Articles tagged with: Poulshot

The Joy of Faculties

on Thursday, 07 July 2022. Posted in Archives, History Centre, Wiltshire Places

1 d1 61 40 7 a Seend

Design for a stained-glass window at the Church of the Holy Cross, Seend, 1904 (reference D1/61/40/7)

The History Centre is home to the archive of the Diocese of Salisbury – a vast and fascinating collection which continues to grow with new additions of modern diocesan papers. One of its most useful and revealing series is the diocesan faculties.

What is a Faculty?

Faculties concern building alteration projects on parish churches, churchyards and other church-owned properties. Church buildings, their contents and grounds are protected by the Faculty Jurisdiction. Under this legislation any significant alterations, repairs or additions needed to gain official diocesan consent before they could be carried out. As such a faculty acts as a sort of ecclesiastical planning permission.

Lodged in style – from box to complex – the evolution of a Seend Lodge

on Tuesday, 04 May 2021. Posted in Architecture, Wiltshire Places

In his book on Wiltshire Gate Lodges James Holden states that:
‘The obvious purpose was to provide accommodation for the people protecting the entrances to estates, but they had a second role also. From the 18th century on, the grand houses of the gentry were often built out of sight in secluded locations. The passer-by could not see and admire the big house; only the lodge was visible. So the lodge stood in for the house, its appearance designed to make a statement about the wealth and good taste of the owner’.

Seend, near Devizes is a village of two halves. As you drive through the one long main street the north side of the road is lined by pretty cottages and respectable, solid Georgian houses. The opposite side is a different matter – a series of high brick walls mainly obscures the view south. However, behind these walls are a series of large and palatial mansions taking advantage of the spectacular views across Bulkington, Poulshot, Bratton, Edington and other villages right to the foot of the Salisbury Plain.

These are the houses of wealthy clothiers such as Thomas Bruges, the owner of Seend Green House in 1798, who built himself another mansion soon after 1805, now known as Seend House (you need to keep track of the several similarly-named houses here!). Although much of the construction material came from the just-demolished Seend Row House, there was nothing second-hand about the rather lovely classical, ashlar-faced Seend House with its pedimented centre bay and paired-column portico when it was finished, complete with twin Tuscan Lodge-houses at each end of the looped drive joining to the High Street. The growth of vegetation fronting the road means that the house is not visible. The only indications of the hidden architectural jewel are the themed lodges with their porticoed stone fronts in emulation of the house they served.

logos1

Accredited Archive Service