History in Structure

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Robeston House

A Grade II Listed Building in Llawhaden, Pembrokeshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8077 / 51°48'27"N

Longitude: -4.779 / 4°46'44"W

OS Eastings: 208510

OS Northings: 215776

OS Grid: SN085157

Mapcode National: GBR CT.XC88

Mapcode Global: VH2NZ.3TWK

Entry Name: Robeston House

Listing Date: 11 August 1997

Last Amended: 11 August 1997

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 18800

Building Class: Domestic

Location: In private grounds entered from the A40(T) opposite to the B4314 turning.

County: Pembrokeshire

Community: Llawhaden (Llanhuadain)

Community: Llawhaden

Locality: Robeston Wathen

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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Robeston Wathen

History

Robeston House was inherited from Peter Ryce in 1804 by Bateman, a Haverfordwest businessman, and enlarged with the Regency front block which faces SE. The original house is of uncertain age, but the seat of the Wathen family was evidently here in the C15. A large kitchen hearth and bread oven survive in the older part. Bateman died in c.1820, and left the house to his nephew, the Rev. Mr Bateman, vicar of Puncheston.

In 1833 it was described by Lewis as 'a pleasing residence', the seat of the Rev. J W James. It was bought in 1866 by the Ven. George Clark, archdeacon of St. David's, and remained in his family until 1929. Archdeacon Clark added the bay window on the front elevation and the central French window, with a porch now lost. According to sale particulars in 1929 there were seven principal bedrooms on the first floor and grand reception rooms and a conservatory.

From 1977 the house was a hotel but it reverted to being a private house in 1996.

Exterior

A straggling plan, with the Regency main block to the E (SE), facing gardens, and the older subsidiary parts forming a long wing to the W. Although there is a surviving very large hearth in the older part, externally it was all brought up to date when the Regency front block was added. Generally rendered. Low-pitch hipped roofs throughout with moderate eaves overhang. Dormer attic windows at the rear and side.

The front of the Regency main block was originally rendered and rusticated, but when visited (1996) the render remained only in a band near to the eaves and around the bay window. The left side elevation of this front part is slate-hung, the right side elevation is rendered.

The front elevation is of two storeys and three windows and has double brackets at the eaves. The windows are of twelve panes, one a modern replacement, the others with hornless sashes in recessed frames. At the right is a large mid-C19 boldly projecting bay window. At the centre is a mid-C19 French window of sash type, with a head recess to house the sashes when fully opened. There was formerly a porch in front of this opening.

The elevation of the rear wing towards the access drive is symmetrically composed, with its first bay advanced and hipped to balance the front part of the house. It is a range of four windows, mostly hornless sashes; two are tall pointed windows at staircases. Slate roof with a mid-chimney. At the W is a rear block parallel to the main block, giving the whole plan an H form. The latter has a two-window elevation to the W.

It was probably early in the C19 that an additional two-storey block at the N was added (now called the cottage). This is unrendered, and has replaced joinery. There are minor single-storey C20 extensions N of the main front block, and a patent-glazing porch on the S side elevation said to be a very early contract of Messrs Crittalls.

Interior

Good Regency interior at front. Main rooms facing garden, acces at rear. Unusual double-doors to the Drawing room with a folding central style. At the rear of the Regency part is an unusual staircase, built on the site of a remnant of the staircase of the earlier house. The later staircase is of timber, with oak treads and risers, but no string to carry the outer edge: the risers appear to be cantilevered out from the wall in the manner of stone stairs. The handrail is supported on three square balusters per tread, but carved in short sections with the grain running across the run of the rail. At the foot it coils at a curtail step. The staircase is in two flights. The lower flight is boxed in at the side, so fully supported at its outer edge, but the upper flight is not. Remedial posts have been inserted at some period to avert the supposed risks of this unusual construction.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a good Regency house with much interesting constructional detail.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Robeston Wathen Church
    Prominently situated on a hilltop site at the centre of the village of Robeston Wathen, in a raised graveyard with rubble stone walling.
  • II Rock Well
    Beside a footpath leading down from Robeston Wathen village (N of the church) into a quarried area called Limekiln Wood, on the left side.
  • II Pont Shan
    Carrying the B4313 over the River Develidge at the NW corner of the Community Boundary.
  • II Pont Shân
    Carrying the B4313 Llawhaden to Narberth road over a small stream (River Develidge) which constitutes the boundary between the Communities of Llawhaden and Narberth.
  • II Milestone
    In the verge set up against the hedge bank some 250 yds SE of Crunn’s Farm on the B4314.
  • II* Llawhaden Bridge and River Bank Wall
    On Eastern Cleddau ½ km E of Llawhaden Village
  • II Llawhaden Village Pound
    At the left side of the causeway entering Llawhaden Castle.
  • II Gatepiers and gates at Llawhaden House
    At the main entrance to Llawhaden House from the village street.

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