Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rous Lench, Worcestershire

The social house

After the smallest building in this Worcestershire village, described in the previous post, here’s the largest, Rou Lench Court, a house of the 16th and 17th centuries, much altered in the 19th century by Charles Henry Rouse Boughton and his successor as Lord of the Manor William Kyle Westwood Chafy Chafy. The photograph shows the western range of house, the part visible from the road, which Pevsner thinks is mostly early-16th century.

The timber-framed upper storey above the sandstone ground floor, the large chimney, and brick chimney stacks all look as if they could be from this date. There’s a solidity about these features, the timbers have the roughness of age, and the patterns of curving braces amongst the timber frames are often seen in the ‘black-and-white’ villages of Worcestershire. The Victorians added decorations and touches of fancy here and there. The ornate dormer windows and the little square turret are probably Victorian additions. I’d guess that the painted inscription above the gate, ‘Welcome ye coming, Spede ye parting guest’ is a 19th-century embellishment too, a piece of self-conscious old-Englishry, but a noble sentiment above the entrance to a beautiful, and social, house.


bazza said...

Is this still one single house Philip and, if so, is it privately occupied?

Philip Wilkinson said...

Bazza: Still one house and as far as I know privately occupied. It's available for hire, for weddings etc, and there's a promotional website here.