in the House, and Nash may through Repton have had an influence on the house. (Gomme A, Jenner M and Little B: Bristol, An Architectural History: Bristol: 1979-: 264; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 468; Temple N: John Nash and the Village Picturesque: Gloucester: 1979-).

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