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Latitude: 51.4635 / 51°27'48"N
Longitude: -0.2085 / 0°12'30"W
OS Eastings: 524545
OS Northings: 175354
OS Grid: TQ245753
Mapcode National: GBR CC.D42
Mapcode Global: VHGR4.BGMZ
Plus Code: 9C3XFQ7R+9H
Entry Name: Thornhill House, including gates, gate piers and urns
Listing Date: 16 March 2004
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1390837
English Heritage Legacy ID: 491218
Location: Wandsworth, London, SW15
Electoral Ward/Division: Thamesfield
Built-Up Area: Wandsworth
Traditional County: Surrey
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London
Church of England Parish: Putney
Church of England Diocese: Southwark
78, Thornhill House, including gates, gate piers and urns
Private house. c.1890 by a Mr Wakefield, a Kensington builder, incorporating elements from the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries brought by him from Wandsworth Manor, a late C17 house much remodelled c.1720 and demolished in 1890.
Stock brick with red brick dressings, over rendered basement. Late C20 mansard roofs to rebuilt attic storey. Rectangular plan with conservatories added to garden elevation; end stacks. Two storeys, basement and attics. Ground floor with gated carriageway giving access formerly to builder's yard, now to buildings in separate ownership at rear.
Front elevation has a central door reached up steps raised over area. Porch of c.1700 with Corinthian columns and dentiled cornice. 1890s double doors under decorative eighteenth-century fanlight. Windows have four-pane sashes under gauged brick heads with tuck pointing and keystones; grilles and aprons to ground floor windows to those on the first floor save that over porch. Bands at upper, middle and sill level and between floors. High, partly rebuilt parapet conceals attic floor save where a roundel admits light to a window set behind. Raised brick panels to either side. Decorative tile panel over carriage arch, which has tuck pointing and keystone, and a second gauged head and keystone in the band above.
Garden front: first floor with deep staircase sash window, and smaller casements to either side. Blocked feature over carriage arch. 1890s conservatory on first floor has C20 roof.
Interior: entrance hall with fine raised and fielded panelling with box cornices and sills. Eared timber fireplace surround with pedimented overmantel and tiled grate. Doors lead to rear room, with elegant gesso mouldings. To side, the ceiling is rather lower, and incorporates a painting, early C18, said to be of Anne, Princess of Denmark, being informed that she has become Queen of England. To the rear of this floor, the Conservatory incorporates marble dado panelling and flooring believed to come from the Tivoli Theatre, Strand, rebuilt in the 1920s; delicate stained glass panels and wall sconces. Originally an open winter garden, this room was roofed in the late twentieth century.
The staircase to the first floor, reached through a round-arched opening perhaps taken from the entrance hall screen of the original house, is a magnificent example of a decorative staircase dating from around 1720. It has an open string and three balusters carved with barleysugar twists and knops per tread. Decorative tread ends, but the treads themselves were cut down or replaced to fit the available space. Ramped handrail ending in a twist of columns at the bottom. The staircase also features more paintings, of the same manner as that in the hall, with cupids, horses, a lion and fawns celebrating a magisterial female figure, set in a roundel, and with a smaller portrait roundel of a lady in more conventional late C17 dress. Giant pilasters frame the window, and more carving has been brought in to frame the smaller paintings on the lower stair. The first floor has one room of interest, that to the front which has reused moulded panelling forming cupboards, an early C19 fireplace and 1930s wall sconces.
The stairs to the lower ground floor or basement are late C19, but alongside is a section of C17 panelling. The front basement room has raised and fielded panelling with a dado rail and box cornice, fireplace and overmantel, again with 1930s sconces. Rear basement has old fragments, including former window shutters, forming cupboard doors set either side of C17 fireplace with overmantel formed of many fragments, that in centre dated 1673, and c.1800 grate. There are thus two wholly panelled rooms and two partly panelled rooms, plus the staircase and upper conservatory that are of special interest. The other rooms, including the roof extension and lower conservatory, are entirely late C20-early C21 in design, and are not of special interest.
To the front are four eighteenth-century rusticated stone gatepiers with capitals and acorn finials, the central two with cast-iron gates and overthrow of the 1890s. Behind these are two further piers with urns, rendered, which give on to the steps. Pier to left serves carriageway, which is separated by cast-iron ornamental railings from the entrance to the house.
The Victoria County History records that the Manor House was built on the summit of East Hill, Wandsworth, probably in about 1670 for a Low Country refugee, Peter Paggen, who occupied the house until his death in 1720. He is buried in the Mount Nod Cemetery nearby. A large number of Huguenot refugees settled in Wandsworth at around this time. Its site is not one of the four medieval manors of Wandsworth, but the very grandeur of the house earned it the name. The painting in the hall of the present house has the initials P K P for Peter and his wife Katherine. The original house was long attributed to Christopher Wren, an attribution questioned in 1889 when it was visited by the Surrey Archaeological Society. The paintings have long been attributed similarly to James Thornhill, who has given his name to the present house.
Mr Wakefield was advised to move to Putney for his health, just as Wandsworth Manor was being demolished. He reinstalled large quantities of fine panelling, a sumptuous staircase and fine wallpaintings, to create a cornucopia of exceptional quality that gains further from having a common, known provenence. The house also gains some added interest from the sconces and other decoration added by Norris Wakefield, his grandson, who worked with Edward James at Monkton in the 1930s.
S W Kershaw, The Manor House, Wandsworth, London, Rowoorth and Co., 1890
Victoria History of the County of Surrey, vol.4, 1912, p.109.
The Spectator, 20/27 December 1986, p.49
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