In 1659 Compton Bassett House was a U-shaped building which was open to the south-east. Its main range, lying north-east and south-west, had a hall at its north-east end and, south-west of the hall, a screens passage with an entrance at the west corner of the courtyard. The lord of the manor, Sir John Weld, was said in 1672 to have spent nearly £10,000 on building and, presumably between 1663 and 1672, the courtyard was built over and the house was made rectangular with sides of 130 ft. and 110 ft. and given projecting corner towers. The mullioned and transomed windows were probably retained in the old part of the house; sashes were used in the new south-east front. The walls of the house were of soft white stone; one side, probably the north-west front which was the main entrance front in 1760, had been renewed in brick by 1814. Later in the 19th century the rest of the house was encased in brick, and embattled parapets were added; those changes were presumably made by George Walker Heneage (d. 1875), who restored the house.
In the early 1930s Compton Bassett House was demolished and in 1935 its stable block was converted to a house, also called Compton Bassett House and extensively altered in the early 1990s when it was owned by the architect Sir Norman Foster. In 1994 it belonged to Mr. John Pringle.
John Pringle was married to Liz Pringle (nee Isobel Ann Benn),the Canadian fashion model.
In the early 1990s I was employed to carry out trials of limewashes on the exterior of the house. Mr Pringle had seen the work carried out by me at Ham House and wanted advice as to how the barrack-block like appearance might be ameliorated. I produced a specification for the painters.
The house was subsequently bought by Mr Robbie Williams.
Much of this has been taken from ‘Compton Bassett’, A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 17: Calne (2002), pp. 146-159.
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