Building record 0193901000 - FAWLEY PLACE/FAWLEY COURT


Seventeenth century country house known as Fawley Court, built in 1684 on site of earlier house destroyed in the Civil War.

Protected Status/Designation

  • Listed Building (I) 1125740: FAWLEY COURT (DIVINE MERCY COLLEGE)


Type and Period (4)

  • (Former Type) COUNTRY HOUSE (Built 1684, 17th Century to 19th Century - 1600 AD to 1899 AD)
  • (Former Type) MANOR HOUSE (17th Century to 19th Century - 1600 AD to 1899 AD)
  • (Former Type) BOARDING SCHOOL (Modern - 1953 AD to 1986 AD)
  • CONFERENCE CENTRE (Modern to 21st Century - 1986 AD to 2008 AD)


Dimensions - Length 32m, Width 23m.
Plan Form - H shaped.
Old manor house virtually sacked by BY Royalists in 1642. Present house built in 1684 for William Freeman. Attributed to Wren (B1-2).
Red brick building with ashlar dressings. 2 storeys & attic & basement. NW front 9 bays, others 7 bays. Late C18 Ionic collonade in entrance loggia (B1-4).
Detailed history of house in C17, C18 and early C19, including plan of ground floor in 1770s and external view of 1826 (B5).
Grade I. School, formerly mansion. 1684, reputedly by Sir C. Wren, for William Freeman. Externally refurbished and extended to N.W. 1884 for Mackenzie family. Red brick with tuck pointing and ashlar dressings. Moulded wooden eaves cornice with carved scroll modillions and later rendered parapet above. Hipped slate roof, brick chimneys with moulded stone cornices and strings. H-plan. 2 storeys, basement and attic. N.W. front of 9 bays, other fronts of 7 bays. Moulded stone plinth, stone first floor band course and quoins. C19 sash windows without glazing bars, in plain stone surrounds with staff mouldings. Flat roofed dormers with sashes. N.W. front has 5 centre bays recessed with late C18-early C19 single storey entrance loggia. This has Ionic stone colonnade, entablature and balustrade. Central first floor window has shouldered architrave surround; central door has stone doorcase with Roman Doric pilasters, pulvinated frieze, cornice and central lion's-head keyblock. 1884 balustraded quadrant and pavilion in matching style to left. N. and S. fronts each have slight central projection of 3 bays with pediment. S. pediment has blind wreathed oeil-de-boeuf; N. pediment has similar blind window with keyed architrave surround. Interior: saloon has very fine plaster ceiling dated 1690 with central oval containing vine-leaf trail and thyrsi,surroundddby naturalistic foliage scrolls with birds and animals in high relief. Saloon also has late C18 doorcases with scroll friezes, one with pediment, and white marble fireplace by J.F. Moore in Athenian style with relief of lionesses, urns and paterae on frieze. Library has good plaster ceiling by James Wyatt c.1770-71, painted illusionistic relief panels by Anne Seymour Damer in frieze, and recess with 4 Ionic scagliola columns of 1804. Inlaid doors also by Mrs. Damer. Another fine ceiling by Wyatt in drawing room. Some other rooms retain late C18-early C19 ceilings and marble fireplaces, one with acanthus frieze, coved ceiling and painted wooden fireplace with gilt urns and husk garlands. Main staircase is c.1730 with 2 turned balusters per tread, open string and wide flat handrail. Backstairs also C18 with turned balusters. Vaulted cellars, part with wide flat ribs to central cylindrical piers, part extending under S. terrace. Remainder of interior part altered late C19, part damaged by fire 1976. (G. Tyack, The Freemans of Fawley, Records of Bucks Vol. 24 p.130-143)(B6).
Buildings report dated Feb 1986 held at NMR (B10).
Article with information about recent history of Fawley Court (B12).
Fawley Court was initially damaged, though without destuction in 1642. In 1644 it was destroyed during the seige of Greenlands House (B28).

Sources (8)

  • <1>SBC15758 Bibliographic reference: VCH BUCKS 3 PP38-40 & ILLUS OPP P37..
  • <2>SBC7318 Bibliographic reference: LANGLEY T 1797 HISTORY & ANTIQUITIES OF THE HUNDRE D OF DESBOROUGH PP192-194.
  • <3>SBC11681 Bibliographic reference: PEVSNER N 1960 BUCKINGHAMSHIRE PP134-135 & PL 41.
  • <4>SBC11402 Bibliographic reference: OS RECORD CARDS SU 78 SE 01 (FILED).
  • <5>SBC15186 Article in serial: Geoffrey Tyack. 1982. 'THE FREEMANS OF FAWLEY AND THEIR BUILDINGS', IN RECS OF BUCKS 24, PP130-143 & PLS V-VII. Vol 24. pp130-143; Plate V.
  • <12>SBC23468 Article in serial: Mark Greaves. 2008. Article in 'The Catholic Herald', 16th May 2008.
  • <28>SBC25958 Bibliographic reference: Ian Beckett. 2015. Wanton Troopers: Buckinghamshire in the Civil Wars 1640-1660. pp63-65.


Grid reference SU 76519 84210 (point)
Civil Parish FAWLEY, Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Apr 12 2023 8:31AM

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