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4 and 5 Kemble Park, and entrance arch between

A Grade II Listed Building in Kemble, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.6714 / 51°40'17"N

Longitude: -2.016 / 2°0'57"W

OS Eastings: 398992

OS Northings: 196958

OS Grid: ST989969

Mapcode National: GBR 2Q4.159

Mapcode Global: VHB2X.08L1

Entry Name: 4 and 5 Kemble Park, and entrance arch between

Listing Date: 6 April 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1444307

Location: Kemble, Cotswold, Gloucestershire, GL7

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold

Civil Parish: Kemble

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Kemble All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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Part of an C18 former coach house and stables, architect unknown; a lodge or garden house of 1837, by Peter Frederick Robinson (1776-1858); and arched entrance way between them, 1855, by Robert W Billings (1813-1874), both for Robert Gordon of Kemble House.


Part of an C18 former coach house and stables, architect unknown; a lodge or garden house of 1837, by Peter Frederick Robinson (1776-1858); and arched entrance way between them, 1855, by Robert W Billings (1813-1874), both for Robert Gordon of Kemble House.

The buildings are orientated N-S and span the former driveway to Kemble House, set to the E. 4 Kemble Park has a simple rectangular plan, with the archway incorporated and extending from its southern end; 5 Kemble Park has an irregular plan with part of the archway incorporated into its fabric.

Part of an C18 former coach house and stables, architect unknown, altered by the addition of an archway and associated elements in 1855, and converted to residential use in the mid-C20.

Limestone ashlar, part rendered, with plain tile to the roof.

The house is one half of the former stables and coach house range, single storey and attic, rendered to the W elevation and squared and coursed limestone to the E elevation, with a slightly offset stone plinth. The majority of the windows are C20 timber, mullioned and transomed to the ground floor. Both elevations have C20 raking dormers housing timber casements. The W elevation has a roughly central entrance doorway with a wide window to the left, and a square window under a small pediment in the eaves, and a stone cross window to the right; the fenestration was altered in the mid-C20 when the building was converted to residential use, and one carriage entrance was closed. The E elevation has an octagonal oriel turret to the left, extending above the roofline, with pyramidal roof, and a segmental-headed buttress below; an octagonal stack rises to the right. To the left, the abutment for the arch is built into the end of the house, with a glazed arrow slit window to the ground floor. The S gable end is crow-stepped, with a gable doorway under a flat hood on moulded brackets. The doorway gives access on to the adjoining arch, which is reached from ground level by a stone-balustraded dog-leg stair, with moulded stone capping, with quadrant arches under each element, having carved bead moulding.

The internal layout and finishes all date from the mid-C20 and later. The principal ground floor rooms have plain moulded cornice with picture rails. Two rooms have stone fireplaces, the smaller dating from the mid-C20, the other later, the latter in Tudor style. The area under the arch has been enclosed within the S end of the house, with the moulded arch springing from ground level within. The first floor has exposed roof timbers, which are pegged, A-frame trusses; the roof is ceiled above the collars. The bedroom adjacent to the arch incorporates a corner seat within the turret, and has a doorway giving access onto the top of the arch.

A lodge or garden house, built in 1837 by Peter Frederick Robinson for Robert Gordon Esq.

Limestone rubble brought to course with limestone ashlar dressings, and Cotswold stone slate roofs.

The building, which is of two storeys and attic, is in Tudor Gothic style. The windows are stone mullioned under hood moulds. The S and E gables have raised, coped verges with small ball finials and moulded kneelers. The building is set on a moulded plinth. The S elevation is of two irregular bays, that to the right gabled. A small, gabled porch with raised, coped verges and a ventilator occupies part of the left bay, with a moulded, four-centred arched doorway under a hood mould. To its right, a window has been converted to double patio doors in 2016. The first floor has a central eaves dormer, with a moulded surround and gable with kneelers and ventilator rising above the eaves. To its right is a window opening installed in 2016. The right hand, gabled bay projects slightly forward. It has a three-light stone mullioned window to the ground floor, with lozenge-pattern glazing and a similar, two-light window with plain glazing above. There are two roof lights. The S elevation has a large, square bay window, mullioned and transomed, with lozenge pattern glazing and solid stone roof with two offsets and hipped ends. A two-light stone mullioned window is set centrally above, and an inset plaque above with a blank shield and quatrefoil moulding. To the right, a large, projecting, rectangular stack with three Tudor-style chimneys, in ashlar, carved with geometric designs, with heavy caps. This adjoins the southern abutment of the adjacent arch, which has a glazed arrow slit to the small room under the arch. The N elevation has a slightly lower, projecting gabled bay with a first-floor, two-light stone mullioned window with lozenge-pattern glazing. The right return houses what is now the main entrance doorway, under a two-centred arched stone lintel. The southern end of the abutment to the arch adjoins the building at the NE corner of this gabled bay; it has a glazed arrow-slit window to light the small room within the end of the abutment which forms part of the house. The N gable end has a timber casement window to the ground floor, and a two-light, stone mullioned example with hood mould above. The gable has moulded kneelers.

The interior has been entirely remodelled in the early C21. The ground floor principal rooms have been opened up into a single space, and a modern limed oak stair with glazed balustrade inserted on the N side. A new stone fireplace, in Tudor Gothic style, was added in 2016 to replace a 1950s example. The area under the arch has been enclosed within the S end of the house, with the moulded arch springing from ground level within. The first floor has been remodelled, and the attic has been converted to accommodation. The exposed parts of the roof structure - principal rafters and purlins - are of mid-C19 date, some with carpenters' marks.

