Kyneton House (also known as Westwing School)3485

Thornbury, England

Pgds 20110207 175915 Kyneton House Geograph

Brief Description

Kyneton House has a semi-formal 19th-century garden remnant of an extensive mid-17th-century estate. Features recorded in 1985 included a vinery, walled kitchen garden, walled sunken garden and a garden chapel.

History

The original sections of the building date back to 1601, with 18th- and 19th-century additions. The property was used as a private school from 1960 until 2001, following which it was developed into 12 residential units.

Detailed Description

In 1985 the following description was recorded:

To the front of the country house is a formal lawned garden bordered with a ha-ha. The area beyond this has Scots pine and is still used for cattle. It was formerly part of the Kyneton estate. The entrance to the driveway has a cattle grid and a wrought iron gate. There are two mature yews either side of the drive and a large cherry laurel.

In the main front garden there is also a juniper and a mature cedar of Lebanon. A rose border is sited near to the ha-ha.

To the far north of the house, near to the tennis courts, there are several mature hollies, two mature yews (aged between 400 and 500 years), a spruce and a golden-edged holly. To the north side of the house, beyond the listed walled arched entrance, is a sunken garden. There is an informal grouping of several yews. One yew appears to be between 400 and 500 years old, according to its girth. Amongst these trees is a small stone building with two arched recesses which would have contained small statues. It appears to be the remains of a tiny private chapel.

In the centre of the sunken lawned garden is a walled pond, the shape of a largish well. The herbaceous borders alongside the sunken garden contain mallows, hounds tongue fern, peony and buddleia. To the north-east of this garden there are stone steps leading up to a slightly undulating lawned formal garden. On either side of the steps there are Egyptian-style stone sphinxes. They are rather grand sculptured ornaments made in 1840 by Coade and Sealy of Lambeth in London.

The undulating east lawn to the rear of the house has a formal garden with an ornamental pond. There is a central wrought iron feature which is possibly of Victorian date. The pond itself appears to be modern, as it has a re-constructed cemented base. The lawn is edged with a ha-ha.

There are rose beds and firs, a holly and a mature cedar of Lebanon which has a damaged crown possibly caused by lightning. There is a magnolia on the east rear wall of the house. To the south-east of the lawn there is a further arched wall leading to a castellated arched walled entrance to the enclosed vinery. Further east are the walls of the former kitchen garden, which now contains a school annexe and playing grounds.

The mainly formal front and rear gardens are well-maintained. Some historical garden features are retained. The small stone building thought to be a chapel has not been well-preserved. It has had a modern roof put on it and is rather dilapidated inside. The planting around it is rather overgrown.

There are four greenhouses in the walled vinery area. Only one of these greenhouses now contains vines, the others being used for growing dahlias and asters. The walls of the former kitchen garden are still intact. The school handyman is employed to keep the grounds and gardens in good condition.

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Now Divided
  • Description: The original sections of the building date from about 1601. It is a substantial country residence with castellations. There are 18th and 19th century additions to the early-17th century building. It was once part of a large estate.
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  • Ha-ha
  • Description: There are two ha-has. They are at the front and rear of the house and are in good condition. They separate the formal gardens of Kyneton House from the estate which formerly belonged to it.
  • Garden Building
  • Description: This is a small stone building, now rather derelict inside. A modern roof has been added. There are two arched recesses with Bath stone surrounds, which may formerly have held religious statues. It is likely that this building was a private family chapel dating to the 17th century.
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  • Vinery
  • Description: There is a walled vinery with partly castellated walls. It has arched entrances from the driveway and from the courtyard by the former kitchen garden. Only one greenhouse now contains vines. There are only two mature vines, probably around 70 years old. The greenhouses are fairly modern, probably dating to the 20th century. The castellated walls facing the vinery might be late-19th century additions to the original garden.
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: There is the site of the former walled kitchen garden. This is possibly of 18th century origin. It has not been used as a kitchen garden since the late 1970s.
  • Greenhouse
  • Description: There are four greenhouses in the walled vinery, only one of which now contains vines. The greenhouses are fairly modern, probably dating to the 20th century.
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Lawn
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Thornbury
History

Detailed History

The original sections of the building date from about 1601. It is a substantial country residence with castellations. There are 18th and 19th century additions to the early-17th century building. It was once part of a large estate.

During the Second World War the Merchant Navy and subsequently the Royal Ulster Rifles were stationed at Kyneton House.

From 1960 to 2001 the property was occupied by a private girls' boarding school known as Westwing School.

Following the closure of the School Kyneton House was developed into 12 residential units. As well as the original stables, coach house and staff accommodation to the south of the House being converted into residential accommodation, two houses were built in the walled garden. This housing development also resulted in alterations to the grounds and gardens surrounding Kyneton House.

Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

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