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Latitude: 51.8092 / 51°48'33"N
Longitude: -4.8105 / 4°48'37"W
OS Eastings: 206345
OS Northings: 216020
OS Grid: SN063160
Mapcode National: GBR CS.X9F7
Mapcode Global: VH2NY.KSQF
Entry Name: Ridgeway
Listing Date: 21 June 1971
Last Amended: 11 August 1997
Source ID: 6073
Building Class: Domestic
Location: 1 km N of Canaston Bridge, to the W of the minor road to Llawhaden
Community: Llawhaden (Llanhuadain)
Traditional County: Pembrokeshire
The estate of Ridgeway originated in a grant from the Bishop of St David's to John Fawle, constable of Llawhaden Castle in the late C14. Traditionally the name by which the house and estate were known was Lletherston; but evidence of deeds shows that the name Ridgeway has been used since the late C17. The present C18 house incorporates an older building, which lies to the NW as a rear wing. Apart from the thickness of the walls and a very large chimney, there is no feature indicative of the date of the older part. Ridgeway appears to have constituted only a moderately substantial house in 1670, when Richard Foley was assessed for three hearths.
The core of the present house was added to the older building in the mid C18 by John Foley; the date 1752 is reported to be carved on one of the roof trusses. It was enlarged to its present form by John Herbert Foley before 1809, with the addition of two large wings projecting S. A new entrance facing E was also formed. J H Foley's widow was still there in 1833, but by 1839 a tenant farmer was in occupation. The house remained in Foley ownership or occupation until the 1950s, then was empty for some time, but is now a private nursing home.
Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton were entertained at Ridgeway; Sir Thomas Foley, son of John Foley, was a captain who distinguished himself at the Battle of the Nile.
There is a ha-ha to the front grounds which may be part of the mid-C18 improvements.
The core of the house is a well-proportioned Georgian range of three storeys, facing S. To the left and right of this two symmetrical Regency wings of two storeys have been added, projecting boldly to the S. In the space between the wings a modern sun-room has been formed. The entrance to the house is on the E side, at the flank of the right-hand Regency wing, and has an outer porch. To the NW of the house stands the earlier house, now constituting a service wing. Rendered walls generally, with hipped slated roofs of low pitch. The chimneys are rendered.
The Georgian centre of the S elevation is a range of three 16-pane sash-windows. The first storey windows are taller than those above but, curiously, slightly narrower; their outer panes are of reduced width. The Regency wings are each of one-window width on S elevation. Above the left window is a twelve-pane sash window, but the window recess in the right wing is a blank panel. Below, on both wings, there are double French windows within oval-arched recesses. There is a plat-band at upper sill level.
There is similar fenestration on the return elevations. At the E there are three sash windows left of the entrance and two French windows below. The main entrance at the right of the E elevation is fronted with a three-sided flat-roofed porch with plain arches. Above the door is a giant fanlight of Dublin type, but oddly positioned above the porch roof, where it lights the stairs landing.
The house plan is based on the longitudinal central corridor of the Georgian house, with a new main entrance formed in the side of the E Regency wing.
The Regency hallway is entered beneath the stairs landing. The lower flights are double and the upper flight single, all on the entrance axis. Timber treads and cast-iron balusters, carrying an oak handrail swept between flights without landing newels. The bottom and top newels, however, are large and very ornate. There is a dado to match the handrails, with similarly ornate half-newels. The construction of the staircase is distinctly unusual, and may possibly rely upon concealed cast-iron bearers or cantilevers (as at Robeston House).
The entrance leads to the passage of the earlier Georgian house, off which there is a surviving earlier rear staircase. This staircase continues to the second storey. Half-landing layout, small open well, and handrail in the Chinese Chippendale fashion. The newels are plain.
The drawing room has a Regency fireplace with a Victorian insert and a thin Regency ceiling cornice. The Billiard Room in the W wing (now a dining room) has an early Renaissance Flemish chimneypiece: short fluted columns with lion consoles carrying shelf; tall hood with green-man decoration; and a box-like ornament display housing centrally, all in timber.
A fine Georgian and Regency house with very good interior detailing.
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