Whittox House

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Whittox is a town house in the market town of Frome

Whittox House was built by John Whittox in the late 17th Century. The Whittox's then 'gentrified' the property in 1720, when the original Jacobean windows were replaced with a splendid set of Queen Anne Sashes.

The house remained in the same family for hundreds of years. During the last hundred years it became a convent before falling into disrepair. An attempt at “Modernisation” in the 70s meant that much of the panelling and the exceptionally fine fire places and central balustrade were preserved under hardboard and formica. As such, when it the house renovated in a 6 year project overseen b y English Heritage, many of the original features and panel paintings were discovered in perfect condition.

Although the property is very much a Queen Anne House in appearance, many shadows of the original windows exist both inside and on various facings to the house. The huge one at the rear of the property was re-opened in 2000 under the guidance of English Heritage.

The most impressive feature of the house is the superb panelling. The following pictures show the dining room, music room, and drawing room (with attached library).

Dining Room:

The Dining room sits 12 comfortably and is practically cubed with Elm floorboard. The round backed Georgian hearth throws out heat and is surrounded by a marbled mantle which mimics the door surrounds. There are secret cupboards built into the panelling and two small extra storage rooms, one said to lead to some sort of ‘panic room' (the house being slightly too late for a priest hole).

On the walls, there are oil panel paintings which are believed to have been painted in return for lodging by Italian refugees in 1720.


Music Room:



The music Room is set on the 1sdt floor of the house and is again fully panelled and, like the dining room, has three high quality oil panel paintings which were added in about 1720.

The floorboards are oak on this floor and it has two small storage rooms/cupboards.

The fire place is working and much the same as the one found in the dining room.

Drawing Room and Library:

The Drawing room is one of the most intimate rooms in the house and leads onto a small library with it's own terrace/balcony which overlooks the walled gardens to the rear of the property. Although the Georgian fire surround survives, a Victorian hearth has been retained and is very effective at heating the room.

The room has one panel painting dating to 1720 which was only discover in 2001. There are storage cupboards and a huge sash window which overlooks the walled gardens in addition to the two Queen Anne sashes facing the front of the building.

Kitchen:

The Kitchen has a flagstone floor and runs the entire length of the house with a wine cellar and scullery at the far end. Overlooking the original well, situated by the back kitchen door and fed by a stream which runs through the kitchen under a cast iron grate. It has a modern Aga but the original bread and cream oven are still in perfect condition.

Bedrooms:

The house has 5 bedrooms plus a set of three extra large rooms which are currently arranged as staff quarters within the main house. Three have been fitted with high quality en-suite facilities and the others have access to two further bathrooms plus an additional bathroom in the staff section.

This is what the Magazines say:

Whittox has been profiled twice in Country Life and has been featured in Sunday Times Style along with many other property and interior design magazines. These 5 pages are from "25 Beautiful Homes" (because they had nice pictures).





2 Comments:

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Wabby said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger cristina stuart said...

My mother lived in this house in 1906 onwards. At that time the house was owned by French nuns who ran an orphanage/school. If anyone has any information about the house all those years ago, do please email me. I and my family would be most grateful.
Cristina Stuart

 

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