SOMERLEYTON HALL

   
Somerleyton Hall GV II* Mansion. Small C16 core; rebuilt 1844 by John Thomas for Sir Morton Peto. Red brick with stone dressings. Slated roof. Principally in the Jacobean style. Mainly 2 storeys with attics. Entrance front. 9-bay centre with flanking projecting wings of 5 bays (left) and 3 bays (right): large paned cross windows with quoined stone surrounds. Cornice and flat parapet, broken in the centre by the Crossley family arms. Shaped end gables to wings. Across the centre a single-storey stone loggia of French Renaissance derivation with semi-circular headed windows, 2 open arches and an elaborately-carved projecting porch with cupola. Heavy entrance door with moulded panels. Various stacks with groups of detached octagonal shafts. Set back to the left is a tall square Italianate tower with pierced stone parapet surmounted by urns. Garden front. Symmetrical, in 11 bays arranged 1:4:1:4:1; windows as entrance front but with solid stone surrounds. Wide 3- storey end bays, enriched by engaged square columns and with 2-storey 5-light canted bay windows. Central 3-storey stone porch, open to the ground floor and with a first floor oriel window; superimposed orders of enriched engaged square columns. Pierced stone parapet broken by a range of 8 hooded dormers and by coats of arms on the end bays. Interior. Panelled entrance hall, the panels infilled with marble and framed by 12 carved oak columns; dome with stained glass panels of local game birds. The staircase hall has a heavy panelled ceiling carried on console brackets; heavy well stair of oak, with turned balusters and square newel posts. In the main drawing room (now called the ballroom) an ornate panelled ceiling in Jacobean style and opposing marble statuary fireplaces. The adjacent Oak Parlour contains some good woodwork re- used from the old house: late C17 panelling, early C18 carved doorcases and boldly-carved overmantel frieze and drops in the style of Gibbons. 2 carved doorcases and matching fireplace in the Dining Room may also be re-used C18 work. The present library was formed c.1920 when the 2-storey Banqueting Hall was floored over: this is the only major spatial alteration to the interior
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