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Scotchwell House

A Grade II Listed Building in Haverfordwest (Hwlffordd), Pembrokeshire

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Latitude: 51.8065 / 51°48'23"N

Longitude: -4.9566 / 4°57'23"W

OS Eastings: 196265

OS Northings: 216119

OS Grid: SM962161

Mapcode National: GBR CL.X97M

Mapcode Global: VH1RF.1VHJ

Plus Code: 9C3QR24V+H9

Entry Name: Scotchwell House

Listing Date: 17 June 1988

Last Amended: 30 November 2005

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13044

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Situated in own grounds just E of A40. Main drive is from Cartlett, by former lodge. Scotchwell Lane is former rear drive.

County: Pembrokeshire

Town: Haverfordwest

Community: Haverfordwest (Hwlffordd)

Community: Haverfordwest

Locality: Prendergast

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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Mid to later C18 house with extensive later C19 additions including a kitchen wing dated 1887. The house is famous as the birthplace and residence of Admiral John Lort Stokes (1812-85), Australasian explorer and sometime officer of HMS Beagle. He was author of an eyewitness account of Charles Darwin's most famous voyage in 1831-6, then explored the Australian coast, naming Darwin after his friend, wrote 'Discoveries in Australia' 1846, and surveyed the coast of New Zealand on HMS Acheron, naming coastal features after Pembrokeshire places.
The name is first noted in 1736 as a messuage and tanyard of the Barlow estate, occupied by the Surman family. In 1794 Paul Surman sold it to the Stokes family, resident in the county since the C17. Henry Stokes (died 1823) was the father of John Lort Stokes. Admiral Stokes' daughter married Louis Samson, barrister, and their son, Sir Louis M. Samson KC died at Scotchwell in 1949. His daughter, died 1960 was the last of the family to live there. The house was probably built for the Surman family, and altered in the early C19. It was described in an auction catalogue of 1841 as containing a good entrance hall, handsome dining-room, breakfast parlour, butler's pantry, kitchen and cellars, pantries and larders. In the grounds were strawberry gardens and a valuable stone quarry. It was tenanted while Stokes was at sea, including by the architect W.H. Lindsey. Stokes returned c. 1860. The extensions of 1887, by Alfred Guy of London, were for Mr & Mrs Samson, and included a new drawing-room and service rooms.


Country house, painted stucco with slate roofs. Several parts: Georgian 2 storey and attic entrance front of six plus one bays, with truncated external left end stack, and late C19 yellow brick broad stack on ridge between the six bays and the wider-spaced seventh. Large additions of 1887 including a taller parallel rear range with two lower gabled blocks to S, such that there is an irregular three-gabled S garden front, with the S end gable of the original house. Coming forward at the right end is a large kitchen wing dated 1887.
The main front has four two-light C19 eaves dormers with bargeboarded gables, over first, fourth, sixth and seventh bays. Main floors have hornless 12-pane sashes with painted stone sills. Large enclosed flat-roofed stuccoed porch in third bay with deep projected parapet and double volute cresting. Arched entry with radiating-bar fanlight over door of two long arched panels. Narrow arched windows with marginal glazing in porch side walls. Roughcast kitchen range to N has deep eaves, broken on S for a bargeboarded gable with glazed roundel, over pair of sashes to both first and ground floors. Deep bargeboards to E end gable, yellow brick big ridge stack. The higher parallel range to W has a tall yellow brick stack on E roof slope, visible above original house, and a bargeboarded gable behind the twin gabled blocks of the S end. The S front has the gable end of the original house with truncated chimney, set back to right, then the wide main gable with two-storey canted bay window and an upper plate glass sash with rounded upper angles and a shaped stucco surround. The smaller gable to left, slightly recessed, has a big French window with hoodmould under a sash similar to that in the centre gable.


Interior not inspected. Said in 1974 to retain substantial Georgian detail in the older part, including panelled shutters, moulded architraves, 6-panel doors with panelled soffits, dado rails, thick glazing bars with half-round profile etc. Pilastered and pedimented neo-classical doorcase to original 6-panel front door under porch. Dog-leg timber staircase with plain balusters and handrail, scrolled tread ends. Wide landing lit by small-paned sash with deep internal architrave. White marble chimney piece (carved) to rear dining room etc.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special architectural interest as a Georgian country house retaining original interior detail, and for historical interest as home of Admiral John Lort Stokes.

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