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Down Ampney House, Gloucestershire: alterations for Hon. John Eliot, 1799 (8)


The manor house of Down Ampney was built in the late 15th century. 'It has a four-bay open hall with elaborately enriched queenpost roof trusses [see drawing [3 verso]. High pitched stone roof with crocketed finials on the gable-ends [see drawing [2]....Two large four-light mullioned and transomed windows with arched heads and stepped buttresses either side light the hall [see drawing [2] [though without the arched heads].... One of the windows has been cut to form a doorway, presumably by Sir John Soane, who altered the house for Lord Eliot in 1799'.... Soane's entrance has a rather flat trefoiled archway with Gothick panels in the pilasters, leading to Gothick door with medieval stained glass in the fanlight.... An earlier loss was the splendid twin-towered gatehouse of 1537.' [see drawings [1] verso and [3] verso] (D.Verey and A.Brooks, op.cit.below)

Ptolemy Dean wrote that Soane's renovation cost £2,757 18s 1d. Besides the new entrance 'many of the windows in the house were renewed with sashes set under the original medieval stone drip mouldings, while a bay window was added to the garden front.... The house itself has survived with little later alteration, although the original medieval gatehouse was lost to fire in the 1960s, and the outbuildings shown on Soane's survey no longer survive.'

Literature D.Verey and and A. Brooks, Gloucestershire 1: the Cotswolds, 1999, p.327; P.Dean, Sir John Soane and the country estate, 1999, p.188.

Jill Lever
October 2015



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Contents of Down Ampney House, Gloucestershire: alterations for Hon. John Eliot, 1799 (8)