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Home > New Search > Mawley Hall

Mawley Hall  England 
Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, England

Started Circa 1728
Completed 1733

Status: Fully Extant

Special Info / Location/ Date

Special Info
Phonetic Pronunciation of House Name

District Today
 Historic County
 City / Town / Village
Cleobury Mortimer

Start Date
Circa 1728
Completion Date
Circa Date

Front Façade

Click on thumbnail for a larger view

Front Façade
Detail of Front Façade
Front and Side Facades
The Stables
Stables and Dovecote
Wall attached to Rear Façade

Designed   House for Sir Edward Blount, 4th Bt. Attribution of this work is uncertain, and generally credited to Francis Smith.
Date   Circa 1728-33
Attribution of this work is uncertain.

Designed   House for Sir Edward Blount, 4th Bt.
Date   Circa 1728-33

Designed   Stables for Sir Edward Blount, 4th Bt.
Date   1748
Attribution of this work is uncertain.

Extant / Listed / References

Extant Type
Fully Extant
Extant Details

House Listed As 
Grade I
Gardens Listed As  
Not Listed
Country House:  Yes

Vitruvius Britannicus
Vitruvius Scoticus
J.B. Burke (Burke's Visitation of Seats)
Country Life
XXVIII, 18, 1910.
J.P. Neale (Neale's Views of Seats)
Access / Ownership / Seat

Open to Public Please note: Houses listed as being open "By Appointment" are usually country house hotels, B&Bs, or schools.
Limited Access
Historic Houses Association Member
Phone Number If calling from the U.S., delete the first "0" in British numbers.
Fax Number

Current Ownership
Current Ownership Type
Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use
Private Home
Current Ownership Use / Details

Seat ("Seat" is loosely defined as any family that occupied the house for a period of 2 years or more)
Today Seat of
Rupert Galliers-Pratt; Galliers-Pratt family here since 1962.
A Past Seat(s) of
Sir Edward Blount, 4th Bt., 18th century.
Possible (Unsure) Seat of
History / Gardens & Park / Movies

Earlier House(s) / Building(s)
House Replaced By
Built / Designed For
Sir Edward Blount, 4th Bt.
House & Family History
The Catholic family of Blount had long lived quietly as recusants at nearby Sodington. By the early 18th century, with the threat of persecution much reduced, Sir Edward Blount, 4th Baronet, built Mawley between circa 1728 and 1733, probably to the designs of Francis Smith of Warwick. Mawley, though, is no Tory Church-going squire’s sober manor house, but a house of the highest quality – an exuberant celebration of design (listed as one of England’s Thousand Best Houses by Simon Jenkins in his 2003 book of the same title). Each façade of the nine-by-seven bay House presents a different design; on the Entrance Front giant Tuscan pilasters on the three-bay pediment and classical urns and statues on the parapet greet visitors with Roman gusto. Inside, the talents of the stuccadore Francesco Vassalli and the joiners Edward Poynton and Thomas Eborall (Poynton and Eborall frequently worked with Smith of Warwick) combine to create a riot of decorative detail. In the Hall the plasterwork is richly used as garlands, portrait roundels, and festoons, while the staircase climbs the three sides of its well with a wooden handrail of undulating fish and serpent form. The Oak Drawing Room is lined with finely carved and ornate oak paneling in the style of Grinling Gibbons and features a 1978 fresco ceiling by Graham Rust in the theme of Milton’s "Paradise Regained." With some of the finest Baroque interiors in England, all appears, as several commentators have observed, more Continental than English. With the departure of the Blount family, this remarkable house was almost lost in the middle years of the 20th century, until it was saved by the late Anthony Galliers-Pratt in 1962. His son and daughter-in-law, Rupert and Ali-B Galliers-Pratt, now live at Mawley and continue to add to the collections established by Rupert’s family. Mawley was famously used as the setting for the superb 1991 BBC/"Masterpiece Theatre" mini series production of "Clarissa." (We are most grateful to Gareth Williams for this history of Mawley Hall.)
Collections This field lists art objects that are currently or were previously in the collection of the house.

For information on the history of British currency, click here.  To use a chart that allows you to compare the purchasing power of money In Great Britain from 1264 to any other year, including the present, click here.  To use a currency conversion to see the current value of the British pound, click here.
Mawley is frequently cited as containing some of the finest Baroque interiors in England. Andor Gomme, writing in "Smith of Warwick: Francis Smith, Architect and Master-Builder," states that Mawley is "The most ambitious of early Georgian Shropshire houses…" Curt DiCamillo thinks it's one of the most extraordinary houses he's ever seen.

Gardens & Park
Garden, Park, Follies and Outbuildings
The gardens were laid out in the 1960s and feature expanses of lawn with mature oaks, beaches and cedars, as well as parterres, vistas, urns, and an herb garden. The 18th century Stables are extant.
Chapel & Church
There was a late Georgian chapel (attached to a corner of the House) that has been demolished.

Location for Movies / TV
"Clarissa" (1991 - BBC TV mini series, as the Harlowe family's country house).

Author   Colvin, Howard
Year Published   2008
Reference   pgs. 91, 947

Author   Gomme, Andor
Year Published   2000
Reference   pg. 188

Author   Reid, Peter
Year Published   1980
Reference   pgs. 101-102

There are no documents associated with this house.

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