West Horsley Place

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Royal)

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameWest Horsley Place
Alternative Names
Historic CountrySurrey
Modern AuthoritySurrey
1974 AuthoritySurrey
Civil ParishWest Horsley

Country House. C15 wing, C17 core, refronted in early C17 by 2nd Viscount Montagu, further altered in mid C18 by Henry Weston who ordered the wings be shortened. Timber framed, exposed to rear with brick infill, clad in red and brown brick to front with hipped,plain tiled roofs. H-shaped plan, main front to south, with north- east wing demolished. Entrance front (south): two storeys and attics on plinth with brick cornice over ground and first floors, brick plat band to top of parapet and following shape of end gables and central Dutch gable. End gables with brick dentils to right. 6 gabled casement dormers, 3 either side of centre. Single bay wings with ten bay centre. Bold brick pilasters to first floor on bases carrying diamond motif, composite order capitals simplified into canted plain projections, echoed in entablature above. Originally each wing projected three bays but that to right was reduced to one bay and given plain gable with Venetian window, now blocked. Thermal window to end gables, blocked to right, Venetian window to first floor left, tripar- tite window to ground floor left. Lunette window to centre gable in attic storey, 10 first floor and 8 ground,16-pane,glazing bar sash windows under gauged brick heads below. Big central brick doorcase with Doric pilasters flanking "Gothick" doorcase with brick hood mould and glazed ogee transome light. Single bay extension set back to left with one window on each floor. Left hand return front (west):- 3 rendered stacks and irregular mixed fenestration of glazing bar sashes and leaded casements. Mathematical tiling to first floor left, arched brick fireplace to base of one stack. Rear:- Rendered gable with cusped bargeboards and ogee apex. Offset end stack to right. Mixed sash and leaded casement fenestration, large sandstone block C16 stack in angle with wing. Interior:- Entrance lobby - domed with band of Greek Key patterning

Great Hall - originally part of the Medieval Hall? Now floored with Doric colonnade in position of screen. Stone flagged with egg and dart eaves cornice. 6-panel doors under Doric modillion pediment overdoors. 4 columns to screen with geometric pattern to soffits. C17 oak staircase with turned baluster balustrade, decorated dado rail. Square newel posts. Square panel ceiling decoration over. Smaller stair to east end of house with square newel posts and square balusters, large spherical finials to newels and good panelling, fielded in parts. First floor room to west wing:- marble fireplace with deep leaf moulding, broken swan neck pediment over fireplace. Rose garland carving in deep relief and Greek Geometric lintel to window. In roof space of west wing are a series of octagonal and plain crown posts, at least two of which have moulded plinths and caps and four way bracing. In centre range lower gabled wings roof structures of earlier build survive. The house is also of considerable Historic Interest as it was owned by Carew Raleigh, son of Sir Walter Raleigh, Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald "Fair Geraldine" of the Earl of Surrey's Sonnets and also belonged to the Nicholas and Weston families. (Listed Building Report)

The Mansion came into the possession of Henry VIII in 1538, a large house with numerous rooms including a hall, great chamber, great dining chamber, joining parlour and chapel. Alterations and repairs were carried out (for Henry VIII) in 1539, 1541 and 1543. (PastScape ref. HKW)

Gatehouse Comments

A Medieval house, altered during C16, refaced in C17 and C18. Forfeited from Henry Courtney, Marquess of Exeter, to Henry VIII in 1538. Does not seem to have been held by the Crown for long and not used.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ087530
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Cooper, Nicholas, 1999, Houses of the Gentry, 1480-1680 (Yale University Press) p. 177
  • Thurley, Simon, 1993, The Royal Palaces of Tudor England (Yale University Press) p. 49
  • Colvin, H.M., Ransome, D.R. and Summerson, John, 1982, The history of the King's Works, Vol. 4: 1485-1660 (part 2) (London) p. 285
  • Pevsner, N. and Nairn, Ian, 1971 (Revised by Cherry, Bridget), Buildings of England: Surrey (London, Penguin) p. 512-3


  • Streitberger, W.R., 1994, 'Records of royal banqueting houses and Henry VIII's timber lodging, 1543-1559' Journal of the Society of Archivists Vol. 15 p. 187-202
  • 1939, Country Life Vol. 85 p. 302, 328, 354


  • Historic England, 2016, Heritage at Risk South East Register 2016 (London: Historic England) p. 72 (new entry) online copy