The Entrance Facade
Detail of the Entrance Facade
Built / Designed For: Edward Cressett
House & Family History: Cound is a red brick house of nine-by-five bays with giant Corinthian pilasters that stands tall and proud in its newly-replanted Park above the valley of the River Severn. It's hard to believe that, just 20 years ago, this building was deemed to be at risk by English Heritage. Now, after painstaking restoration by the current owners, David and Nancy Waller, the House is once again a lived-in family home. Cound was built for the Cressett family, who chose to move here in the early 18th century because it was closer to the county town of Shrewsbury, in preference to their remote but eponymous seat of Upton Cressett Hall, which was some 15 miles away. The House was built for Edward Cressett between 1703 and 1704 to the designs of the architect John Prince, a London surveyor who went on to work for the Harley family's estates at Marylebone in London. The resultant house, of incredibly fine brickwork with stone dressings, marks a turning point in Shropshire and indeed Midland houses, ushering in the high Baroque style that was heavily influenced by European building types. Cound was originally intended to have had a higher roof structure, giving the House an even greater verticality and suggesting, perhaps, some of the Amsterdam canal houses. Internally, in the late 18th century, a new, flying staircase was inserted that rises almost ethereally through the House. From the Cressett descendants Cound passed to the McCorquodale family and, in the late 1920s, was home to Alexander George McCorquodale and his wife, Barbara, better known as the late romantic novelist Barbara Cartland. The House was divided into flats in the mid-20th century and later stood empty and at great risk. In the 1980s it was offered for sale as a hotel and golf resort opportunity – a development from which the Wallers saved it. (We are very grateful to Gareth Williams for this history of Cound Hall).
Garden & Outbuildings: The Park was laid out in the 1740s, with the main gardens of circa 1906.
Country Life: XLIII, 488, 1918.
Title: Buildings of England: Shropshire, The
Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus
Year Published: 1979
Reference: pg. 114
Publisher: London: Penguin Books
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Classical Architecture in Britain: The Heroic Age
Author: Worsley, Giles
Year Published: 1995
Reference: pg. 80
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Not Listed
Seat of: David and Nancy Waller
Past Seat of: Edward Cressett, early 18th century. Alexander George McCorquodale and his wife, Barbara Cartland, 1920s.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
House Open to Public: No
Historic Houses Member: No