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Historic England Research Records

Portway House

Hob Uid: 207518
Location :
Grid Ref : ST8735045360
Summary : House built in 1722 as a merchant's house, functioning as the Dower House to Longleat from 1820 to 1920, with alterations in the late 19th century. It became the headquarters of the local Urban District Council from 1920 until at least 1973; by 1978 the building had reverted to domestic use. Built of Bath stone ashlar.
More information : (ST 87354536) U D C Offices & Library (NAT) (1)


Nos 31 and 33 (Portway House).
[Formerly listed as No 19
(Portway House)]
ST 8745 SW 6/95 28.4.52.
Rebuilt 1722 by Edward Middlecott, a wealthy clothier. Dower House to Longleat 1820-1920. Recently Urban District HQ. Bath stone ashlar; basement and 3 storeys flanked by 2-storey wings. 7-bay centre, 3-bay wings. Set well back from road. Moulded plinth, moulded strings over 1st and ground floor windows. Moulded cornice broken over end caps and caps of pilasters framing centre bay. Low parapet with moulded coping and ball finials; small lead panel in centre with initials M E M over 1722. Glazing bar sash windows with moulded architraves, cills and deep aprons on moulded bases, resting on strings across front. Angle pilasters at each floor level with panelled and moulded plinths. 1st and 2nd floor centre window framed by fluted pilasters with unfinished capping, broken pediment over 1st floor. Central door replaced by large angular bay of 3 lights in matching style with angle pilasters (window larger). Flanking 2-light basement windows, 2 on each side of bay (with railings on left). Original doorpiece moved to recessed linking bay to left hand wing; panelled Doric pilasters with carved enrichment to necking and segmental pediment over entablature; steps up with base piers having large ball finials with scalloped bases. 2-storey slightly recessed wings in matching style, probably late 19th century (said to date from circa 1760). Left hand wing with recessed link for entrance, see above. 2 bays and further doorway in single storey extension with flat hood of semi-circular plan (No 31). The west front more balanced composition, simplified. 10-panel door in centre with simple segmental pediment. Terrace in front with steps at east end framed by ashlar piers with moulded caps and carved stone vases. Interior retains some of its panelled rooms and at least 2 good contemporary marble fireplaces, one with
good shell niche cupboard to right in former dining room. The original staircase is very good: 3 turned balusters to tread, fluted newel posts, ramped moulded rail and panelled and inlaid dado, cut strings with enriched ends and moulded undersides to steps; stair branches at landing below 1st floor. Panelled annexe to south-east of hall with fluted prize. Vaulted basement. (2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:2500, 1973
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : West Wiltshire, 31-MAR-1978
Page(s) : 59
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 929

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Change of use in 1820
Monument End Date : 1820
Monument Start Date : 1820
Monument Type : Dower House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Alterations late C19
Monument End Date : 1900
Monument Start Date : 1867
Monument Type : Dower House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Georgian
Display Date : Built 1722
Monument End Date : 1722
Monument Start Date : 1722
Monument Type : Merchants House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Change of use in 1920
Monument End Date : 1920
Monument Start Date : 1920
Monument Type : Local Government Office
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Change of use by 1978 (from 1973)
Monument End Date : 1978
Monument Start Date : 1973
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 59984
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 312972
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 84 NE 49
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 207647
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 534622
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 534623
Relationship type :

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