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Cound Hall

  • 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).

    Comments: Howard Colvin: "The house is remarkable for the ambitious but inept use of a giant Corinthian order applied to the main elevations in a manner perhaps suggested by the King William block at Greenwich Hospital."

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The Park was laid out in the 1740s, with the main gardens of circa 1906.

  • Architect: John Prince

    Date: 1704
    Designed: House for Edward Cressett

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  • Country Life: XLIII, 488, 1918.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pg. 832
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Buildings of England: Shropshire, The - 1979
    Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus
    Year Published: 1979
    Reference: pg. 114
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: 0140710167
    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)
    ISBN: 0300058969
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Current Seat / Home of: David and Nancy Waller

    Past Seat / Home 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