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Former Stable Block immediately east of Wrest Park House

A Grade II Listed Building in Silsoe, Central Bedfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0083 / 52°0'29"N

Longitude: -0.4099 / 0°24'35"W

OS Eastings: 509235

OS Northings: 235623

OS Grid: TL092356

Mapcode National: GBR G3S.54P

Mapcode Global: VHFQV.VS49

Entry Name: Former Stable Block immediately east of Wrest Park House

Listing Date: 10 January 1985

Last Amended: 18 May 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1311475

English Heritage Legacy ID: 37711

Location: Silsoe, Central Bedfordshire, MK45

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Silsoe

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Silsoe

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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Summary

The former stable block to Wrest Park House, now offices and service buildings. 1834-39, with mid-C20 remodelling and alterations. By Thomas Philip Weddell, Earl de Grey, assisted by James Clephan, architect, acting as Clerk of Works.

Description

MATERIALS: yellow brick with stone dressings and slate coverings to mansard and hipped roofs.

PLAN: symmetrical courtyard plan, U-shaped with subsiduary extensions to the east and west wings,the plan somewhat disrupted by later extensions.

EXTERIOR: the stable block is two-storeyed and comprises the west, north and east sides of the stable courtyard. The principal north elevation has a pair of mansard-roofed pavilions which flank the the central carriage entrance. This has a segmental arch with moulded decoration to the head, and double doors with moulded panels. Above is a moulded cornice and a shallow stepped parapet. The flanking two-storeyed ranges have inserted C20 casement windows below plain concrete lintels, as has the altered mansard roof extending between the taller end pavilions. These have advanced banded brickwork to the corners in imitation of rusticated quoins, segmental headed blind and glazed window openings, a deep storey band course and a moulded cornice. The courtyard elevation to the main north range has a slightly advanced three-bay section housing the inner portal and three-bay flanking ranges to the east and west. Seven-bay wings to the north range form the east and west sides of the courtyard, and these in turn have five-bay return ranges, each with a slightly advanced central bay. The main courtyard elevations have door and window openings set beneath shallow segmental arches. The upper floor window frames are set within the brick infilling of taller openings which terminate at a narrow storey band. The former ground floor stable doorways have rectangular overlights and flanking windows originally fitted with small-paned cast iron frames. These survive at ground floor level in the east elevation of the west range, and the south elevation of the return range to the east wing. Throughout the remaining parts of the complex, door and window frames have been replaced with late C20 components, and some openings have been adapted to receive narrower frames. The five-bay south elevations of the return have wide segmental arches in which door and window openings, some altered, are set within infill brickwork.

INTERIOR: there are no surviving stable interiors, as the interior of the building has been progressively converted to office use since the mid-C20. There have been significant alterations to the original plan form of the stable range which is reflected in the changes to the external elevations, and the addition of many new window openings throughout the complex.

History

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 added between 1834 and 1839. The Stable Block forms a group with Wrest Park (Grade I) the walled garden (Grade II) and the former brewhouse (Grade II).

Reasons for Listing

The Former Stable Block at Wrest Park is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: the building was designed to complement the setting of Wrest Park, and its architectural detailing reflects that of the main house.
* Historic interest: the stable block formed an important part of the ensemble of mansion, service ranges, gardens and garden structures developed by the Earl de Grey between 1834 and 1839.

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