A fine example of a significant Listed country house, largely surviving with original features.
AB Heritage Limited was commissioned to produce a Heritage Statement (Statement of Significance) covering the Grade II* Listed Mount Somerset Hotel (formerly known as Henlade House), and its associated early C19 coach house & stable.
The former Mount Somerset Hotel was closed awaiting renovation. The Heritage Statement (Phase 1:Statement of Significant) was to be used as a live document by our clients to guide sympathetic restoration and development of the house and associated outbuildings, grounds and gardens.
Although suffering a degree of decay, the main house has survived largely intact and provides some excellent examples of original features including fireplaces, plaster covings, doors and windows, stairways, basements and the rare survival of 1870s decorative scheme including stencilled sunflower design and Lincrusta wallpaper. As a result, Henlade House is a heritage asset of Very High Significance.
The building has seen four distinct phases of development: the East range forms part of the ‘old’ Henlade House with origins possibly as early as C17, the North range is largely c. 1815 with 1870s decorative scheme, the West range is c. 1890s and there are several 20th century extensions to the South.
The coach house & stable has undergone a high level of alteration, particularly on the interior, where there is no trace of the former function of the building. Some architectural interest remains on the exterior of the building, but its significance is associated with its proximity and position to the main house and its retained courtyard areas. The former coach house and stable is one of Medium Significance.
Mitigation by design
Our report was able to thoroughly detail features and fabrics of heritage importance throughout the buildings. It provided guidance of how design proposals can minimise the potential harm that alterations could have on the significance of the building and it’s individual surviving elements. It highlighted where opportunities can be taken to enhance its significance through the reversal or enhancement of detrimental elements.
The assessment by AB Heritage further recommended that to protect the setting of the original house, any further development within the immediate setting of the house and its gardens should be carefully considered, as they remain largely original.
AB Heritage is a registered organisation with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists