Large country houses after 1700

Sharpham House and Stable Yard, Ashprington, Devon

Client: The Sharpham TrustSharpham House and Stable Yard, Ashprington, Devon
Site: A Grade I listed house, the first phase begun to the designs of Sir Robert Taylor in c.1769. The house is associated with a Grade II listed stable yard, stands in gardens and park land registered Grade II*and in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Summary of Project: Analysis and research on the development of the house and stable block and an assessment of its importance.
Objective: A Conservation Management Plan (first two sections completed) to set out future management of the site and assess opportunities for new development.

West Lodge, Iwerne Minster, Dorset

Client: PrivateWest Lodge, Iwerne Minster, Dorset
Site: A Grade I listed former hunting lodge in Cranborne Chase, attributed to the gentleman architect, John Pitt of Encombe, Purbeck and built for himself in the 1740s. There were radical later internal alterations and extensions.
Summary of Project: An assessment required by the Local Planning Authority to establish the development of the building using documentary research and analysis and to assess its significance, including the relative significance of its different parts and features.
Objective: To clarify where and at what scale additions and alterations might be made to the building.

Down House, Downe, Bromley, Kent (Charles Darwin’s house)

Client: English HeritageDown House, Downe, Bromley, Kent (Charles Darwin’s house)
Site: A small Georgian house of c.1730, with several periods of enlargement before it was acquired by Charles Darwin in 1842 and became his family home until he died in 1882. It was the base for many of his experiments and the place where he wrote On the Origin of Species.
Summary of Project: Documentary research, architectural/archaeological analysis and 3D Autocad™ reconstruction drawings focused on disentangling closely-spaced 19th century Darwin phases of the building. This was to establish not only the structural history but the authentic details of decor and furnishings during Darwin’s period at the house and Darwin’s taste in furnishings and architecture. This work included co-ordinating closely with the client; the architects, Donald Insall and Associates; a paint analyst and numerous specialists on e.g. wallpaper, furnishings and garden design as well as Darwin scholars for access to unpublished material in Darwin’s letters and diaries. Historic Room Data Sheets, pioneered at Down House with the advice of Kate Clark, were provided.
Objective: To support a project to re-create the house, open to the public as a Darwin Museum, as it was in 1874.

Bayfield House, Lydford, Devon

Client: PrivateBayfield House, Lydford, Devon
Site: Grade II listed vicarage built in 1870 for the Reverend Morris Fuller to the designs of G E Street, a renowned ecclesiological architect: the builder was Thomas Marshall of Plymouth. The style is a restrained Tudor Gothic with some influence from the French chateaux. Street provided a handsome gentleman’s residence making full use of the setting resulting in an unconventional layout. It is an interesting house with, in comparison to the exterior appearance, a relatively plain interior. The stair for instance is very simple and unostentatious and the door panels are un-moulded, even in the principal rooms. Street’s original plans, elevations and specifications were found in the Devon Record Office.
Summary of Project: Documentary research, appraisal of the building to determine the extent of the survival of original fabric and to determine use, particularly in the low range to the east. This was established to be a secondary extension following Street‘s style but built by the Reverend Chafy Chafy in c.1875, possibly as a music room or maybe for parish purposes.
Objective: To inform a programme of repair and modernisation.