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Mounton House

A Grade II* Listed Building in Mathern, Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6337 / 51°38'1"N

Longitude: -2.7037 / 2°42'13"W

OS Eastings: 351390

OS Northings: 193003

OS Grid: ST513930

Mapcode National: GBR JL.86M5

Mapcode Global: VH87T.360F

Entry Name: Mounton House

Listing Date: 10 October 2000

Last Amended: 10 October 2000

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 24061

Building Class: Education

Location: About 200m south east of Mounton village but approached off the A48 at Pwllmeyric

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Chepstow

Community: Mathern (Matharn)

Community: Mathern

Locality: Mounton

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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History

Built 1910-12 for H Avray Tipping and designed by him and by Eric Francis who supervised its construction. Tipping used it as his country home from 1912-1922 when he made it over to Colonel Holden and moved to High Glanau in Mitcheltroy Community (qv). These buildings were converted for educational use in 1950 and continued as a part of a school until 1999.

Exterior

Built of a variety of materials, squared rock faced random red sandstone, timber framing with plaster panels and slate hanging, with Westmorland greenslate roofs, some of which have been replaced with concrete tiles. The plan is E-shaped of hall and two cross-wings with a central storeyed porch in a c1600 manner, fronting into an enclosed entrance courtyard with wings projecting forward on either side. The intention was apparently to suggest an Elizabethan development of a medieval hall. The cross-wings project to the rear (garden) side as well as to the front. Two storeys and attics with single storey courtyard wings. The entrance elevation has two 2-window gabled wings flanking a 3-bay hall range with central entrance tower. This has a C17 style strapped plank door with diamond strips and roundels in relief. This is flanked by 2-light windows over timber framing and is covered by a slated pentice. Above this is a short and a tall panel of timber framing and a 4-light attic window under a hipped roof. The central tower is flanked on the right by a 6-light continuous window over framing on each floor. To the left of the entrance the ground floor has only a 4-light window, otherwise all is the same. The wings have two 2-light windows on each floor and a 4-light attic one in the gables. The main range to the left of the left gable is covered on the ground floor by the forward wing, but the first floor has a 2-light and a 4-light window. All these windows are oak framed with ovolo mouldings, the lights are leaded quarries. These windows are a characteristic feature of all the Tipping/Francis houses (qv Mathern Palace). Roof hipped to the left. Six large stone stacks are visible from the front.
The south elevation and kitchen wing look into the walled orchard and have lower roofs. Mullion-and-transom windows on the ground floor, 3 and 4-light windows above, 4-light flat topped dormer in the end of the main range.
The garden front has projecting gabled wings at either end of a 3-window section with mullion-and-transom windows on the ground floor and slate hanging above. Two and 4-light windows as before. A third gabled wing in the centre has a 3-light mullion-and-transom window over a 4-light mullion-and-2-transoms one. Loggia (now closed) at south west corner, former openings with arched keyed heads and 20 over 8 panes to the infill. The north west corner gable has an open loggia below a 3-light mullion-and-transom window. Lead downpipes and hopper heads, some marked HAT (Henry Avray Tipping) and dated 1912.
The north elevation is of similar character but was not designed to be seen widely from the grounds and was not inspected closely.
The entrance courtyard wings project forward with gable ends flanking the approach drive. Single storey, stone with concrete tiled roofs. The openings have mostly been altered, with five large 4-light mullioned windows and a door on the right hand range, the left hand range is blind to the courtyard, both have a 3-light window in the gable end. The courtyard is closed by a stone wall with square gate-piers framing the drive. These gables and walls form an enclosure to the house approach which was apparently inspired by an arrangement of barns at Markenfield in Yorkshire.

Interior

The interior is in the early C17 style apart from the Ladies' Room which is early C18 and the Dining Room which is in the late C18 neo-classical manner. The Hall or Oak Parlour is panelled, with an elaborate plaster ceiling, apparently a replica of the one in the old Duchy of Cornwall office in London, and a fireplace with paired fluted columns on either side and triglyph frieze above. The staircase is a panelled open-well one with splat balusters and square newels with moulded knops. The Ladies' Room has a Queen Anne style fireplace and 6-panel doors. The Dining Room has an Adam style fireplace and door architraves with moulded heads, wall panels and delicate neo-classical mouldings on the ceiling; the fireplace and doors were apparently introduced from Brasted Place, Kent. The first floor has several bedrooms with barrel vaulted ceilings in the early C17 manner with moulded strapwork in the plaster and white painted panelling, and there is a panelled master bedroom (Tipping's own) with an open turned baluster screen separating the sleeping from the dressing area; the coved ceiling here is copied from one at Chastleton House, Oxfordshire. Several fireplaces with pretty tiled surrounds. There are two brick Arts and Crafts fireplaces designed by Eric Francis which incorporate Italian Renaissance terracotta panels, these are probably C19 reproductions. The interiors of the courtyard wings have been extensively altered post 1950 as part of the conversion into a school. The right hand wing had a ballroom and then workshops, but all is now dormitories.

Reasons for Listing

Included at II* as an important early C20 country house, designed as a whole and constructed 1910-1912 by H Avray Tipping and Eric Francis; and as a part of the significant layout consisting of the house, the ancilliary buildings and the garden features which make a very complete landscape ensemble for the period.

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