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North Lodge and adjoining screen at Silsoe entrance to Wrest Park

A Grade II Listed Building in Silsoe, Central Bedfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0086 / 52°0'30"N

Longitude: -0.4224 / 0°25'20"W

OS Eastings: 508381

OS Northings: 235637

OS Grid: TL083356

Mapcode National: GBR G3S.219

Mapcode Global: VHFQV.MSK2

Entry Name: North 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: 1158227

English Heritage Legacy ID: 37691

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, attached screen, rear boundary wall and outbuilding, built in 1826, with late C20 alterations. By Thomas Phillip Weddell, the future 2nd Earl de Grey for his aunt, the Countess de Grey. C19 French Grand Design style.


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

PLAN: a small-scale square plan of one storey and attics above a basement, designed, with South Lodge (listed at Grade II) to define the main entrance to Wrest Park.

EXTERIOR. the lodge has rusticated quoins, a moulded eaves cornice and a low rendered brick chimney to the centre of the roof. Each 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.

INTERIOR: the interior has been altered with a kitchen now formed from the basement but retaining much evidence of the original plan. There are panelled doors, a panelled stair screen and original dog grates. The basement retains an arched recess now incorporated within the modern kitchen and a vaulted cellar passage.

Attached to the south-west corner of the lodge is a wrought iron screen, about 5m long and 2m 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. To the rear of the house, extending from the north-east corner is an attached stone boundary wall with a pair of plain piers flanking a shallow arch-headed dooorway to the rear yard at the south end, and a matching pair of piers at the north end. Attached to the rear of this section is a low garden outbuilding with a tile-covered hipped roof.


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 two lodges at Silsoe in 1826 (both 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 (Grade II) and the walled gardens (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 North Lodge forms a group with the South Lodge.

Reasons for Listing

The North Lodge at the Silsoe entrance to Wrest Park is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Design: The lodge and the attached screen, boundary wall and garden outbuilding and its screen wall 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 2nd Earl de Grey who was to be directly involved in the design of the new mansion and its associated garden landscapes;
* Group Value: For its contribution to the ensemble of buildings and structures forming the principal C19 entrance to the Wrest Park estate.

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