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Latitude: 52.3528 / 52°21'10"N
Longitude: -4.0198 / 4°1'11"W
OS Eastings: 262530
OS Northings: 274671
OS Grid: SN625746
Mapcode National: GBR 8V.SWD8
Mapcode Global: VH4FS.84Q4
Entry Name: Castle Hill
Listing Date: 21 January 1964
Last Amended: 27 October 2003
Source ID: 9841
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Situated on hillside about 500m SE of the village.
Traditional County: Cardiganshire
Country house built, according to Meyrick in 1777, after John Williams (died 1806) purchased the estate on behalf of his son John Nathaniel, then a minor. Williams was the son of Nathaniel Williams, tenant of the Abbey estate of Strata Florida and High Sheriff 1775, and nephew of William Williams of Pantseiri (Pantsheriff), Tregaron, (1698-1773), High Sheriff 1750, known as the King of the Mountains or Job of the West for his great sheep flocks. John Nathaniel Williams (died 1832) was High Sheriff in 1815. His wife, Sarah Loxdale of Kingsland, Shrewsbury, died in 1862 when the estate passed to her brother James Loxdale (1797-1890), High Sheriff in 1867, and the estate is still owned by the Loxdale family. The house was extended about 1862 with a service wing ending in an small Italianate belvedere tower. The original house is unusual in the region for the pedimented pavilion wings that flank the N front.
Marked on 1844 Tithe map with 167 acres(67.6 hectares). In 1907 said, possibly wrongly, to have 'an avenue of trees about half a mile long in the grounds, which were laid out by a well-known landscape gardener'.
Country house, squared rubble stone with slated roof and brick end stacks, left one rebuilt, right one removed c1959. Main block N front of 3 storeys and 5 bays with plain parapet and raised plinth. Plinth has small circular basement opening each side with brick voussoirs, the left one blank. Centre 6-panel door with flush panels and plain overlight flanked by equal-sized timber panels with quadrant-curved rebates to planted border moulding. Door opens onto broad platform with 4 steps each side of (possibly Grinshill) sandstone, carrying broad timber pedimented porch, possibly early C19, with Greek revival triglyphs to frieze, rosettes between dentils of cornice and curved plastered roof within. The 2 Ionic columns and 2 Ionic half-column responds are C20 replacements. Previously there were square piers, these possibly not original. Windows are later C19 horned sashes with stone voussoirs and stone sills. Each side are 2-storey wings at right angles linked to house by a narrow bay with parapets. Bay to right has sash each floor, bay to left has sash above, C20 window below, but is obscured by mid to later C20 stair extension added on E side of main block. Wings have simple pediments and ground floor 3-light Palladian windows, wing to right has renewed 8-12-8-pane sashes with radiating bars to arched head of centre light, stone voussoirs to arch, slab lintels to side lights, wing to left has Bath stone piers to triple window and plate-glass sashes, probably of c1860. First floor windows altered on both sides, to right a C20 pair of small-paned sashes, to right a C19 pair offset to left, with stone voussoirs, and a later narrow window to right, the head breaking into the pediment. Rainwater head at corner with bulls head (Loxdale) crest.
Rear of main house is roughcast with parapet and rudimentary slate cornice on square corbels. Three-window range of sashes with stone sills, the centre ones set lower as lighting stair. Four-pane sashes generally. Ground floor small door slightly offset with C19 dripstone on plain consoles. Each side of door are square bay windows probably of c1860, left one with broad French window of 2 plate-glass panes, the right one with tripartite sash. One-bay narrow sections to left and right with parapets, before wings return S, right one with sash each floor, left one with small window above and blocked door with dripstone similar to centre door. Iron trellis along front with ornate cast iron uprights and shallow-arched frontal pieces in 6 bays, supporting iron lattice work, and 2 bays returned each side along side walls of wings. Matching ironwork surrounds first floor left and right windows and similar pelmet is over centre first floor stair window. Wings are plain with external chimney to end of right (kitchen) wing and coped gable with ball-finials to left (former coach-house) wing, which formerly had a lean-to conservatory.
W side of SW wing has been remodelled in mid to later C20 as 2-storey, 3-bay house, but was originally a coach-house.
Added wing to E is a 2-storey 4-bay range of squared local stone with hipped roof, and large sashes, except ground floor third which has pair of sashes. Cambered heads with stone voussoirs. Left window altered to door in mid to late C20. On E end, set back, is 3-stage tower, a stair tower with Italianate bell turret. Stair has sash window to ground floor E, sash to first floor N and E and ashlar corbelled course under inset bell turret which is of belvedere type with leaded pyramid roof over pair of open narrow arches each side. Arches have ashlar heads and raised imposts. Keystones on S carved with the Loxdale bull's head crest. Iron weathervane with gilded cockerel, restored c2002. S side of service block has brick chimney on roof slope, painted rubble stone walls with 2 paired sashes each floor and door in angle to extreme left, all with cambered stone heads. Lean-to addition on right end.
E side of SE (kitchen) wing has c1860 pair of sashes each floor with corbelled sills.
Not available for inspection, National Monuments Record mentions staircase with plain square balusters and spiral end to rail, and cellar under most of early house.
Included as a Georgian gentry house with original surviving features and Victorian service wing with unusual Italianate turret.
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