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Historic England Research Records

The Grange

Hob Uid: 1586822
Location :
Cambridgeshire
Huntingdonshire
Brampton
Grid Ref : TL2083071030
Summary : Brampton Grange was built in 1773 as a detached house. The building was converted into a school in 1836 and later returned to use as a house in 1871. It was probably at this time that the porch and Venetian windows were added. In 1940 the Grange was bought for the Air Ministry and became the headquarters for RAF 7 Group and later the Eight Air Force of the United States of America Air Force, reverting back to the RAF in 1946 until 1881. The Grange became a hotel and restaurant in 1983 closing in 2009. The Grange is constructed of brick with stone dressings and a tile roof covering. It is a five bay building or two-storeys constructed around a central staircase. Few original fixtures and fittings remain. The house was assessed for designation in 2012 but failed to meet the required criteria.
More information : A former hotel, constructed as a detached house in 1773, remodelled and extended in the late C19 and used as a military headquarters in World War II.
The Grange, Brampton is not designated for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural Interest: the architectural quality of the building has been significantly harmed by successive remodelling of the C19 and C20 removing historic fabric, fixtures and fittings;

* Historic Interest: the important role of the building as a HQ for the RAF and USAAF Eighth Air Force is readily acknowledged, but the association is not reflected in the building and does not compensate for the loss of historic fabric, fixtures and fittings;

* Group Value: a consideration due to nearby listed buildings, but does not compensate for the degree of change.
The Grange was built in 1773 as a private dwelling, but became a school in 1836. In 1871 it reverted to a residence and it was probably at this time that the porch and Venetian window were added to the façade and a bay and another Venetian window were added to the rear. The first edition Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1888 indicates that there was a conservatory attached to the west elevation, but in the second edition OS a rear wing had been added to the east and an additional extension to the west. The presence of horned sashes and blocked windows at the rear and west elevations suggest the fenestration was re-ordered in the late C19.

In 1940 Lord Portal, Secretary of State for Air, bought the Grange on behalf of the Air Ministry and it became the headquarters for RAF 7 Group, whose main purpose was to train bomber crews including those at RAF Brampton located at Brampton Park just to the south of the village. The building was altered to facilitate military use. In 1942, the Grange became the headquarters for the Eighth Air Force of the United States of American Air Force (USAAF), the first USAAF base established in the country. Numerous top-ranking officers including General Spaatz, General Eaker, Major General Fed Anderson, Gen Hansell, Lt. General James H. Doolittle and a Congressman visited the Grange and USAAF bombardments of German towns and cities were orchestrated from the building. After the Americans returned home in 1946, the Grange reverted to the RAF until 1981 when it was converted into a hotel and restaurant. In 1983, The Grange Hotel as it was then known, was listed at Grade III, a now defunct designation category, and described as being a house of c1870.

The Grange has been vacant for approximately three years. Most of the internal plaster, joinery and all fireplaces except for that in the hall on the ground floor and first floor corridor have been removed and the building has been re-pointed. Planning consent has been granted to convert the building into flats and will necessitate the horizontal division of the interior, rebuilding of some of the external brickwork and replacement of the roof structure.
MATERIALS: late-C18 and late-C19 red brick laid in Flemish bond, stone dressings and a tile covering to the roof.

PLAN: symmetrically arranged around a central staircase hall.

EXTERIOR: a five bay, two-storey building, parapeted to each elevation, with a central pediment and heavy dentil cornice at the front and rear. The parapet conceals three parallel hipped roofs. The façade has a central, late-C19 porch with arched stone heads to the entrance and side windows, heavy, stone dentil string course and a stone modillion cornice to the flat roof which probably once supported a balustrade. The entrance door is C20. Above is a late-C19 Venetian window with an incised, stone head, flanked by a pair of late-C19 four-over-four sash windows with horns, the two outer windows having straight segmented brick heads. The windows on the ground floor are late-C19, four-over-four sashes with horns and straight brick heads. The rear elevation has a central late-C19 porch with a heavy dentil stone cornice to the flat hood and a late-C19 partly glazed, timber door. To the left (west) of the porch is a curtailed, external stack with a carved stop of some antiquity inserted at the base; it depicts the figure of a king and angels. Further to the left on the ground floor is an added brick bay with decorative, brick parapet and a dentil course; it replaced a former window, a scar of which is evident in the fabric. Above the rear porch is a Venetian window with segmented brick head. All of the rear windows are late-C19, four-over four sashes with horns. The scars of the former additions are evident in the east and west elevations, both of which have late-C19 windows at the first floor and exposed late-C19 brickwork. A blocked window is apparent at the first floor of the west elevation.

INTERIOR: with the exception of the late-C19 four-panelled doors and door architraves and window shutters to the windows at the façade, all of the joinery has been removed. Most of the wall and ceiling plaster has been removed exposing either lightly timber-framed or brick wall partitions and floor frames with heavy, transverse bridging beams. On the ground floor, only the staircase hall retains decorative plasterwork comprising modillions and egg and dart motifs. A late-C19, tiled and cast-iron fireplace with ogee-shaped, incised and painted stone surround remains in the hall, topped by a carved stone feature. The open string staircase is late-C19 or early-C20 and comprises newel posts with carved roundels and ball finials, and chamfered stick balusters. On the first floor, a central corridor runs along the axis of the building with decorative plaster arches supported on carved brackets. Late-C20 fire-doors and partitions relating to the hotel use remain. One roof structure comprising principal rafters and a central ridge piece was observed. (1)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : UDS Non-Designation case
Source details : Designation Adviser, 7th August 2012
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Hanoverian
Display Date : Change of use to school
Monument End Date : 1836
Monument Start Date : 1836
Monument Type : School
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Georgian
Display Date : Built 1773
Monument End Date : 1773
Monument Start Date : 1773
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Victorian
Display Date : Converted back to a house
Monument End Date : 1871
Monument Start Date : 1871
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Change of use 1942
Monument End Date : 1940
Monument Start Date : 1940
Monument Type : Air Force Headquarters
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Late 20th Century
Display Date : Change of use
Monument End Date : 1981
Monument Start Date : 1981
Monument Type : Hotel, Restaurant
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 21st Century
Display Date : Closed 2009
Monument End Date : 2009
Monument Start Date : 2009
Monument Type : Hotel, Restaurant
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1410446
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 27 SW 172
External Cross Reference Notes :

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