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Canford School

A Grade I Listed Building in Merley, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

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Latitude: 50.7898 / 50°47'23"N

Longitude: -1.9538 / 1°57'13"W

OS Eastings: 403350

OS Northings: 98917

OS Grid: SZ033989

Mapcode National: GBR 435.JT9

Mapcode Global: FRA 67S0.BMS

Plus Code: 9C2WQ2QW+WF

Entry Name: Canford School

Listing Date: 14 June 1954

Last Amended: 13 September 1995

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1217460

English Heritage Legacy ID: 412431

Location: Bearwood and Merley, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, BH21

County: Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Merley

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Canford Magna

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Tagged with: English country house School building

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This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 14/12/2017


CANFORD MAGNA, (East side (off))
Canford School

(Formerly Listed as: MAGNA ROAD, Canford School)


Large country house, now boarding school. 1825-36, extended 1848-1853 and 1888, with C20 alterations. By Edward Blore. For William Ponsonby, Lord de Mauley. Partly remodelled and considerably extended 1848-1853 by Sir Charles Barry for Sir John and Lady Charlotte Guest. Altered 1873-6 by David Brandon and further extended 1888 by Romaine Walker and Tanner. Extensive C20 alterations for Canford School.

White brick in Flemish bond with Portland and Bath limestone dressings, slate roofs and white brick internal stacks. Extended courtyard plan. Tudor style with many other references. Picturesque composition chiefly of two storeys and attic with towers rising to four storeys.

EXTERIOR: entrance front to north has large, projecting four-storey porch tower to left end. This, the Victorian Tower, is Barry's chief contribution to the exterior and has square turrets to three corners, supported to front by offset angle buttresses and taller octagonal stair turret to rear left corner. Bottom stage is open on three sides to form porte-cochere; many-moulded and shafted archways with four-centred heads and blank tracery to spandrels with shields of arms in quatrefoils. Stone quadripartite vault inside with ridge ribs and tiercerons, closely based on crossing vault of Beverley Minster, but with large circular stone monogram panel instead of bell-hole to centre. Arches are surmounted by Royal arms to north side, Guest arms to east and west sides. Three-storey oriels, corbelled out over shields of arms, with battlemented parapets. Similar parapets to turrets which rise above tower roof, the stair turret higher than the rest. Square bell tower to other end of entrance front, breaking forward slightly, with Perpendicular doorway to ground floor; tall stone mullion and transom window above and a two-light window to each side of top storey with cusped Y-tracery and pointed head projecting above string course, which is continued over them as hoodmoulds. Battlemented parapet, stepping up over window heads, with heraldic beasts bearing standards to corners, enclosing ridged stone sloping base to octagonal bell turret. Fanciful double-slope roof to bell turret with tall finial and weather vane. Five-window front between towers has tall stone mullion and transom windows to ground floor, two-light stone mullion windows to first floor flanking central oriel of Bath stone, probably inserted by Brandon, and three attic gables punctuating coped parapet with one-light attic windows in chamfered stone surrounds.

Garden front to south has varied composition of full-height bay windows and higher octagonal turret with garden doorway to left of centre. Similar, somewhat smaller, turret rises to rear left of garden front range which projects beyond left side elevation. Long two-storey and one-storey and attic, former billiard room and smoking room wing, added 1888, projects to west of entrance range. The whole composition has a picturesque skyline of traceried and battlemented parapets and stone-coped attic gables around taller hall roof, which has seven-light gable windows with Perpendicular tracery and four-centred heads.

INTERIOR: long gallery has Elizabethan-style ribbed plaster ceiling, linenfold panelling and white marble Italian Renaissance-style hooded fireplace, probably installed late C19. Garden porch has similar panelling and important chimneypiece and overmantel of Biancone with some contrasting panels of deep pink veined marble, signed to bottom of overmantel Pegrassi Salesio/ di Verona/ facie 1866. Piers flanking fireplace and overmantel surround are finely carved in relief with hanging drops of game, chiefly fish and fowl. Salesio Angelo Pegrassi was employed at Kingston Lacey, where Bassy was also architect. The drops at the head of the Marble Staircase at Kingston Lacey, dated 1846, are comparable to carving at Canford.

The Headmaster's Secretary's Office, formerly Lady Charlotte's, has 3/4 panelling, doors and doorcases of fine re-used late C15 and early C16 continental carved woodwork with Flamboyant blank tracery panels, coats of arms and figures of saints. Carved wood chimneypiece and overmantel, incorporating woodwork brought from a house near Salisbury, with Ionic columns on openwork bases flanking fireplace and Corinthian columns to overmantel and upper tier dated 1625 with Royal arms of Charles I to centre flanked by round-arched panels. Columns have strapwork ornament including the double-headed eagle crest of the City of Salisbury.

Headmaster's study, formerly boudoir, has gilded plaster coved cornice and plaster ceiling in Regency-style inset with C18-style painted cartouches. Panelling and chimneypiece which belonged with this removed before sale to school.

Hall has splendid five-bay arch-braced collar truss roof, resting on carved stone corbels with ornamental arch bracing to wall plate, two tiers of arch-braced purlins and ridge piece, all with polychromatic decoration. Armorial stained glass by Hardman 1850 in west gable window. Windows are continued below transom by blank lights, filled with niches which have nodding ogee canopies and are decorated by full-length historical figures in mosaic. Renaissance-style panelling to lower walls, carved wood screen and gallery to west end in similar style. Large stone chimneypiece to centre of east wall opposite with Tudor-arched moulded fireplace opening, carved spandrels, frieze of shields in quatrefoils and ridged stone hood. Fireplace is tiled inside and has original grate with Tudor royal arms to fireback and fire-dogs of cast-iron and brass with large Tudor rose encircled by garlanded briars; possibly designed by A.W Pugin.
Library has original Renaissance-style carved wood fitted bookcases, green damask wall-hangings in poor state and original curtain pelmets. Important Louis XV chimneypiece of white marble with ormolu mounts. Fireplace opening is flanked by console terms with fine ormolu Chinese lion-dog heads. Similar consoles to sides. Ormolu decoration to flutes of consoles, fireplace opening and frieze. Possibly an original C18 piece re-used. Mid C19 cast-iron grate and curved polished cast-iron fender.

Drawing room and dining room have been dismantled. Staircase Hall has grand carved wood stair beginning in one flight and returning in two to landing gallery, with fat twisted balusters which have Corinthian capitals and bulbous acanthus feet; Renaissance-style carving to newel posts, panelling and pilasters at first-floor level and frieze they support. Pointed tunnel-vaulted ceiling divided into square panels framing rosettes and incorporating top lighting. Mosaic panels to either end of roof. Stained-glass staircase window with heraldry and figure of Queen Victoria. Fine bronze Renaissance-style candelabra to major newel posts. Open-well back staircases with scrolled flat balusters in Rococo style and carved tread ends; balusters may be C19 and re-used.

Crown Dormitory, formerly the bedroom used by the Prince of Wales when a guest at Canford, retains coroneted tester of former bed.

Canford Manor was sold by the Guest family in 1923 to become a boys' public school, Canford School.

Listing NGR: SZ0335098917

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