Astoft

 

Titchfield Abbey (Place House),  Hampshire
16th century

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A Tudor house based on a dissolved medieval abbey


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Engraving of the house in 1733 (from plaque in front of the house).

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Brief history

 

Notes in italics from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by Nikolaus Pevsner and David Lloyd (1967) Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

 

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The shell of the gatehouse is virtually intact. It is a spectacular piece of Tudor work, entirely Gothic in general conception and in the principal detailing, but of that peculiarly Tudor variety of Gothic that developed out of the purer Perpendicular, with cuspless square-headed windows, very flat arches, and a paucity of fine decoration. The angle turrets are exceptionally large. ... The two-storey wings E and W of the gatehouse ... are simply fashioned out of the E and w parts of the monastic nave ...  

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The main part of the gatehouse is three-storeyed. The uppermost storey is tall, with a shallow canted oriel window ... on each of the upper floors, the two being linked intermediately, top oriel with miniature crenellation, the base of the lower bracketed back to the facade. The four-centred archway has incised mouldings dying into the jambs about half-way down; the original doors remain, each door with horizontal and vertical moulded strips dividing it into eight panels ... 

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Almost the only pieces of ornamentation on the gatehouse, not simply related to the structure, are the grotesque gargoyles on the string courses of the parapets and - among the most engaging Tudor features of Titchfield - mock arrow-slits on the ground floor of the turrets, cross-shaped on the angular faces, vertical only on the outer faces. These could not possibly have been intended to have any defensive significance and are an extraordinarily early piece of mock 'medievalism' - hardly before the Middle Ages had ended.


Dscn1473-levmid-u2-540-u0.5-q60.jpg (62880 bytes)    Dscn1462-540-u80.0.5.1-webq60.jpg (41881 bytes) The upper part of the W front was largely rebuilt in Tudor brick, making a fine composition, with crowstepped gables and a crowning pair of chimneys, standing on octagonal brick bases with cusped panel patterns, one of the stacks ornamented in a zigzag pattern.
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Views of east wing

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Several TILES, of the late C13 or early C14, remain in situ in the cloister and elsewhere, their designs varying between floral, bestial, heraldic, and simply geometrical patterns. 

Map

Titchfield Church

 

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