TAPELEY PARK HOUSE

   
Country house. C18 origins, entirely remodelled in the 1880's and again 1898 - 1916 by John Belcher. Brick with ashlar dressings. Hipped slate roof with brick stacks with moulded ashlar caps largely concealed by parapet. Overall 4-sided rear courtyard plan with C20 courtyard infilling. The principal symmetrical garden (south) front contains wide entrance hall with staircase to rear, with single room to each side. Adjoining at right-hand end is the east wing orientated north/south and containing dining room with library over, with service rooms to rear at the north end. The west side contains the principal ground floor room with further service rooms enclosing the courtyard on the north side. Classical style. South facade: 3 storeys. 7 bays, symmetrical, with giant stone pilasters, the lower part of which are rusticated, the central pilasters with composite capitals. Entablature with pediment that breaks forward over 3 central bays. In the pediment there is a cartouche and blind panels to parapet. String course above ground floor. Large ashlar portico with entablature which breaks forward slightly over 2 pairs of Tuscan columns in antis and corner piers. Wreaths with ribbons in the frieze and balustrade above. Ground floor windows have keystones. First 2 storeys all 12-paned sashes with cambered rubbed brick arches. Second floor windows are small square 6 paned sashes. Lower 2 storey 2 bay wing set back slightly with stone entablature with dentilled cornice. 2 first floor 12-paned sashes in moulded stone architraves, over large stone square bay window with tripartite sashes and balustrade above. West side: 1:1:1:4 bays. Flat pilasters and entablature with parapet urns. Second bay from left breaks forward with ground floor Venetian window and tripartite window above. Stone colonnade of paired Tuscan columns to right. East side: 3:4 bays, left-hand bays project. First floor windows have moulded architraves, the left-hand window is a niche. Groundfloor is colonnaded with pairs of fluted columns. Right-hand windows to first floor have broken pediments containing shields. 4 dormers above with semi-circular pediments. Memorial stone at right end to John Belcher "who restored and adorned the House of the Cleveland 1898 - 1916." Interior: principally late C19 rich decorative scheme intact including 6-panelled doors and doorcases, marble chimneypieces including massive chimneypiece to principal room in west wing with giant Ionic pilasters, dog-leg staircase with moulded handrail supported on alternating turned and irontwist balusters and plasterwork ceilings in late C17 and C18 styles to the principal ground floor rooms and bedrooms. The upper storey retains some C18 3-panelled doors and dog-leg staircase with moulded handrail, turned balusters and newels with acorn finials. In spite of the later remodellings, the house retains its basic C18 form.
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