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© Mr T. H. Bebbington ARPS

IoE Number: 58557
Photographer: Mr T. H. Bebbington ARPS
Date Photographed: 22 August 2004
Date listed: 05 March 1959
Date of last amendment: 05 March 1959
Grade I

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SJ 77 NW TABLEY INFERIOR (Off) CHESTER ROAD 6/64 Tabley House 5.3.59 G.V. I House, now school. 1760-67 with C19 and C20 additions and alterations. By John Carr with alterations by Thomas Harrison and others. Red Flemish bond brick with stone dressings and green slate roof with lead flashings. 3 storeys. Garden front (former entrance front): 9 bays in A.A.A.B.C.B.A.A.A. rhythm. Rusticated stone walling to ground floor. 3 central bays project forming base to giant portico. All windows to ground floor have splayed voussoirs and 3 x 2 panes. The central window shows evidence of a previous doorway. To either side of the projection are semi-circular stairs leading up to the first floor portico, also with rusticated stone walling and moulded balustrade. Giant Tetrastyle Doric portico,panelled plinths and pilaster responds. Bucrania and roundels to metopes. Coat of Arms to pediment with Rococo vegetation to either side. Simpler Doric entablature to sides with plain metopes. Central first floor doorway has architrave and segmental pediment supported on brackets, now containing plate-glass sash window. Two segmental pedimented windows to either side also with stone architraves. Three windows to either side with triangular stone pediments and architraves, containing sash windows of 3x 5 panes. The lowest band of panes was originally walled in the form of a stone balustrade to each window (vide Vitruvius Britannicus and a stone fillet runs across the brickwork at the original level of the balustrade rail. The second floor windows have shouldered stone architraves with paired scrolls to the centre top and bottom, somewhat in the manner of those by Peruzzi at the Palazzo Massimo, Rome. To either side of the main block are 2-storey pavilion wings attached to the rear of the house by single storey quadrant corridors. The pavillions are of 3 bays with canted bay widows to the centre. Stone plinths and quoins to the ground floor with stone entablatures. To either side of each pavilion are single storey one-bay links containing doorways with Gibbs surrounds. The pavilion may originally have had circular open cupolas to their roofs (Vitruvius Britannicus Rear facade (now entrance front): 7 bays. Rusticated stone basement, slightly projecting central 3 bays with pediment over. Central ground floor porch of 1915. Doorway within has bearded head to keystone and half-glazed early C20 door. 2 sash windows of 3 x 2 panes to either side with narrower windows at extreme right and left due to quadrant wings joining building. First floor: central venetian window within rusticated stone relieving arch which connects to 2nd floor central window with Peruzzian surround as on Garden Front. This entire central feature and the other similar window surrounds to either side at second floor level and the decoration of the pediment appear to bedue to the 1915 aggrandisement of the facade when it became the entrance front. The 2 first floor windows to either side of the Venetian window have pediments, those to the left and right of these have cavetto mouldings only. Quadrant wings of 3 bays with central doorways. Side elevations of pavilion wings from sides to entrance court and each have 4 bays with a central pediment. Courtyard continues as single storey outbuilding to left and garden wall to right with wrought iron gates. Matching facing pairs of square gate piers of brick with stone caps with plain modillions with guttae. These lead to pilaster-buttressed brick passageways at right angles, with terminating pedimented archways with stone and cement-rendered dressings by Robert Curzon c1830. Side elevations: central canted bay windows. Arched windows to gallery on west front first floor and blind window to central first floor window of east front first floor (alterations of early C19). C20 boiler chimney to right of east front with stone plinth. Interior: Ground floor - sub-hall running east to west. Entrance at east end canted bay. Screen of 2 Doric columns with 2 Doric pilasters. 1/4-turn staircase with winders to left hand opening, originally with matching right hand flight. Two further screens of 2 antae and pilasters supporting basket arches. The central arches being wider. Billiard room to western end, with semi-circular bay, originally forming a circular gun room. Entrance hall of c1830 to north. First floor: original Entrance Hall behind portico on south front, with plaster work by Thomas Oliver, 6 doorways each with lugged and shouldered surrounds and Doric entablature with oval relief panels above each. Doric fireplace to north wall with circular panel over. Statues of Isis and Flora in circular headed niches. Doric entablature to tops of walls with fleurs de lys and roundels to metopes. Drawing room (originally dining room). 3 doorcases with heavy cornices and Rococo carving. Fireplace has 3/4 Ionic columns with variegated green marble infill to flutings and central tablet with Dying Gaul in relief. Octagon or Common Parlour, canted bay with fireplace to centre decorated with variegated marble inlaid in Gothick patterns. Arched niches in angles opposite bay window. Doors have Rococo carving to their cases. Dining room (formed from bedroom and dressing room) has mid-C19 plasterwork to the ceiling and walls. Lower staircase hall (originally dressing room and part of one bedroom) walls of grey marble with white plaster panels in relief after the antique, Venetian window has Ionic columns and pilasters. Gallery (formed c1830 from drawing room, library, dressing room and part of one bedroom), segmental arches dividing room into three. Semi-circular arches to windows. Early Victorian panelling, shutters and fireplaces with 1/4 circular moulding to sides. Staircase hall - open well. staircase of 4 flights with 1/2 landings, turned balusters and curtail. Wooden brackets to underside of landings by Shillitoe of York. Ribbed ceiling with 2 lunette windows to each side and central Rococo plaster cartouche. Upper landing has screen of 2 pairs of Corinthian columns with pairs of I columns to the sides with I columns and 1/4 columns to rear wall and corners. Triple doors to rear wall with Rococo surrounds. Many of the second floor bedrooms and dressing rooms have fine Rococo wooden fireplaces by Shillitoe and Bertram. One of Carr's best houses, though somewhat altered, Tabley House contains much fine craftsmanship and a wealth of detail from the later years of Palladianism with some touches of the newer Neo-classicism in the work of Oliver. Sources Vitruvius Britan.nicus v.pls 16-19 where it is called Oakland House Country Life 21, 28 July 1923 English Country Houses : Mid Georgian, by C Hussey 1956, pp 55-60

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