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HER Number (PRN):13424
Name:Bedstone Court (Bedstone College Main Building)
Type of Record:Building
Protected Status:Conservation Area: Bedstone

Monument Types

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (1881, Late 19th century - 1880 AD to 1899 AD)
  • SCHOOL (1881, Late 19th century - 1880 AD to 1899 AD)


A school, formerly a country house, built in 1881, which is protected by Grade II Listing.

Parish:Bedstone, South Shropshire, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SO37NE
Grid Reference:SO 3675 7545

Related records: None recorded

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events: None recorded


Country house, now school. 1881 by Thomas Harris for Sir Henry Ripley with minor later additions and alterations. Red brick and planted timber frame with ashlar dressings; machine tile roofs. Complex multi-gabled plan forming rough U-shape. 3 storeys. Wooden mullioned and transomed windows throughout, some with leaded lights. Entrance front has prominent full-height projecting gable, jettied to each floor. Oriel windows to first and second floors, latter with elaborate plaster decoration to top. Porch in projecting gable, approached by flight of 5 steps, has elliptical centre arch with words "DULCE DOMUS" to lintel, flanked by round-headed arches with Ionic columns and carving to spandrels, displaying a variety of classical and Jacobean-style motifs; balustrade on low stone walls to front and sides. Mosaic floor. Inner panelled door has raised lozenge-shaped patterns; half-reeded and half-fluted pilasters to sides flanking round-arched recesses. Gables to left and right of projecting gable, left with large integral stack to right, which has terracotta armorial device with Ripley family motto "DUMSPIRO SPERO" superscribed. Octagonal wooden cupola to ridge with turned balusters to open balustrade has lead domed cap, surmounted by weathervane. External end stack to right has tall star-shaped shaft with miniature stone gable approximately one-third of the way up, having armorial device with hanging garlands of fruit and the date "1881" with "BED / STONE / COU / RT" in raised lettering to oval medallion. Tall red brick stack to right of ridge to projecting gable, which has brass sundial to apex. South front: has 7 gables with full height canted bay between second and third gables from left. Balcony to first floor with vase-shaped balusters, partly protected by continuous jetty of gables above and supported by slender wooden posts with Ionic columns, runs from canted bay to sixth gable from left. 2-storey projection to right capped by miniature twin gables. Initials "HWR" and date "1881" to several rainwater heads.
Rear elevation: displays some planted timber frame but majority of gables are tile hung. On the courtyard (north) side the main feature of interest is the 2-storey canted bay projecting from a multi-light mullioned and transomed window.

Interior. Main staircase in panelled hall with painted ceiling has sturdy vase-shaped balusters and deeply grooved ramped handrail; plain Ionic columns, those to ends enclosed by unfluted pilasters. Stained glass in window behind (including to canted bay) depicts labours of the months. Stained glass showing parrots and butterflies in entrance hall (room to left of porch) and stained glass also in upper lights of ground-floor windows to south range. These depict figures from classical mythology, ancient history, literature and illustrative of the feminine virtues. Several rooms on this side of the house have plaster ceilings and friezes, the most notable being in the former dining room (now library) at west end. Entrance hall has carving of a well with the word "FARE" over the exterior door and another carving of a well with the word " COME" over the door leading to the main hall. Original panelled doors and fireplaces throughout, including to first floor. The house is known locally as a calendar house as it has 12 chimneys, 365 windows, 7 external doors and 52 rooms. Thomas Harris was author of Victorian Architecture (1860) in which he sought to define a specifically Victorian style of architecture. In Shropshire he is best known for his design of Stokesay Court. Buildings of England p71; Barrie Trinder, A History of Shropshire (1983) pp101-2; Roger Dixon and Stefan Muthesius, Victorian Architecture (1978) pp24, 61, 196, 260 <2>


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 13424.
[01]SSA11037 - List of Buildings: Ministry of Housing and Local Government. 1967-Oct. Revised Provisional List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (Clun Rural District). Provisional List. p1a.
[02]SSA4641 - List of Buildings: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1987-May-28. 13th List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Vol 1583-0. List volume. p6-7.
[03]SSA14005 - Photograph: Anon. 1981. Bedstone College. Colour.
[04]SSA14004 - Photograph: Anon. 1975. Bedstone College. Colour.
[05]SSA14006 - Photograph: Anon. 1981-Oct. Bedstone Court. Black and white. 35mm.
[06]SSA21755 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 2003-Aug-30. CPAT 03/MB/0068 to 0069 (2 photos). Black and White. Medium.
[07]SSA21787 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 2003-Aug-30. CPAT 03/CP/0608.
[08]SSA110 - Monograph: Pevsner Nikolaus. 1958. Buildings of England (Shropshire). Buildings of England. p71.
[09]SSA22506 - Monograph: Trinder Barrie. 1983. A History of Shropshire. p101-2.
[10]SSA23518 - Monograph: Newman J & Pevsner N. 2006. Buildings of England: Shropshire. Buildings of England. p140-141.
Date Last Edited:Jul 12 2011 9:31AM