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Historic England Research Records

Keele Hall

Hob Uid: 76005
Location :
Grid Ref : SJ8195044780
Summary : Country house constructed circa 1580, rebuilt 1856-61 to designs by Anthony Salvin with additions of circa 1880 and circa 1950. It is a Jacobean style 3-storey house, L-shaped on plan. The house is built on the site of a house of the Knights Templars which was founded in 1180, passed to the Hospitallers circa 1324 after a period of time in the hands of the Earl of Gloucester. A staff of a reeve and several chaplains continued to be stationed at Keele in the late 14th century.
More information : (SJ 81954478) Keele Hall (NAT) (1)

Keele Hall, mainly 19th century with some remains of 16th century
work. Grade II. (2)

Keel, a cell of the Knights Templars from circa 1180 to 1311,
after which it belonged to the Hospitallers. Purchased from the
Crown by Sir WIlliam Sneyd in 1545. (3)

House of knights Templars founded before 1255, passed to
Hospitallers circa 1312. Dissolved circa 1338. (4)

Keele Hall, now a part of the University of Stafford, was
according to a stone inscription across the NE face, built by Ralph
Sneyd in 1580 and rebuilt in 1860 by another Ralph Sneyd. (5)

6/28 Keele Hall
2/12/52 Grade II*
Former country house, now part of university. Total re-building
by Anthony Salvin in 1856-61 for Ralph Sneyd of an earlier house
of c.1580. additions of c.1880 (see inscription to cornice "HAS
sandstone ashlar with chamfered rusticated quoins; plain tile
roofs with fish-scale bands and prominent ashlar stacks with
moulded capping. Jacobean style, roughly 'L'-shaped in plan. 3
storeys over cellars, attics. Viewed from the front the left-hand
wing is the plainest and has the character of a service wing;
projecting shaped gable to left with small pediment to top; to the
right is the main part of the wing with a corbelled half-dormer to
centre and a higher section of 2 bays to right with 2 shaped
full-dormers and connecting balustrade over moulded cornice;
mullioned and transomed windows and in the angle with the
left-hand gable a single-storeyed entrance porch of c.1950 with
the arms of Keele University above; a smaller round-arched
doorway to the right has the motto "THANK GOD FOR ALL" ABOVE.
The dominating feature of the wing and projecting from it in the
angle with the right-hand range is the rectangular staircase
tower, lit by tall, mullioned and transomed windows with an
upper storey or lantern (added by Sneyd as an after-thought)
surmounted by an openwork balustrade with 4 heraldic lions to the
corners. The right-hand wing is the original entrance front
with two 12-light mullioned and transomed windows (lighting
the Great Hall) to the left of the roughly central full-height
porch, approached by a short flight by steps, which has a classical
doorway with pediment and Doric columns but an upper oriel and
shaped gable above; to the right again is a full-height canted
bay terminating in a shaped half-dormer, piercing the openwork
balustrade; mullioned and transomed windows throughout. At
the right-hand end of the range is a lower attachment (c.1880),
carried round to the back, also with shaped gables and openwork
balustrade but to the rear with round-arched windows. The
south (garden) front is symmetrical (except for an upper canted
bay window in the left-hand bay) and has polygonal corner turrets
capped by lead cupolas; 1:1:3:1:1 windows (mullioned and
transomed) with projecting shaped gabled breaks to the left
and right and a slightly recessed central portion with a 3-bay
round-arched open arcade to the ground floor; Renaissance-style
decorative motifs. The east front is also for display, again
with polygonal corner turrets (one being shared with south
front); irregular fenestration (mainly mullioned and transomed
windows) with 4 half-dormers with shaped gables piercing
the openwork balustrade; the most prominent feature is the
lavishly ornamented 2-storeyed 3-window canted bay to the left,
terminating in a shaped and pointed gable. Interior: main rooms
all on principal floor, and much of the decoration inspired by
Sneyd. Great Hall: late medieval/early Renaissance style, has a
3-bay arcade at each end with gallery above; applied Ionic order
with carved heads at keystones to round-headed arches; the most
striking feature is the magnificent fireplace on the south wall
with a lavish heraldic device with 42 quarterings beneath a broken
pediment and with twisted marble columns to the sides. Behind
the hall to the south is the library with a richly ornamented
ceiling, gallery and fireplace, all by Salvin. The other main
rooms, however, are all on the east and now form the Senior Common
Room. They start on the north with the Dining Room in a Tudor
style; tapestries which (according to a C19 inventory) were made
by Aubusson "specially for the room" and carvings by Rogers in
the style of Grindling Gibbons; also a plaster ceiling and inlaid
floor surround by Messrs. Arrowsmith of New Bond Street. This
connects with the Breakfast Room, a relatively small link room
sharing motifs with both the Dining Room and the Drawing Room.
This is in an early C18 style and owes something to the influence
of William Kent; a coffered ceiling by Rogers, the painting of
which is largely original, pedimented door surrounds and 2 good
fireplaces. An unusual feature is the sliding mirror to the south
window, which can be used to deceive one into believing the rooms
double their actual extent. The other main item of note is the C17
style staircase (to the north of the Great Hall) with its
vase-shaped balusters and newels with pointed finials and
fleur-de-lys symbols. B.O.E., Pp.158-60, RS Hampson, JM Kolbert and
Dr Goodway (personal communication), and JM Kolbert, The Sneyds and
Keele Hall (guide book, 1970 edition) (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1968
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Newcastle-under-Lyme, March 1961
Page(s) : 7
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source details : Hutchinson S W. 1893. Archdeaconry of Stoke-on-Trent, 36
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 292, 294, 300, 304
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 29-NOV-74
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Borough of Newcastle-Under-Lyme, May 1985
Page(s) : Oct-13
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England
Source details : Staffordshire
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Part 38
Source Number : 8
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 294,304
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Founded 1180; dissolved 1312
Monument End Date : 1312
Monument Start Date : 1180
Monument Type : Templars Camera, Templars Preceptory
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1324
Monument Type : Hospitallers Camera
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Constructed c1580
Monument End Date : 1590
Monument Start Date : 1570
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt 1856-61
Monument End Date : 1861
Monument Start Date : 1856
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Additions c1880
Monument End Date : 1890
Monument Start Date : 1870
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Additions c1950
Monument End Date : 1960
Monument Start Date : 1940
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 362562
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SJ 84 SW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 74501
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1145291
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1530903
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SJ 84 SW 1
Start Date : 1974-11-29
End Date : 1974-11-29
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14