The archway, built in 1855 to designs by Robert Billings for Robert Gordon Esq, is built of limestone ashlar, with squared and coursed limestone to the abutments, and limestone dressings. The archway is in three parts: the outer walls, and a central, semi-circular moulded arch springing from ground level between them, the ends of this central arch incorporated within the houses at either end. The faces of the arch are similar: a straight-sided, segmental arched opening, with moulded bead edges, with a segmental-arched overthrow with moulded coping and a parapet, with similar moulded coping, which breaks upward, with a carved cipher at the centre. A segmental arched drip moulding with circular boss terminals is set on either side. The W face has a carved cipher for 1855 at the centre, and bosses are carved with ciphers for the architect, Robert Billings (RWB, incorporating a set of dividers) and RG, for the patron, Robert Gordon. To the E side, the central cipher is for GORDON, and those to either side for Elizabeth Anne Gordon, and Anna Gordon.


Kemble House, for which 4 and 5 Kemble Park and the archway were constructed, dates originally from the C17, and was probably built for Henry Poole (1564-1632), a Member of Parliament for various constituencies throughout his career, Justice of the Peace for Wiltshire from circa 1590, and High Sheriff of Wiltshire in 1619-20. In the 1590s, he fought a protracted battle with neighbouring landowner Sir Henry Knyvet, the leader of a puritanical faction amongst Wiltshire gentry, over his legitimacy as the heir to the manor of Kemble, a battle which only ended with Knyvet’s death in 1598.

The estate was later sold to Sir Robert Westley (1754-1806), and thence passed by inheritance. Robert ‘Bum’ Gordon (1786-1864), heir to plantations in Jamaica, came to Kemble in 1809 after marrying Elizabeth Anne Coxe, who had recently inherited the estate, ushering in a period of change and improvement at Kemble. By all accounts a forceful and bombastic character who opposed tax rises and supported slavery, Gordon was Member of Parliament consecutively for Wareham (1812-18), Cricklade (1818-37) and New Windsor (1837-41), holding various offices in parliament during this time, and serving as Sheriff of Gloucestershire 1811-12. During the 1830s, Gordon employed the architect Peter Frederick Robinson (1776-1858), later Vice-President of the Institute of British Architects, who worked on or wholly designed several country houses, public buildings and park and garden structures. Robinson also published books of designs including those for farm buildings, lodges and park entrances, ornamental villas and domestic architecture, as well as a five-part continuation of Colen Campbell’s ‘Vitruvius Britannicus’. Robinson was engaged to work on the garden at Kemble House, and designed the ‘garden house’ which is the cottage now known as 5 Kemble Park; it was published in Robinson’s Designs for Ornamental Villas in 1838, where the architect states that it had been built the previous year for Robert Gordon Esq. Robinson published, in the same volume, a design for an extensive remodelling or rebuilding of the C17 Kemble House, indicating that it was yet to be carried out. Gordon clearly decided against Robinson’s design, as it was not executed. Robinson was a great admirer of the Elizabethan Gothic style, and this is likely to have influenced his choice of the Tudor Gothic style for the garden house at Kemble; it had close affinity with the local vernacular style of building and was well suited to the ubiquitous local limestone.

In about 1850-5, Robert Gordon engaged Robert William Billings (1813-1874) as architect, and proceeded to greatly extend and alter the C17 house. The work, which included the addition of a large, new N wing with a grand entrance hall to the E, also involved the reglazing of the entire house with the lozenge-patterned casements which unified the old and new work, and were replicated in the garden house. Billings, who had begun his career as an architectural illustrator, appears to have started in practice as an architect in independent practice with his work at Kemble House; and although based in London, he worked primarily in Scotland. The elaborate gateway with stone overthrow, incorporating carved ciphers for the architect’s and patron’s names, and a date of 1855, was built to the E of the house, providing a formal approach to the new entrance; the archway was built at either end into the fabric of the existing buildings: to the N, the former C18 stables and coach house range – which was provided with a first-floor, oriel turret and crow-stepped gable alongside the archway - and to the S, Peter Robinson’s garden house.

The buildings remained in the ownership of Kemble House until about the middle of the C20, when the estate was sold out of the family ownership, and the house significantly altered and reorientated, with a new drive and entrance laid out at what was formerly the rear of the house. The former stables and coach house range was divided into two and converted wholly to residential use; the southern end, and most of the arch, form a single property, with the remainder of the arch belonging to the former garden house, now 5 Kemble Park. 5 Kemble Park, which was previously used as an estate office, has recently (early C21) undergone alterations and repairs including the opening up of the ground floor and other internal alterations.

Reasons for Listing

4 Kemble Park, formerly part of the coach house to Kemble House; 5 Kemble Park, a lodge or garden house built in 1837; and the archway between them, added in 1855, are listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the lodge or garden house by Peter Frederick Robinson, and the archway by Robert W Billings, are by recognised architects, and demonstrate good quality in architectural style, complementing the design of Kemble House, the principal building; the former coach house, altered by Billings when the archway was added, has architectural interest both as a former coach house and for the additions made by Billings;
* Group value: the buildings form a significant, historically-related group with Kemble House (listed Grade II), which they were built to serve, and with which they retain a close visual relationship.

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