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South Lodge and adjoining Screen at Silsoe Entrance to Wrest Park

A Grade II Listed Building in Silsoe, Central Bedfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0084 / 52°0'30"N

Longitude: -0.4224 / 0°25'20"W

OS Eastings: 508382

OS Northings: 235610

OS Grid: TL083356

Mapcode National: GBR G3S.21D

Mapcode Global: VHFQV.MSL8

Entry Name: South Lodge and adjoining Screen at Silsoe Entrance to Wrest Park

Listing Date: 10 January 1985

Last Amended: 18 May 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1113781

English Heritage Legacy ID: 37692

Location: Silsoe, Central Bedfordshire, MK45

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Silsoe

Built-Up Area: Silsoe

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Silsoe

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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An entrance lodge and attached screen, rear boundary wall and outbuilding, built in 1826, with late C20 extension and alterations. It was built by Thomas Phillip Weddell, later the 2nd Earl de Grey for his aunt, the Countess de Grey in the C19 French Grand Manner style.


MATERIALS: built from rendered brick beneath a slated mansard roof.

PLAN: it has a small-scale square plan of one storey and attics above a basement, designed, with the North Lodge (q.v.) to define the main entrance to Wrest Park. A single bay, C20 flat-roofed addition extends from the south elevation. This is a modern flat-roofed replacement of the original and not of special interest.

EXTERIOR: the lodge has rusticated quoins, a moulded eaves cornice and a low rendered brick chimney to the centre of the roof. The east elevation has a slightly projecting central bay. The west and east elevations each have a central casement window with glazing bars, a wrought iron balconette, and a decorative keystone to the segmental head to the opening. The south elevation has a pair of part-glazed double doors with a coat of arms decorating the keystone to the arched opening. The attic storey has a segmental-headed dormer window to each elevation, that to the south elevation with a triangular pediment. The C20 single bay extension to the south elevation is rendered, with a set-back doorway with glazed double doors, and a multi-pane two-light casement window to the left of the doorway.

INTERIOR: the interior has been altered to link with the C20 extension but retaining some evidence of the original plan. There are panelled doors and an original hearth, and a vaulted passage cellar in the basement together with an arched recess.

Attached to the north-west corner of the lodge is a wrought iron screen, about five metres long and two metres high. The screen stands upon a low T-shaped plinth, and is of plain appearance but terminates at a square openwork pier with decorative panels and finial.


Wrest Park belonged to the Grey family from the Middle Ages until the early C20. In 1833, Thomas Phillip Weddell, later Earl de Grey, inherited Wrest, having already spent much time there as a young man demonstrating his early abilities as an amateur architect in the design of the North and South Lodges at Silsoe in 1826 (both listed Grade II).

Although he had great respect for the gardens this did not extend to the house, which he demolished. The present house was constructed approximately 200m north of the old house in 1834-9 by the Earl with the assistance of James Clephan. The stable buildings to the east (listed Grade II) and the walled gardens (listed Grade II) to the west were also added between 1834 and 1839. The site of the former house was laid out to include the present parterres and south lawns. The Earl's appreciation of the existing garden’s qualities meant that little else was done to diminish its former appearance. In 1856 'le Petit Trianon' was built for his children and in 1857 an 'American Garden' was laid out north of the bowling green.

The South Lodge forms a group with the North Lodge.

Reasons for Listing

The South Lodge and adjoining screen forming part of the Silsoe entrance to Wrest Park is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Design: the lodge and the attached wrought iron screen were designed to form part of the group of structures marking the principal entrance to the Wrest Park landscape;
* Architectural interest: the building is part of the earliest representation of the French Grand Manner style which was to be repeated at a much larger scale in the later development of Wrest Park House and its stable block;
* Historic interest: the building was designed by the future Earl de Grey who was to be directly involved in the design of the new mansion and its associated garden landscapes;
* Group Value: the Lodge makes an important contribution to the ensemble of buildings and structures forming the principal C19 entrance to the Wrest Park estate.

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