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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List Entry Number: 1038000



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Staffordshire
District: Staffordshire Moorlands
District Type: District Authority
Parish: Caverswall

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 02-May-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Aug-1986

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 274806

Asset Groupings

This List entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List Entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



12/4 Caverswall Castle, Screen walls, Gatehouse 2.5.53 and Bridge (formerly listed as Caverswall - Castle)


Castle, later country house. C13 foundation to superstructure of circa 1615, enlarged, altered and refitted circa 1890. The work of 1615 has been attributed to Robert and John Smythson. Red sandstone ashlar; flat roofs largely invisible behind crenellated parapets with multishafted C19 side stacks; the gatehouse and angle towers have tiled roofs and balustraded parapets. Built in a castellar, supra-vernacular style with a foretaste of Bolsover and echoes of Longleat (and strangely reminiscent of Castle Drogo by Lutyens). House: the single-fronted house is a truncated rendition of the Slingsby plan and facade with symmetry upset by the lack of an eastern stair tower, the vacuum part filled by the additions of 1890 leading on to the gatehouse. Facade: of 3 storeys on a raised plinth over cellars (which are only part below ground level), banded at ceiling levels up to crenellated parapets, fenestrated on all 3 levels by five 3-light chamfer mullion and transom windows, the outer inset slightly from the extremities and formed into full height 3-sided bays with similar 2-light windows to angled sides; the central entrance has a small, 3-sided underplayed single storey porch with balustered parapet and part-glazed C19 doors. The square stair tower is well set back on the west side of the front rising a further storey, banded only under the parapet and fenestrated at that level by a three-light mullioned window with further two-light windows rising with the stairs; the C19 wing of two storeys slightly set back on the east side, of similar style including the two windows, the left hand a bay; the right hand first-floor window has a panel under inscribed "MDCCCXCI". Retaining structure: the house is set to the north side of a square retaining enclosure surrounded by an excavated moat which opens out to lower ground level on the west, forming a prospect which was never used. The lower parts of the walls (approx. 9m high) appear to be the only remnant of the medieval castle (the stonework above garden level certainly seems homogenous with the house) rising to plain parapets (set at garden level) and with octagonal towers on all but the northern-most angle. These rise to two storeys above the inner garden level (and thus approximately four storeys from the floor of the moat); they are pyramidally roofed with balustraded parapets and fenestrated by two-light mullioned windows on most facets but only to the final two storeys. The Gatehouse: of similar style; set on the east side and attached to the angle of the C19 wing of the house; fronted with two 3-sided bay turrets flanking an entranceway with rounded 2 centred arches; the inner face is flush. The gatehouse leads onto the bridge of two round arches with C19 balustrade set on a corbelled band. Interior of main house: entered via a screens passage with the hall opening out to the left via a round arch with carved figures; all the walls are panelled; two round arch (again in imitation of the medieval layout) doorways at far end and fireplace to north (inner) side; the overmantel has C17 elements but heavily remodelled and enriched in the C19 restoration; ovolo moulded beams and joists. Stairway: entered through one of the doors (the other is a blind dummy) at the rear of the hall rising in straight flights, a C19 restoration; lions and unicorns on newels, vase balusters. Dining Room: has 3 C17 low relief panels of hunting scenes reset in C19 over- mantel and late C17 or early C18 panelling. Library: early C18 panelling, C19 strap work, plaster ceiling, C17 overmantel with low relief carvings of fruit. First floor billiard room: set over hall with elaborate C19 plasterwork. The cellar does not bear the promise of Slingsby's garden room, being a collection of plain and unadorned service rooms. Refs: B.O.E. p. 95. M. Girouard. "Robert Smythson and the [Elizabethan Country House" p.181-2.

Listing NGR: SJ9507742769

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Girouard, M, Robert Smythson and the Elizabethan Country House, (1983), 181-2
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Staffordshire, (1974), 95


National Grid Reference: SJ 95083 42808

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This copy shows the entry on 06-May-2021 at 03:55:21.