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Latitude: 51.7556 / 51°45'20"N
Longitude: -4.9612 / 4°57'40"W
OS Eastings: 195720
OS Northings: 210472
OS Grid: SM957104
Mapcode National: GBR G7.RFBY
Mapcode Global: VH1RS.Y4LH
Entry Name: Clareston
Listing Date: 1 March 1963
Last Amended: 26 February 2004
Source ID: 11991
Building Class: Domestic
Location: At the end of a drive running SW off the road through Freystrop just S of Puddleduck Bridge.
Traditional County: Pembrokeshire
Gentry house, C18, remodelled c1830 by William Owen of Haverfordwest. Recorded in 1738 as owned by George Roch, son of N Roch of Rickeston, who had inherited from the Powell family. His sons followed, George Roch, High Sheriff 1789, died in 1820, then Joseph died 1827, and then Joseph's son George Clayton Roch, High Sheriff 1830, burnt to death in his bed 1833. The house was described as elegant and newly-built when offered to let in 1833. Purchased by T H Davies of Mullock, High Sheriff 1865, and sold before 1873 to W Ballinger of Swansea. In 1926 owned by Major (later Sir) Charles Price MP.
The house has lost the first floor canopies on the bow windows which were carried on thin iron or timber posts and had leaded ogee domes and ornate cresting at the eaves, but is otherwise similar to c1900 photo, except that the sash windows have almost all been replaced in recent years by C20 hardwood windows with top-hung top half.
Country house, unpainted render and slate roofs with rendered stacks. Two storeys and attic. Front 5-bay 2-storey range has early C19 detail, moulded cornice and (ashlar?) balustraded parapet in 4 bays, the centre with wide blank panel. Five C20 windows to first floor set well below cornice (marks of first floor canopies visible above), ground floor has 2 large curved bows, each with 3 long French windows, renewed small-paned glazing. Bows have plain cornices and wrought iron railing behind small battlements, the railing possibly early C19, to intersecting circle pattern. Rendered end chimneys on end gables with C20 12-pane loft windows. Double-roofed plain rear wing with paired end gables with rendered chimneys, the right one with C20 glazing to arched long loft window. On side of wing set back from right gable of main house is big square single-storey c1830 addition with stucco cornice as on the bows and embattled parapet. Front left has tall rather narrow stucco Greek Doric porch with fluted columns, pilaster responds, deep entablature with wreaths in frieze, cornice and balustrade on 3 sides. Arched doorway with early C19 6-panel door with 4 fielded panels with curved rebates to corners of panels and radiating bars to fanlight. To right is C20 window. Left side wall has only remaining original window, a 12-pane sash. Wing above has 2 C20 windows replacing sashes. Low 2-storey wing projects at right with battlemented end stack and 2 C20 gable windows. Side has projecting roughcast half-octagonal chimneybreast with tapering octagonal battlemented stack, in angle to the single storey addition. C20 window to right and battlements to eaves right of chimney. Rear of this range has C20 bay-window with steep hipped roof and 1996 stone gothic porch. Crosswing to right running back to end of left of 2 rear gables. C20 conservatory on rear right gable end.
Interior remodelled by William Owen in a complex series of small spaces designed to create a formal corridor from the entrance porch running behind the rooms in the front block to a staircase at the opposite end. The detail is unusually fine throughout and clearly by Owen, as door detail matches work by him at e.g. Picton Castle. Entrance hall is square with acanthus rose and 2 arches through the existing side wall of the house, the next space is square and has panelled ceiling with egg-and-dart moulding and double elliptical arch into a rectangular space at end of corridor running right towards kitchen. Two ceiling sections with 2 roses and cornices with rosettes on the mutules. Fanlight over door to service end. Elliptical panelled arch ahead to space before stair with tiny ceiling with rose and mutule cornice with rosettes. Panelled door to right with beaded moulding to panels. Delicately panelled arch to left into small semicircular lobby with similar cornice over deep frieze with panels and embossed cherub ornament. Two quarter-circle curved 6-panel doors into corners of 2 front rooms, in moulded architraves. Staircase is Bath stone cantilevered with wrought-iron big S-scrolls to balustrades, in narrow well rising to a tiny dome at the top. Curved landings, arched windows with intersecting glazing bars and panelled reveals. Ground floor front rooms have the curved doors (convex-curved) in corners, with beaded borders to panels. Left room has vine-scroll cornices and elliptical-arched recess off-centre on back wall with leaf moulding and lion-mask on pilasters. Panelled shutters. Similar right hand room. First floor landing has 2 panelled arches and a similar semicircular recess giving access to 3 doors. Dome is panelled with acanthus rose and moulded square frame with fluted spandrels.
Included at grade II* for the fine early C19 halls and staircase by William Owen.
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