Tapton House, off Brimington Road, Chesterfield, completed in 1794.
Tapton House (now Tapton House School) is a late 18th century three-storeyed house of red brick with double stone bands above ground floor. It was formerly the home of George Stephenson, the railway pioneer. (1)
Tapton House is a most stately and impressive house set atop a hill overlooking Chesterfield and in a spacious park, which happily survives to a large extent. It was started in 1782 for Isaac Wilkinson, who had just received a legacy, and was completed after he had received another - this time from his father - in 1794. The house is two and a half storeys high and eight by five bays, built of brick with stone dressings and with a slate roof. The interior is unexpectedly fine with a wealth of restrained Rococo plasterwork and a vaguely Gothick oak staircase top-lit by a dome. The anomalies in the structure suggest that Wilkinson built a five by three bay villa first in 1782 and greatly expanded the house on succeeding his father twelve years later. The detailing suggests that Joseph Badger was the architect, as at Tapton Grove, at least for the first phase. In 1837 the house was leased to the celebrated railway pioneer George Stephenson who re-landscaped the 94 acre park with the help of his friend Sir Joseph Paxton. The house was given to Chesterfield Corporation in 1925 and was opened as a school in 1931, the grounds being turned into a public park. The school closed in 1991 and the building reopened as a College three years later. (2-3)
From the National Heritage List for England:
'1. BRIMINGTON ROAD 5169 (South East Side) ----------------- SK 37 SE 13/42 13.3.68. Tapton House II* GV
2. Late C18. Somewhat in the style of John Carr of York. Red brick with double stone bands above ground floor. 3 storeys 4-1-3 sashes, centre 3 light sash in advanced bay with pediment above. Stone modillion cornice. Hipped slate roof, 1st floor centre window has stone balustrade and wood mullions with Corinthian pilasters. 3 part stone doorway with columns, side lights and pediment. Side elevation has 5 windows with 3 bay stone centre window feature with pilasters and cornice. Round steps up. Centre windows ornamental stone architraves. Rear has 8 windows and good open stone pedimented door. Interior Late Cl8 in style, much of it original but with later embellishments. Setting Landscape park-house set on top of hill, park now public. History Tapton House was the home of George Stephenson the railway pioneer.
Listing NGR: SK3921372156.'
Bibliographic reference: DOE (HHR) Borough of Chesterfield Derby Sept 1977 11..
Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. 150.
Bibliographic reference: Craven, M & Stanley, M. 2001. The Derbyshire Country House: 2. 313-314.
Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1088335.
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