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Latitude: 51.1257 / 51°7'32"N
Longitude: 0.943 / 0°56'34"E
OS Eastings: 606032
OS Northings: 140390
OS Grid: TR060403
Mapcode National: GBR SYH.C7H
Mapcode Global: VHKKP.9YCX
Entry Name: Mersham Le Hatch
Listing Date: 13 October 1952
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1233748
English Heritage Legacy ID: 409316
Location: Mersham, Ashford, Kent, TN25
Civil Parish: Mersham
Traditional County: Kent
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent
TR 04 SE MERSHAM HYTHE ROAD
Country house. 1762-1766 interiors completed 1772, altered 1827 and
1872. Robert Adam for Sir Wyndham (and Sir Edward) Knatchbull. Red
brick with Portland stone dressings and slate roof. In plan a large
rectangular block linked by narrow, straight balustraded corridors
to rectangular flanking wings, with service court beyond to east (in
Smeeth C.P.). Entrance front: central block of two storeys, basement
and attic, with banded plinth with simple frieze and cornice parapet,
with central projecting pediment. Hipped roof with 2 pedimented dormers
(added 1827) and stacks to left and to right. Regular fenestration of
7 bays, the centre 3 projecting slightly below the pediment, glazing
bar sashes in moulded surrounds throughout, double size to ground floor
with cornices to left and right of doorcase. Double 3 panelled doors
to centre with semi-circular fanlight in pedimented Tuscan surround.
Flight of 9 moulded steps to central 3 bays, with wrought iron rails
to side walls terminating in scrolled baluster-shaped lamp stands.
Linking corridors to left and to right, 1 storey and basement, with
banded plinth carried over from main block, and cornice to balustraded
parapet. Single glazing bar sash to each flanked by semi-circular
headed niches containing statues of the seasons (draped women). Two
storey and basement end partitions with stone bands and cornice to
pyramidal roofs, with pedimented dormers to left and right returns.
Central stack. Three glazing bar sashes to each floor, Basement area
over whole front with spear head rails. Garden front: "less of a
Palladian cliche" (Newman). Because of the slope of the ground, this
elevation has a full raised basement (ie. 3 storeyed main block).
The main block projects strongly, 4 bays deep to left, 5 to right.
Seven bay front, the central 3 in full height bow, the centre on 1st
floor with pediment. Ground floor balustraded loggia with paired
Tuscan columns added 1872 by J.P. St. Aubyn, with doubled panelled
doors to centre. Corridors with 3 glazing bar sashes (2 to ground
floor with doorway) and plain rectangular 3 bay end pavilion extended
at both ends by storey height brick walls to service courtyards, the
principal one to left, with large stacks and pyramidal roofed outhouses
with louvred cupola and round headed windows, with arched entrances to
main elevation. This portion of the house is actually in Smeeth parish
and is cross-referenced in that parish. Interior: decorated 1766-
1772, the chimney pieces by Thomas Carter, (see Rupert Gunnis,)
the plasterwork by Joseph Rose. Main entrance hall (plaster ceiling
gone) with triglyph and metope cornice, double doors to staircase
hall with semi-circular fanlight and fluted pilaster doorcase with
frieze and cornice flanked by round headed niches. Large consoled
fireplaces with pedimented tabernacles over with grisaille paintings
of a Roman marriage and sacrifice by Zucchi. Typical Neo-classical
frieze and cornice to fluted panelled doors (and curtain pelmets).
Staircase: rising from basement to oval skylight in square well, with
iron balustrade carried on large sunk-panelled piers on open string
with Vitruvian scroll enrichment on tread ends, with ramped and moulded
hand rail. Ionic loggias on the top landing. Simple geometric stair
in side well, and turned baluster stairs in end pavilion. Dining room:
with wooden fire surround, lugged with consoles, with niches continuing
statuettes over dado panelling with fluted frieze. Hexagon-pattern
frieze and cornice to ceiling with simple tripartite pattern with
scalloped and palmette roses. Drawing room: more typically "Adam"
in style, designed 1772, with bowed end wall. Ionic columned fireplace
with reclining woman cornucopia and pyramid motifs on plaque. Grisaille
medallions, swagged, on walls with modillion cornice and frieze with
urns and gryphons. Ceiling with beamed compartments, scalloped ovals
and circles and anthenion and palmette enrichment. Library: carved
wooden fireplace with gryphon centre piece. Fitted shelving with
brass attachments (wyverns, urns, etc.) and other Neo-classical
enrichments. Egg and tongue cornice. Ceiling with single central
palm rose. Basement entrance hall (below drawing room) to garden:
dado rail, scroll cornice and stone beamed ceiling. Fine
panelled doors with cornices and consoles throughout, even the upper
domestic rooms with cornices and good fireplaces. Adam's first completely
new design after returning from Rome, but not much advanced on previous
and after Palladian inspired designs (possibly because of the parsimony
of Sit Wyndham and after 1763 Sir Edward Knatchbull), only the drawing
room really recognisably in the Adam style. See B.O.E. Kent, 1983,
Listing NGR: TR0603240390
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