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Mentmore Towers

A Grade I Listed Building in Mentmore, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.8682 / 51°52'5"N

Longitude: -0.6906 / 0°41'26"W

OS Eastings: 490251

OS Northings: 219659

OS Grid: SP902196

Mapcode National: GBR F3N.S81

Mapcode Global: VHDV0.Z98N

Entry Name: Mentmore Towers

Listing Date: 26 September 1951

Last Amended: 15 October 1984

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1117863

English Heritage Legacy ID: 42105

Location: Mentmore, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, LU7

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Aylesbury Vale

Civil Parish: Mentmore

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Cheddington with Mentmore

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text


4/120 Mentmore Towers
(formerly listed as Mentmore House)


Formerly a country house, now the British Seat of the World
Government of the Age of Enlightenment. Built 1852-4 by Sir Joseph
Paxton and G.H. Stokes for Baron Mayer Amschel de Rothschild.
Ancaster ashlar, flat lead roofs. In the Jacobethan style, much
influenced by Wollaton Hall. Main block of 2 storeys is almost
square in plan with projecting 3-storey corner towers and single storey
wings flanking entrance courtyard. Right wing masks service court to
north. Main block is articulated by entablatures and pairs of lugged
pilasters on plinths: ground floor is Doric with triglyph entablature;
first floor is Ionic and has plinths with cartouches. Balustraded
parapet with stone urns on plinths and, on N.E. side, a central scrolled
gable with broken segmental pediment, clock and flanking obelisks.
Towers have Corinthian pilasters on plinths with cartouches, entablatures
with carved heads, and scrolled gables with small pediments, central
open roundels, heraldic lion finials and corner obelisks. Groups of round
stone chimney shafts with panelled capitals and linked cornice heads.
Stone mullion windows with double transoms. N.E. front has 5-light
windows in outer bays, and slightly projecting centrepiece with 2-light
windows flanking 4-light. Towers have 4-light windows or elaborate
strapwork cartouches. Central double panelled doors with large
radiating fanlight. Single storey porch has semi-circular arch to
each face with carved lion-head keystones, flanking pairs of lugged
Doric columns, and triglyph entablature with central Rothschild crest.
Flanking wings have rows of 6 arched niches, triglyph entablature and
balustraded parapet, and terminate in similar 2-storey towers to front.
Remainder is similar, the S.E. front with central heraldic crests
and cyphers dated 1851, and keyblock dated AH1878. Service wing is of
2 storeys and a basement with a single Doric order and similar
parapets, and is built around a small court with inner walls of
white brick and entrance arch to N.W. Interior: central 2-storey hall
is faced with Caen stone and has arcaded first floor gallery with
marble balustrade. Glazed ceiling with wooden ribs, plaster coving with
moulded strapwork cartouches. Ground floor of hall has large arched
doors with early examples of plate glass, and fireplace, said to
have come from Rubens' house in Antwerp, of black and white marble with
large projecting entablature hood on scrolled sheep herms. Other
ground floor rooms have heavy carved marble fireplaces with large
mirrors above, carved skirting boards and door surrounds with
panelled doors. Rooms in S.E. range have plaster ceilings with gilt Rococo
decoration, some C18 imported from France. Dining room has very fine
C18 boiseries and gilt ceiling from the Hotel de Villars, Paris, with
C18 Genoese velvet in some panels and paintings by Van Loo over the
mirrors. Small room to right of entrance front also has C18 french panelling
with overdoors by Boucher. Stairwell is of Caen stone with Jacobethan
plaster ceiling; single lower flight and double upper flights of stairs
with marble balustrades. First floor has suites of bedrooms, also
with marble fireplaces, and with bathroom fittings adapted from C18
french commodes. His Lordship's Room has plaster gilt Rococo ceiling.
Mentmore is also notable as one of the earliest houses to have a hot
water and central heating system.
(SAVE Britain's Heritage, Mentmore for the Nation, 1977)

Listing NGR: SP9025119659

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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