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Latitude: 51.796 / 51°47'45"N
Longitude: -2.7822 / 2°46'55"W
OS Eastings: 346153
OS Northings: 211109
OS Grid: SO461111
Mapcode National: GBR FH.Y2HL
Mapcode Global: VH79J.Q4J0
Plus Code: 9C3VQ6W9+C4
Entry Name: Tre-Owen
Listing Date: 1 May 1952
Last Amended: 27 September 2001
Source ID: 2065
Building Class: Domestic
Location: About 4.5km WSW of Monmouth and 1km NNE of Dingestow church, prominently situated amidst its own parkland about ¾km N of the minor road between Dingestow and Wonastow.
Community: Mitchel Troy (Llanfihangel Troddi)
Community: Mitchel Troy
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
Tagged with: Country house
Built c.1615-27 by William Jones (great grandson of William Jones, Standard bearer to Henry VIII) after he inherited a fortune from his uncle Philip Jones, a London merchant. Porch added slightly later. Its massive proportions and double-pile plan make it "the most important early C17 house in Monmouthshire" (Pevsner & Newman). The top floor and attic of the front range were removed in the C18, having fallen into disrepair. A family home and farmhouse until 1993, it is now used for holiday letting.
Despite the mutilation of its S front (when the multi-gabled top was removed), the house is still an awe-inspiring pile. The S front and its E return are of ashlar, but the rest is all coursed rubble; with stone slate roofs to both parts. The plan is strictly rectangular, on an E-W axis facing S, over 25m long and 15m deep, divided axially by a spine wall incorporating 3 chimney stacks, plus a spiral stair at the W end. When first built both the front and rear elevations were 3½-storeyed and symmetrical, each with 4 gables, and with 3 chimney stacks rising from the valley between the roofs; and the E and W ends were twin-gabled.
The now-2-storeyed S front is 4-windowed, with string-courses linking the hoodmoulds of the windows. These are uniformly large and square, of 4 lights with a central transom, and the mullions ovolo-moulded. In the centre (slightly overlapping the windows to its right) is a 2-storey gabled porch in a florid but inaccurate Renaissance style - eloquent of the social ambitions of its builder and the artistic limitations of his mason. This has a moulded Tudor-arched doorway with (solecistic) imposts, framed by unorthodox pedestalled pairs of columns with an enriched entablature including prominent moulded cornices which carry round. Above this, the upper floor has (first) "a mantled and helmeted armorial shield with many quarterings, flanked by positively barbaric terms" (Pevsner & Newman), framed in similar fashion but on a reduced scale, including pairs of columns with shared capitals, apparently intended to be Ionic; then a transomed 3-light window, and above that a gable filled with a strapwork pattern.
The W elevation has a Tudor-arched doorway offset slightly left of centre (opening onto a lobby-entry to the main service rooms of the house), above which is a stack of four 2-light mullioned stairwindows and a 1-light window at the top (lighting a spiral staircase incorporated in the kitchen chimney stack). To right and left of these the gable-ends of the front and rear ranges each have mullioned windows of 4, 4 and 3 lights on successive floors, and the latter finishes with a 2-light attic window. As elsewhere, all these mullioned windows have hoodmoulds and ovolo-moulded mullions. Reflecting the superior status of the E end of the house, the E elevation, by contrast, has large 4-light transomed windows to the two main floors, a transomed 3-light window to the 2nd floor of the rear range and a 2-light attic window; while the rebuilt gable of the front range has a 3-light mullioned window to the 2nd floor. To the left of the main windows of the rear range are 1-light closet windows.
The rear is very regularly fenestrated, with 4 mullioned windows to each floor: of 4 lights to the first 2 levels, 3 to the third, and 2 to the attic gables. The only break in this regularity is a Tudor-arched back doorway immediately to left of the 3rd ground-floor window.
The overwhelming characterisic of the interior is its large scale, with very high ceilings to the 2 main floors and a staircase of gigantic proportions. The main features are as follows.
The ground floor of the front range reflects the sub-medieval plan of the larger vernacular farmhouse, with a hall separated from the kitchen by a service room, while the rear range provides a parlour, a staircase hall and a rear kitchen. The hall is now almost featureless, except for ceiling beams and a rear-wall fireplace, but it formerly had a screens passage at the lower end leading from the front entrance to a doorway through to the staircase. (The screen was removed to Llanarth Court in 1898, but has recently been re-acquired to be restored to its original position.) The service end partition is of stud-and-plank construction in 2 tiers, the same panelling forming a small square service room and a passage leading through to a very large kitchen, which has a large rectangular fireplace in its rear wall, and a lobby in the corner to the left providing access to an oak-block spiral stair (which rises to the full height of the building) and to a large back-kitchen. To the rear of the east end of the hall is a parlour (known as the Oak Room) which is fully wainscotted with muntin-and-rail panelling, and has a Tudor-arched fireplace with a moulded surround and a renaissance architrave with enriched overmantel, and a stapwork plaster ceiling. To the rear of the W end of the hall is the great staircase - "the earliest open well staircase in the county" (Pevsner & Newman) - which has massive newels with exorbitantly large pendants and finials, turned balusters of inverted vase form, and a very heavy moulded handrail. Above the hall, and of the same dimensions, is a great chamber (known as the Drawing Room), which has a Tudor-arched fireplace with moulded surround, and most of a moulded plaster ceiling with a large central pendant and interwoven enriched bands enclosing unusual tapering panels with cusped ends and fleur-de-lys and foliated finials. Several other rooms on both upper floors have rectangular fireplaces, but few other original features; and bathrooms (etc) have been installed in the rear range.
Listed at Grade I as the most important early C17 gentry house in Monmouthshire, with internal spaces and features of massive proportions, including a staircase of very high quality.
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