Woolverstone

 

Pictures of buildings mentioned in the “Suffolk” volume of “The Buildings of England” series by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner.




Pevsner’s entry for Woolverstone Hall is on p504 of the second edition.  Of it he says “Built in 1776 by William Berners (of London) who built Berners Street.  The architect was John Johnson of Leicester, who lived at that time in Berners Street and later became County Surveyor of Essex.  A large formal mansion, beautifully situated with wide views along the estuary of the Orwell.  Grey brick and light grey stone.  Centre seven by five bays.   To the estuary bow window in the middle of this centre.  To the l and r curved wings with Roman Doric columns.  On the entrance side a more complex group.  Centre of two and a half storeys.  It is rusticated on the ground floor.  Above this four-column portico of attached Ionic columns with pediment.  First-floor windows with pediments.  Then on either side a one bay two-storey attachment.  Then one-storey connecting links to projecting one-and-a-half-storey wings with attached Roman Doric porticos in the middle of the ends.”  He then mentions a few indoor features.  The whole of the front can be seen at the top of the page and the central part of the front below.  This is followed by a view of the rear (with the Orwell behind the camera), with the full two-and-a-half-storey bow window in the central section (behind the statue)



The rear:



This may show the central bow windows more clearly:



Pevsner continues: “To the SE Stables.  Quadrangle with handsome front of c1776 and recent tower over the archway.” Seen here:



In The Manors of Suffolk, Vol 6, by Copinger (p125) it is noted that William Berners purchased the estate for £14,000 in about 1773.  “The estate then consisted only of the house and park, the former of which stood where the stables now stand”.  Copinger notes that the new hall is built of Woolpit brick, with stone dressing.  The Berners were also at Erwarton.


At some stage during the ownership of the Berners various other properties were added to the estate, including Freston Tower.  Since 1937 there have been numerous owners and uses, including World War II occupation by the War Office and Admiralty.  It is now the Ipswich School for Girls.


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