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Latitude: 51.8907 / 51°53'26"N
Longitude: -2.077 / 2°4'37"W
OS Eastings: 394797
OS Northings: 221348
OS Grid: SO947213
Mapcode National: GBR 2MB.HP1
Mapcode Global: VH947.YQBZ
Entry Name: Thirlestaine House (Cheltenham College) with Attached Railings and 2 Lamp Posts
Listing Date: 12 March 1955
Last Amended: 26 November 1998
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1386724
English Heritage Legacy ID: 474120
Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53
Electoral Ward/Division: College
Built-Up Area: Cheltenham
Traditional County: Gloucestershire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire
Church of England Parish: Cheltenham St Luke and St John
Church of England Diocese: Gloucester
SO9421SE BATH ROAD
630-1/23/178 (South East side)
Thirlestaine House (Cheltenham
College) with attached railings and
2 lamp posts
(Formerly Listed as:
Thirlestaine House and Stable block
at Thirlestaine House (now cottages
House and gallery, now school, with attached railings and 2
lamp posts to rear. Central portion built in 1823 (date over
entrance) by JR Scott for himself. Cost »70,000-»80,000. Wing
to left added in 1840 by Lord Northwick as a Picture Gallery
to house his famous collection of paintings. Ashlar over brick
with slate roof. Neo-Classical style.
EXTERIOR: NW elevation has main range of 2 storeys with 9
first-floor windows, between single-tall-storey wings with
projecting end ranges to either side. Main range: stepped
plinth surmounted by Doric pilasters through 2 floors;
crowning frieze, architrave and cornice continues around
building. Central giant portico with 4 fluted Ionic columns
and pediment. First floor has 6/6 sashes in tooled
architraves; ground floor has tall 1/1 sashes in tooled
architraves with cornices; all in plain reveals and with
sills. Entrance: steps to central C20 double glazed doors,
surround has cornice on consoles.
Wings joined to main range by convex block with niches to left
and block with 2 sculpted panels to right. Plinth with
horizontal rustication. To left, wing has 6/6 sashes with
tooled architraves and cornices; upper-stage band, above which
are panels of sculpted reliefs. SE side has central Ionic
porte-cochere to breakforward with engaged full-height Doric
pillars in antis; entablature surmounted by parapet to centre.
6/6 sashes where original, all in tooled architraves, those to
ground floor have frieze and cornice.
Returns have panels of relief decoration copied from the
INTERIOR: entrance hall with full Ionic order (modelled on
Temple of Dionysus at Teos) and deeply coved ceiling,
ornamented with rosettes, coved ceiling with ornamental
plasterwork, sculptured plaque of Antinous set above saloon
doorway. Saloon (to centre, front) has architraves to windows
with pilasters; deep acanthus moulding to cornice; 2 grey
marble fireplaces; 2-panel doors with guilloche moulding in
pilastered architraves. Rectangular open-well staircase with
bronze and iron balustrade with elongated-S balusters
ornamented with acanthus and wreathed handrail. Attic features
applied with unusual deftness. Gallery has 2 sculpted friezes
of horsemen copied from the Parthenon, Athens; deep cornice
has acanthus leaves and egg-and-dart moulding, deep coving to
full-length raised roof with windows to sides providing top
lighting and ceiling roses; entrances to each end have double,
panelled doors with pilasters to sides and round-arched blind
fanlights, in tooled architraves; black marble fireplace has
scrolls to sides. Gallery leads to circular print room and
library, retaining fitted bookshelves with inlay and guilloche
moulding; cornice has decorative plasterwork with guilloche,
acanthus and palm fronds, domed roof has scalloped panes to
central skylight; niche for a statue; shelves for urns or
busts over doors. Panelled shutters have guilloche moulding;
skirting boards have Greek key motif. Other details in the
house are reputed to follow those at Ragley Hall in
Warwickshire, and are all executed to an outstanding quality.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: railings with central bobbins adjoin rear
porte-cochere for approx 8m to each side extending to lamp
posts with barleytwist columns on lion tripod bases.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Erected by Scott, it was purchased whilst
unfinished on the death of the owner by Lord Northwick, who
completed the house and added the picture gallery, later open
to the public. Rowe called it 'by far the noblest private
mansion of which Cheltenham can boast'.
Thirlestaine House represents the apogee of the Cheltenham
villa and is the only surviving example of the grand villa
within the town which compares well to the most outstanding
examples of this type throughout the country. Its internal
decoration is particularly notable for its diversity and
quality, no doubt providing models for some of the more
ambitious villas in the town (eg No.83 Pittville Lawn (qv) and
Thirlestaine House, Thirlestaine Road (qv)).
Forms a good group with Thirlestaine House Cottages (qv),
South boundary wall of Thirlestaine House with garden feature,
Kew Place (qv) and Garden Lodge, North boundary wall and Pier
to Thirlestaine House, Thirlestaine Road (qv).
(The Buildings of England: Verey D: Gloucestershire: The Vale
and The Forest of Dean: London: 1992-: 135-6; Rowe G:
Illustrated Cheltenham Guide: Cheltenham: 1850-1969: 78-9;
Sampson A and Blake S: A Cheltenham Companion: Cheltenham:
1993-: 26; Little B: Cheltenham: London: 1952-: 64-5).
Listing NGR: SO9479721348
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