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St Pierre Park House (With Gatehouse), Mathern

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Map ReferenceST59SW
Grid ReferenceST5152090520
Unitary (Local) AuthorityMonmouthshire
Old CountyMonmouthshire
PeriodPost Medieval
A house supposedly medieval in origin but largely rebuilt in the early C17 so that any earlier fabric is heavily disguised. It was built first by Willian Lewis and his son George, 1475-1508, both are buried in the church. The house was remodelled in c1765 (rainwater head) to 1770 by Morgan Lewis, and again in the mid/late C19, this time by Charles Lewis, but in a continued C17 character. It was extended again, and then again, in the late C20 with large single storey flat roofed additions in a character alien to the earlier building but appropriate for its new use as a hotel and golf club which it became in 1962. The building is of historic interest for its association with the Lewis family who built and rebuilt all the phases of the house except for the most recent ones and owned the estate from the early C15 until 1924 when it was sold to Daniel Lysaght of Lysaght Steelworks in Newport. In WWII it was requisitioned and used by Bristol Corporation as accommodation for people made homeless in the bombing. After the war it became a training centre for the National Association of Boys Clubs, 1945-58. In 1960 it was bought by Bill Graham, a hotelier of Tintern; it opened as a golf club in 1962 and it has been developed greatly since then as a large hotel and leisure centre.

Built of red and grey sandstone rubble with Bath stone dressings, particularly the mid C19 work, and Welsh slate roofs. The modern extensions on the south side (the Golf Club) are concrete framed with brick infill and with flat roofs. The historic house has a three gabled front facing the Gatehouse (qv). This, until 1978, looked into an open court, but this too has been infilled with a single storey building, now the hotel reception area, so that the ground floor of the main building is completely obscured when viewed from outside. The original front door with 4-centred arch head is visible internally, as are flanking mullioned-and-transom windows with four panes in the upper lights and six in the lower. There are several other mullioned windows visible above the roof line of the extension, but it is difficult to see or assess them properly. The west front has four modern windows visible above the golf club roof.
On the garden elevation things are easier to see and the house shows a main three storey, three gable range facing east with another range behind it. The main range has a large mid C19 bay window of 6-lights of mullion-and-transom with additional lights on the returns. This is capped by a parapet with carved panels forming a balcony for the bedroom above. Above this are 3-light C17 mullioned windows with dripmoulds and more above them in the gables, which themselves have verges and ball finials. The ground floor to the right has a large single storey bar extension with much glazing and a slate hung mansard. Steeply pitched roofs and tall chimney stacks to the main house, most of which seem to be C19 or later rebuilds. The south elevation has a similar mid C19 bay on the rear range. This one is two storeys, for the Drawing Room below and the main bedroom above, these have 4-lights + sidelights, french casements below, panelled apron between and stone roof above. Small gable window above that. The main range gable to the right is obscured by a tree, but a 4-light window in the gable itself can be seen. More tall stacks to the rear. Further round to the right on the east front is the three bay two storey kitchen wing, 3-light windows below, 2-light above, gables with ball finials. A house which is extremely changed and confusing externally.

Source: Cadw Listings database
S Garfi 30/8/06

Associated with:
Park/gardens (Nprn266052)
Church (Nprn307427).
J.Wiles 03.03.03