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Bedgebury Park, stable courts and garden terraces

A Grade II* Listed Building in Goudhurst, Kent

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Latitude: 51.0829 / 51°4'58"N

Longitude: 0.456 / 0°27'21"E

OS Eastings: 572117

OS Northings: 134377

OS Grid: TQ721343

Mapcode National: GBR PTG.23H

Mapcode Global: FRA C6V8.7G9

Plus Code: 9F323FM4+59

Entry Name: Bedgebury Park, stable courts and garden terraces

Listing Date: 19 March 1982

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1084710

English Heritage Legacy ID: 169429

Location: Goudhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN17

County: Kent

District: Tunbridge Wells

Civil Parish: Goudhurst

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Tagged with: Geographical feature

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This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 28/05/2020

TQ 73 SW

Bedgebury Park, stable courts and garden terraces


Country house, now school. Core of 1688 with C18 stables, altered c1838 (Alexander Roos, architect) and 1854-1855 by R C Carpenter, and after by William Slater, architects. Originally red brick, now clad and extended in sandstone ashlar with slate roof. Red brick stable wing with slate roof.

The plain, pedimented red brick block was given an Italianate shell c.1838, and transformed by French style roofs c.1855. House: large shallow H-plan. Entrance front of three storeys with two attic storeys, with projecting wings (three bays each) and shallow projecting centre piece (three bays). Thirteen window bay width in all. Cornice bands to each floor and modillion eaves cornice with urn finials to Mansard roof with central belvedere. Upper row of dormers with roundels set in scrolled, segmentally pedimented surrounds, the lower row of sashes with segmental heads and scrolled surrounds. Five sets of irregularly placed stacks. Glazing bar sashes to all floors, on upper floors with flanking pilasters, on first floor with pediments to central pavilion windows and three central windows, otherwise with cornices, and with bracketed cornices to first floor.

Projecting three-bay porch to centre, with Ionic pilasters to cornice/parapet. Three arched openings, with semi-circular fan lights, with panelled double doors flanked by casements (all originally open?); the ground floor fronted by balustrade on low base.

The garden elevation is disposed identically, save for the absence of the porch, and the pavilion wings being canted forward, with Venetian windows on ground floor, and large tripartite sashed dormers. Attached to right (south west) of main block, by pierced parapeted ashlar link-piece, are the stable courts, the older ranges of two storeys, red brick, with stone plat band, and glazing bar sashes and wooden casements, and with infilled coach house openings, with gauged segmental heads. The ashlared bell tower and building were added by Slater, with leaded two-stage spire, and clock faces inscribed Pereunt et Imputant. The outer courts are defined by quadrant walls with urn finialled gate piers, all in sandstone ashlar. Garden terraces: the outer terrace about fifty metres by fifty metres, with balustrade set between regular pedestals carrying urn finials with flights of steps and entrances in each side, with two flights of steps to upper terrace, with similar balustrading, and final balustraded perron over house basement area, with flagstone terrace, and balustrade with cast iron torch-bearers at finials, supported by sphynxes at base.

Interior: mid C18 decoration in Dining Room, with maple wood panelling, enriched pedimented door surrounds, large chimneypiece in style of William Kent, and Rococo plaster ceiling with crossed swords in the centre. Library with Ionic pilastered bookcases with enriched frieze and cornice, fireplace with enriched and pedimented overmantel with painting. Neo-Classical pedimented window heads with pier glasses and palmette and anthemion frieze to ceiling. Stair hall with (cast) open-well stair, with cast iron balusters, ramped and wreathed rail, enriched string, and Corinthian columned screens to landings. Ceiling in Adam style in plaster. Entrance hall with marble floor, Ionic screen, pedimented doorcases and C19 Rococo marble fireplace; and set with rectangular and round Neo-Classical relief's after Thorwaldsen, Untarsia ceiling of 1865, made in the Estate workshops. Chapel constructed c1930 out of Laundrey (in the clock tower building), all the wood fittings, lectern, reading desk, chairs, benches, reredos and panels executed as a piece and to high quality and dated 1930 to 1935. The original chapel in the house now offices (doorcase with inset cross to frame).

The house was originally altered for Marshal Viscount Beresford, his architect, Alexander Roos, was said to be Italian and a member of the Accadomia di San Luca (see also Beresford Lodge, item 5/88, Kilndown School, item 5/131 and Christ Church, Kilndown, 5/133). Beresford's stepson and heir, Alexander Beresford Hope had the French pavilion roof and stable spire added, and the Neo-Classical stair and entrance halls created. Otherwise a noted champion of the Gothic Revival the Cambridge Camden Society and Ecclessology. Beresford Hope seems here to have indulged in tastes inherited from his natural father, the great Grecophile Thomas Hope.

Bedgebury was the centre of all ancient and large estates recorded first in 1814, seat of the Bedgebury, and later Culpeper families, with the new parish of Kilndown created by and for the Beresfords at Bedgebury. Now a Girls' School run by the Church Education Corporation since 1920.

Listing NGR: TQ7209234380

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