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Gumley House gumley House (Convent)

A Grade II* Listed Building in Isleworth, London

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Latitude: 51.4695 / 51°28'10"N

Longitude: -0.329 / 0°19'44"W

OS Eastings: 516160

OS Northings: 175830

OS Grid: TQ161758

Mapcode National: GBR 6B.5QR

Mapcode Global: VHGR2.7BX9

Entry Name: Gumley House gumley House (Convent)

Listing Date: 15 June 1951

Last Amended: 21 May 1973

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1261056

English Heritage Legacy ID: 438721

Location: Hounslow, London, TW7

County: London

District: Hounslow

Electoral Ward/Division: Isleworth

Built-Up Area: Hounslow

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St John the Baptist with St Mary the Virgin, Isleworth

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

Gumley House (Convent)
Gumley House


Gumley House

Detached house, now convent, with school additions. C1700, with c1721 additions; much extended c1841-63. Original builder unknown; c1721 alterations by James Gibbs. Brown brick with red brick dressings, stone door surrounds and colonnades, slate roof. Two and three storeys over basement.
PLAN: Original house at centre originally with single storey, two bay wings to either side, extended in c1721 by a further two bays with nine-bay colonnades, projecting at right angles to flank the forecourt. Mid-19th century service wings to
EXTERIOR: central part comprises a five-bay front with heavy moulded cornice. Segmental arched door within stone surround, with scrolled consoles carrying hood; segmental arched window openings, 4/4-pane sashes, with aprons and gauged brick arches; plat band at first floor level. Three bay attic with 2/2-pane sashes, pediment carried on triglyphs to centre. Two bay ground floor wings with 4/4-pane sashes, with large mid-19th century upper floors in matching style, five bays to south, three to north. To north, nine-bay colonnade of stone Doric columns above a flagged walkway, mid-19th century service range behind with cast iron Gothic window frames at east end near entrance. To south, colonnade is open for western five bays, rest is blind; later 19th century kitchen block behind. Southern flank with advanced centre of mid-19th century date. Garden (west) front is similar to the entrance front, but with symmetrical four-bay wings to either side, raised in the mid-19th century, above the two-phased ground floor; basement openings to each bay. The central opening, with stone surround with hood, is glazed as a sliding 2/6-pane window, allowing access to the garden. To the north-west is a large five-bay, three-storey range of 1863, formerly with a chapel on the ground floor, with classrooms and a dormitory above (subsequently altered into school rooms): south side of link to main house has a blind arch in gauged red brick at first floor level beneath a mullioned sash window, and with a blind panel at the upper level containing an I.H.S. monogram in copper.
INTERIOR: The early 18th century interiors survive largely intact and are of very high interest, particularly on account of the extent of joinery, chimneypieces, and planning. Entrance hall: black and white marble floor with octagonal feature; full-height fielded panelling with pilasters, box cornice; fireplace surround of Delft tiles, within a veined grey marble setting. Open-string oak staircase with carved tread ends and undersides, carried on a fluted column; upswept handrails carried on turned balusters, three per tread, in the form of tapering columns flanked by spirals. Enfilade passage along eastern side of house, rooms all face onto the garden. Ground floor rooms comprise a suite of chambers and closets, retaining much fielded panelling and original marble fireplace surrounds; the endmost rooms appear to have been slightly later additions (perhaps of c.1721) but are fitted out in a matching style. Some evidence of 19th century alterations to fireplaces. Secondary stairs, closed string with twisted balusters, to north of entrance hall lead down to cellar (which retains some brick vaults, stone flags, panelled doors) and up to the attic. Upper part of stairwell has a coved ceiling: 19th-century accounts report that this was originally painted with a mythological scene ascribed to Kneller. Landing along north side, leading to mid-19th century arched double doors to central room, which has been enlarged by the throwing together of a chamber and closet. Attic with four panelled rooms, that to the NE with wainscot panelling.
HISTORY: Gumley house was first built for John Gumley (c.1670-1728/9), a cabinet-maker and sometime MP, best known as a manufacturer of looking glasses. James Gibbs is known to have worked here, probably in 1721: the colonnades are almost certainly to his designs, and the pediment feature to the attic is in Gibbs's style too. Gumley was succeeded by his daughter, wife to the Whig politician William Pulteney, later Earl of Bath, who lived here also. Later distinguished residents included General (later Viscount) Gerard Lake, a celebrated commander in America and India. The house was bought in 1841 by Mme de Bonnault d'Houet, foundress in 1837 of the Catholic order of the Faithful Companions of Jesus: she founded two schools here, and carried out extensive alterations, as well as building the chapel extension of 1863l; the school ceased to taker boarders in 1968, whereupon major alterations were carried out to school buildings in the grounds. Internal works were carried out in 1994 by Austin Winkley, architect, including a new north stair. Gumley House is a fine example of a smaller scale Baroque house of substance, located in this much sought-after suburban setting. Gibbs's involvement is of note: the colonnades are unusual in their own right. The house retains a fine sequence of interiors: this particularly apt, given Gumley's work as a cabinet-maker of some eminence; some of his mirrors remain at near-by Hampton Court Palace. The extensive early Victorian additions are in keeping with the initial phases, which remain readily indentifiable, and reflect the interesting Roman Catholic period of the house's history.

SOURCES: Jon Lowe, 'Historic Cellar Mary Anthiny Buildings Gumley House Isleworth London' (archaeological report, CgMs Consulting, 2001); Teresa White and Patricia Mabey, 'Gumley House Convent FCJ A Short History' (1991); Terry Friedman, 'James Gibbs' (1984), 316; 'Victoria County History. Middlesex' vol III (1962), 91-92.

Listing NGR: TQ1616375830

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

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