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News Report of Wyfold Court, Rotherfield Peppard, Oxfordshire

A French Gothic Mansion Reborn

Wyfold Court

This Grade II* listed mansion at Rotherfield Peppard near Henley-on-Thames presents a magnificent facade within its 180 acre estate, being built of red brick with ornate blue brick diapering and stone detailing. The front is recessed with a porte-cochere and corner turreted tower in one wing and a larger steep roofed tower in the other, while tracery windows abound. Gargoyles and pinnacles help to make up a dramatic silhouette against the skyline to show off its flamboyant French Gothic style, with a feel of the Scottish Baronial, to perfection. To the rear bay windows are the main feature while carved heraldic beasts can be seen on the gables, as ornamentation.

The architect, George Somers Clarke, a pupil of Sir Charles Barry who is best known for his design of the Palace of Westminster, had Wyfold Court built between 1872 and 1878 for Edward Hermon, a wealthy Lancastrian cotton master, MP for Preston and a lavish patron of contemporary artists.

After a period as Borocourt Hospital this superb Victorian mansion has been completely restored to it's original splendiferous appearance both inside and out.

PJ Livesey Rural Heritage were behind this ambitious scheme to preserve such a historical gem, described by architectural historian, Peter Howell, as 'one of the most coherent, carefully detailed and inventive houses built in Victorian times', and have created eleven prestigious properties within its walls.

Wyfold Court InteriorIt is the wealth of characteristically Gothic detail that makes Wyfold so unique. The PJ Livesey Group have risen to the challenge of reviving these features. In one project alone, one thousand individual panes of stained glass have been repaired with traditional hand-painted kiln-fired artwork. Nine listed paintings, part of Edward Hermon's original collection, were removed for painstaking restoration. The stone vaulted corridors, marbled pillars and pavement, Gothic revivalist ceilings and fireplaces have all been faithfully reclaimed.

The Group have worked in close consultation with English Heritage and the Victorian Society to bring about the conversion of magnificent, light filled interior spaces where ceilings once reached twenty feet high. This has included the conversion of the library, the magistrate's room, the billiard room and the one hundred foot long picture and sculpture gallery. The highly individual living spaces created range from 2800 to 5500 square feet in size and are offered for sale through the agent FPD Savills, with prices ranging from 625000 to in excess of 1.5 million.

Photographs repoduced by kind permission of the PJ Livesey Group and FPD Savills.

© 2007