Accessibility

Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

MOYNES COURT, MATHERN; KNOVILL HOUSE; THE MOAT HOUSE

Site Details



NPRN 20438

Map Reference ST59SW

Grid Reference ST51989093

Unitary (Local) Authority Monmouthshire

Old County Monmouthshire

Community Mathern

Type of Site HOUSE

Broad Class DOMESTIC

Period Post Medieval, Medieval

Site Description Moynes Court has origins as the medieval castle of Moyns built by the Bishop of Llandaff, the moat and mound of which survives to the south west; but the present house was largely rebuilt by the Bishop of Landaff 1609-10 (probably Bishop Francis Godwin) and was occupied as their main seat after leaving Mathern Palace. The heraldic plaque over the main entrance to the house has his coat of arms and is dated 1609 to record his rebuilding of the pre-existing country house, but how much of the older house survives within the present one is uncertain. The Bishop moved to Cardiff in 1763 and Moynes Court was sold by the diocese in 1889. An addition was made to the south west corner of the house in c1890 very much in the character of Eric Francis's work. The house was divided into three properties c1960, No 1 having the front door and No 2 the main staircase.

The house is constructed of squared red sandstone rubble with some Bath stone dressings, and with stone slates on the front slope and plain tiles on the rear. It is a three storey and attic double depth house with a central spine wall carrying the chimneys.

The main three-gabled front has the central gable set forward as a 3-storeyed porch. The doorway has a flat head, a stop chamfered surround and a dripmould. The door is of four studded planks with strap hinges, dated 1610. Above is an heraldic plaque with the coat of arms of Bishop Francis Godwin, dated 1609 to record his rebuilding of the house. The lower floors each have mullion and transome windows on either side of the porch, all with dripmoulds, ovolo mullions and relieving arches, leaded light casements. The central gable has a 2-light window, the outer gables 3-light ones as before. The gables all have copings and the front ones have finials. Only the very tops of the chimneys can be seen from the ground at the front, there is a central 2-flue stack and a 3-flue one behind each gable, all are diamond set.

The rear elevation is much less well ordered with alterations and a mixture of modern, reproduction and mullioned and transomed windows. It has two central 4-storey gables, to the left a single bay gabled wing projects. This has a tall stack and was perhaps the bakehouse. The right hand main gable (No 2) is the staircase. Modern lean-to porch on the ground floor, a 3-light and a 2-light window above. The right hand corner is a bay which was added in c1890 and is in ashlar on the garden side. It has timber ovolo mullioned windows with cross frames except for the ground floor on the garden side. There is a 3-light mullion-and-transom window in timber at the gable end of the original block and 3-light stone windows above this. All the timber windows are very much in the character of Eric Francis's work at Mathern Palace and the addition may have been designed by him.

The interiors of both parts of the house retain a number of period features, some of which are probably late C19 reproduction. Panelled doors with raised strap-work, ceiling beams and fireplaces in the Stuart manner, the Drawing Room fireplace of No 1 has a fireback dated 1649. There are doorways with chamfered and moulded frames. There are some early C18 2-panel doors. The main staircase (No 2) is in straight flights round a central solid core, rising to the attic. The largest room was the Long Gallery in the attic which is now divided by a partition wall. This has seven bays of arch braced collar beams, principal rafters, and butt purlins in two tiers. Separate room over the porch, end gable windows. There are two small fireplaces with chamfered frames. Small cellar to No 1.

(source; Cadw listing database) S Fielding RCAHMW 13/07/2005

Moat House (Nprn20374) appears to be an additional wing.
Associated with:
Gatehouse (Nprn20439)
Barn (Nprn43304)
Garden (Nprn266063)
Moat (Nprn308006).
RCAHMW AP94-CS 0461-2
RCAHMW AP45065/52-3
J.Wiles 03.03.03

Digital Images

Archive Records

Associated Sites