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Summerhouse, Homme House, Much Marcle

SMR Number
: 52055
Grid Reference
: SO 65264 31787

At the end of the garden, NW of Homme House, is an octagonal building of rubble with a pyramidal roof and lantern; it was built probably as a pigeon-house, but was subsequently converted into a summer-house, and has a octagonal staircase projecting on the S side. It was either erected in the 16th century and reconstructed later, or is an 18th-century building re-using old material. The doorway has a four-centred head and a horizontal label. The fireplace, in the W wall, has a four-centred head. (1)
Summerhouse. Late 17th century and altered in 18th century. Sandstone rubble with sandstone dressings, hipped stone slate roofs and wooden lantern. Octagonal plan with small octagonal stair turret attached to south. Two storeys. Three oval openings light newel from different sides which has 4-centred entrance with ledged and studded 17th century door on south side; a pair of triangular-headed 18th century wrought iron casements to each face of the upper floor of the main octagon except where attached to stair turret and square western stack, which has a cylindrical stone shaft junctured by four decorative oval openings near the top, one facing each cardinal point. Interior: chamfered segmental heads to stone fireplace on each floor. An unusually designed and well detailed example of a summerhouse in unrestored condition. (2)
The building known as The Watchtower in the south-western corner of the walled garden of Homme House is an enigmatic structure, the date, development and purpose of which has been the subject of debate over the years. From the available evidence it appears to be a single-phase gazebo, probably built at the start of the 18th century - or perhaps slightly beforehand - and is thus a very important pioneering example of the Gothick style. It provided single heated chambers, perhaps for winter or summer use, on ground and first-floor levels, accessed by a stone newel stair in an attached stair turret. The views from the upper chamber were extensive, overlooking the walled garden and the wider countryside beyond. Apart from being re-glazed in the 19th century, the building has been little altered, but is now in very poor conditiion. Restoration of the building is proposed. A detailed discussion of the building's architecture is given. (3)

Monument Type(s)

  1. SUMMERHOUSE (17th Century to 18th Century - 1601 AD to 1800 AD)

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