Shotover House
Shotover House

The architect of the house is unknown but could possibly have been William Townesend who worked with Nicholas Hawksmoor at The Queen’s College in Oxford and may have designed some of the building there. Although nothing can definitely attributed to Townesend the elder Tyrrell was a member of Queen’s and it would have made sense for him to employ people from his old college.

Nikolaus Pevsner describes the building as ‘a tall narrow house of seven bays, externally somewhat staid’. It is built on sloping ground and hence has three storeys on the west front and four storeys on the garden side, with the lowest floor on this side consisting of an open rusticated loggia which resembles a similar structure below the library at The Queen’s College.

At Shotover House the loggia originally extended as an arcade of four arches on each side of the house but in 1855 these were filled in, and two-storey additions, in the same style as the original house, were built over them by Joshua Sims. The Ionic porch on the west front is probably also of this date. Inside the most lavish decoration is in the hall where there is some sumptuous plasterwork in high relief. The fireplace resembles that in The Queen’s College hall. Sir John Vanbrugh advised the younger Tyrrell on the interior and garden layout. The saloon is panelled in oak and has a fireplace designed by William Kent.
 
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