Development seen through historic images from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The Historic England listing of the Grade 1 building describes the Baroque north range in some detail:
“PRINCIPAL BUILDING Halswell House (listed grade I; Buildings at Risk Register 1999) comprises a south range built in the C16 for Sir Nicholas Halswell, and a monumental north range built for Sir Halswell Tynte in 1689 to designs by William Taylor, a London surveyor who made alterations at Longleat, Wiltshire (qv) (CL 1989). The baroque north facade is of three storeys with a flat roof concealed by a balustrade, all constructed in Ham Hill stone. The central doorway is set within a niche, while the window above is flanked by pilasters and surmounted by a pediment and carved coat of arms. The recessed centre of the north facade is enclosed by slightly projecting two-bay wings to the east and west. The east facade comprises a five-bay return of the north range, beyond which stands the irregular two-storey gabled south range under a pitched slate roof. To the west the north range returns with a doorway flanked by niches, while a screen wall conceals the service quarters in the south range.
Baroque north front on imposing scale; 3 storeys, 2:3:2 bays, the outer in shallow wings; rusticated quoins, ramped plinth band, first floor band, first floor sill band, second floor band and band over heads of second floor windows; cornice, baluster parapet. Sash windows with glazing bars; on second floor with square heads in architraves; windows to centre paired, a C18 alteration. Windows to the wings with segmental heads and architraves, outer windows of centre bays with semi-circular heads, elaborate architraves; to first floor, foliate panels over. Centre window of centre 3 stepped forward and emphasised with raising crescendo of ornament eared architrave, flanked by 3 sets of pilasters, inner with carved foliage, centre with scrolled volutes supporting open triangular pediment; moulded keystone supports large painted cartouche, swag each side. Paired three-quarter glazed doors in semi-circular headed recess, fanlight, radiating glazing bars; trophies flanking rusticated pilasters stepped back in 3 stages, to centre represented by quarter column, supports deep cornice which forms narrow balcony, formerly iron rails, now missing. Returns in similar style; left of 5 bays, ground floor rusticated, sash windows with glazing bars, on first floor moulded architraves with cornices, centre window with triangular pediment, baluster panel below. To right of 3 bays, sash windows with glazing bars, centre first floor with semi-circular head in square head architrave, dentil cornice, baluster panel set below; C18 single-storey bays on ground floor with cornices, between them semi-circular head door opening in rusticated surround, half-glazed door…… Right return of north front with attached wall to obscure service quarters, emphasised door opening and 2 niches. …North range with elaborate plaster and woodwork, much in replica after fire; large open-well staircase, twisted balusters, ramped handrail, panelled newel posts; stairwell with ornamental plaster ceiling, Baroque with wreathing, cartouches, cherubs, corner pilasters; ground floor dining room ceiling, with ribs, garlands, intertwined branches, dentil cornice, in style of fig; first floor room to east with further Baroque ceiling, ornamented with centre wreath with enframing panels, also chinoiserie wallpaper. Centre rooms to ground and first floor more restrained, on ground floor fielded panelling; 3 fine C18 chimney pieces, room on right of ground floor with chimney piece removed, C16 plaster overmantel reset above a doorway between house and service wing.”