Cound Hall

Cound Hall, in Cound, Shropshire, England, is a Grade I listed building. It is a large vernacular Baroque house, with a basement and two storeys of tall slender windows topped by a half-storey, built of red brick with stone dressings. The house was built in 1703-04 for Edward Cressett by John Prince[1] of Shrewsbury.

Cound Hall is a prime example of the rendering of the English Baroque manner in a deeply countrified setting in the Welsh Marches, showing some reflection of the work of Francis Smith of Warwick. The west and east facades are very similar but not quite identical. The house is made notable for its giant order of stop-fluted Corinthian pilasters with richly carved capitals, which Colvin found "ambitious but inept" and suggested that the inspiration was the King William block at Greenwich Hospital,[2] designed by Christopher Wren. The East front also has a pediment, which breaks back in its centre; it is decorated with abaci and fragments of entablature above pilasters that stand on rusticated bases.

The piece de resistance of the house is arguably the staircase, a nice alteration which can be dated to the late 18th century. The concept of the staircase was to gain more room where the original staircase had been whilst giving more perceived spaciousness. The staircase has a delicate metal handrail and runs through both storeys along three sides of an open well. The clever structure of the staircase is that it is not attached along the back wall of the hall but leaves a space there and flies upward independently of the back wall. The staircase rests on two beautiful fluted columns. There is light Neo-Elizabethan plaster work on the underside of the staircase.

In January 2015, a painting of a tabby cat, owned by Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (circa 1673), was stolen from the home's grounds. In November of the same year, it was found in a flat in Paisley.

See also


  1. Howard Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, 3rd ed. 1995, p 781, suggests that Price is the same John Price who acted as agent and surveyor to Edward Harley in laying out of the Harley estate in Marylebone, London.
  2. Colvin 1995 p 782


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