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Papillon Hall

Gazetteer No. G0130

Date 1903

Address Lubenham Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 9TP England


Papillon Hall is the only important Lutyens house to have been destroyed – it was pulled down in 1948. It is also Lutyens’s only large butterfly-plan house – being an extension to a strange and haunted house which had been built in 1622-1624 on a flattened octagon plan by David Papillon, jeweller to Charles I. No doubt it was the name of the house that inspired Lutyens to use the butterfly plan here – (how could he have resisted it?) – although he had visited Shaw’s Chesters in 1901 and found its planning ‘a masterpiece’. To do this he pushed out four wings on the alternate elevations of the old house, remodelling the old rooms to form the core of his new house; he retained the service block and designed a long stable wing. He retained the old gables in the centre of each of the main facades, though he rendered and half-timbered them, and then added additional half-timbered gables to his wings. In contrast to the vernacular style of the main block of the house, the entrance porch is a classical rusticated triumphal arch under a broken pediment, leading into a circular court with a pure Tuscan arcade. (Amery et al., 1981, cat no.130)

A rectilinear entrance court leads, via a porch embedded in one of the wings of the house, through an external court surrounded by a Tuscan columned cloister to the entrance vestibule on the west side of the building. The basically H-shaped plan is symmetrically disposed for views to south and east. At the centre of the H, circulation is peripheral with all principal rooms having two doors leaving the major axis to originate from a wall and continue out into the garden. The entrance sequence was differentiated from the vernacular house by classical detailing and the interior was decorated in a variety of eclectic styles. (Inskip, 1986, p.57)


Amery, C., Richardson, M. and Stamp, G. (1981) Lutyens, the Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): Hayward Gallery London, 18 November 1981-31 January 1982. London: Arts Council of Great Britain.

Inskip, P. (1986) Edwin Lutyens: Architectural Monographs 6. 2nd edn. London: Academy Editions.

Also Cited In

Gradidge, R. (1982) Edwin Lutyens: Architect Laureate. London: Allen & Unwin.

Weaver, L. (1913) Houses and Gardens by E L Lutyens. London: Country Life.

Aslet, C. (1982) The Last Country Houses. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Pevsner, N., Williamson, E., Brandwood, G.K. (1984) Leicestershire. The Buildings of England. London: Penguin.

Butler, A., 1950. The architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens: the Lutyens memorial series. Vol 1: Country Houses, Country Life: London and Scibners: New York.

PAPILLON HALL. 1912. Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), 31(800), pp. axv, axvi, axvii, axviii.

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Listing Reference


Frank Belville