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Latitude: 51.6288 / 51°37'43"N
Longitude: -2.8942 / 2°53'38"W
OS Eastings: 338204
OS Northings: 192594
OS Grid: ST382925
Mapcode National: GBR JB.8LQ1
Mapcode Global: VH7B7.SBB7
Entry Name: Kemeys Manor
Listing Date: 1 March 1963
Last Amended: 19 December 1995
Source ID: 2916
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Set on the E side of the A449. Located on the W slope of the steep escarpement of Kemeys Graig, immediately to the S of the A449. Set at the end of a long private drive overlooking the River Usk on a
Locality: Kemeys Inferior
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
C13 origins when Edward Kemeys, Lord of the Manor, settled at Kemeys Greig. Extended during the C16 and occupied continuously by the Kemeys family until 1700 when George Kemeys, builder of Kemeys Folly, sold the house and farm. During these four centuries the Kemeys family married into some of the most prestigious families in the County, including; Lewis of St Pierre, Lewis of Van, Cecil, Lewis and Jones (Herbert).
Substantial Tudor manorhouse with later C16 and C17 accretions including a mid C17 steeply pitched, hipped roof. The house consists of an early/mid C16 tower house to the NE with hall and parlour wing with porch, probably dating from 1580. The addition of the storeroom to the NE was carried out c1600. A further parlour range was added to the SE c1600-1620. Three storey house, sandstone, rubble elevations, roughly coursed with some dressed sandstone quoins, window dressings and doorways. Hipped and slated roof with overhanging boarded eaves. Two sets of four, diagonally set, shafted chimneys to S end, two further axial stacks to hall and two matching to NE range. Many surviving windows, with sunk chamfered mullions, sunk spandrels, hoodmoulds with a variety of decorative label stops. Front (W) elevation is five bays wide, with a three storey, gabled, asymmetric porch of two phases of construction. Stone coping and slated roof. Four-centred doorway with sunk spandrels within porch. Original window openings to W elevation with some later restoration. Windows on two floors; ground floor windows light hall. Garden (S elevation) clearly shows the chronological development with a change in the masonry, being cruder to the left hand side. Windows on three elevations, aligned, but not symmetrical, many original. Small attic windows set under projecting eaves. Rear (E) elevation has two projecting wings to S and N ends. Wing to S has modern timber mullion and transomed windows to all floors, excepts for two-light, ovolo-moulded window to ground floor. The rear of the main range has a further two breaks in the style of masonry. The left hand side has a two-light and a three-light mullioned window. To the right hand side are modern casements to first and second floor. To ground floor is a lean-to extension with slated roof with two stone, four-light, ovolo-moulded, mullion and transomed windows; to the left of these is a wide four-centred dressed stone doorway. To the N is a lower one and a half storey range with further ovolo-moulded, two-light stone window on the S elevation and a second two-light window with sunk chamfered mullion on the E elevation.
Entered on the W side through the porch, via inner four-centred doorway with
narrow round-headed stone doorway on the left hand side. The hall has two fireplaces, to the N the fire has a timber bressumer, with dressed stone jambs and stops, heavily eroded, to the S is a rebuilt fire, with voussoired arch. Above is a stone plaque dated 1623 depicting George Kemeys an hourglass and the Kemeys coat-of-arms and the motto (in Welsh) "when the wind stops so does time". Some exposed beams of irregular width in a coffered design to the ceiling. On the W wall, to the right of the entrance is a mural stair leading up to a room above the porch and onto the second floor and attic. To the SW of the hall is the parlour which has a dressed stone fireplace with diagonal stops. Adjacent to this is the second parlour which has a fine Carolean moulded plaster ceiling, with a deeply moulded wreath of fruit and flowers enclosing a central floral motif, itself surrounded by a geometric ribbed design, with plain moulded cornice and frieze. On the W wall is a small fire with rubble jambs. To the NE corner of the hall is a well-type staircase with moulded treads and some replaced balusters, moulded oak handrail. The strings of the stair have the remnants of decorative plasterwork of figures entwined in foliage rising up the staircase. On the S side of the first floor landing are three doorways of two panels with applied mitred mouldings forming lozenges. Between and above these doorways is deeply moulded plasterwork depicting Solomonic columns flanking the central doorway with ivy, vines and fruits entwined, topped with angels heads in an attitude of prayer, with Tudor roses above. To each side are oval wreaths (similar to those in the parlour below) above the two outer doorways with angels heads in the centre. At the outer four corners of the wreath are further angels heads. (It has been suggested that these may depict the members of the Kemeys family). The roof was reconstructed in 1961.
Listed grade II* as a well-preserved C16 manorhouse with later alterations, and with fine plasterwork from the mid C17.
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