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West Heath School

A Grade II Listed Building in Sevenoaks, Kent

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Latitude: 51.2547 / 51°15'17"N

Longitude: 0.1864 / 0°11'10"E

OS Eastings: 552666

OS Northings: 152889

OS Grid: TQ526528

Mapcode National: GBR MN9.CWV

Mapcode Global: VHHPS.5QWH

Plus Code: 9F32753P+VG

Entry Name: West Heath School

Listing Date: 21 November 1997

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1031527

English Heritage Legacy ID: 468965

Location: Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Sevenoaks

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Sevenoaks St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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661/4/10010 West Heath School


Originally mansion house, later girls boarding school. Circa 1760, built for a John Smith esquire, architect not known, in "Gothick" style and called Ashgrove. Remodelled c1828 by Basevi for a William Haldimand, who financed much of the building of Belgrave Square. Following some minor later C19 alterations an east wing of principal rooms was added in the early C20 in neo-Stuart style, architect not known. In 1931, Ashgrove became a girls boarding school. The Post 1931 school additions are not of special architectural interest. EXTERIOR:Early C20 east wing of grey brick with Portland stone dressings and tiled roof , hipped to east, with ridge tiles and 3 tall brick chimneystacks with stone cornices. Two storeys; five windows. Twenty four pane sashes with eared architraves. The two projecting bays contain the full height staircase hall. Projecting stone pedimented porch with four Tuscan columns. Deep stone bracketed eaves cornice, string course and plinth. Side elevation has three 24-pane sashes with pediments to ground floor windows. The rear elevation has four windows, the end bays projecting with tripartite windows, pedimented to ground floor French windows. Central ground floor canted bay obscured by unusual wooden tented verandah with six columns and fretted cornice. West wing is original house in "Gothick" style in stock brick with some red brick dressings and tiled roof. Two storeys and attics; irregular fenestration. North front has three later C19 gabled dormers and stone cornice. First floor has three segmental-headed six-pane sashes with three pointed-headed French windows below. Octagonal turret to right, originally containing stair. Adjoining to right is a three storey section of which the upper storey is late C19. South front has two lower storeys of C18 or early C19 date with round-headed colonnade, sash windows and heightened parapet and late C19 gabled dormers. Attached to the south west is the early C19 former stable courtyard by Basevi which is mainly of coursed ragstone with galleting and slate roof . This comprises two gatepiers with pyramidal tops, two one storey pavilions with segmental arches, one storey former coach house with segmental arches filled in in C20 and two storey building with crenellated parapet and wooden Gothic cupola with clock face and metal weathervane. INTERIOR of original west wing retains large ground floor room, currently Canteen, with curved end with fluted columns with acanthus capitals, wooden fire surround with frieze of cherubs riding dolphins, pedimented overmantel, ovolo and anthemion and palmette cornice and three elaborate pedimented surrounds to fine quality six panelled doors. Early C19 service staircase with column newel. Cellar has brick floor and vaulted brick ceiling with wine bins. Service end has butler's quarters with panelled balcony and square wooden piers with strongroom below. Staff Dining Room has plain mid C19 fireplace and built in late C19 wall cupboards. Electric room bells. East wing has impressive Staircase Hall with marble floor, full-height oak well staircase with turned balusters, newel posts with ball finials and deep plastered ceiling. Oak Room has plank and muntin panelling with corner cupboard and fireplace with Delft tiles and overmantel with strapwork centre flanked by round-headed arches. Adjoining room has early C19 fireplace with fluted Tuscan columns, frieze of paterae and griffins, panel of seated lady by statue of Zeus and eternal flame and marquetry inlaid floor. South west ground floor room has an early C19 fireplace with bronze caryatids of female satyrs, bronze frieze and marquetry inlay floor. Both these elaborate fireplaces appear to be by Basevi and were moved from the earlier part of the house. Dining Room has plastered ceiling with sunburst, fasces and wreath and marble bolection-moulded fireplace with carved swags above after Grindling Gibbons. Upstairs the Bursar's Office has a marble fireplace and the Headmistress' Study a marble Louis Quinze style fireplace. [See BOE West Kent and the Weald p517.]

Listing NGR: TQ5266652889

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