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Historic England Research Records

Pennsylvania Castle

Hob Uid: 868650
Location :
Dorset
Portland
Grid Ref : SY6959307110
Summary : Pennsylvania Castle is a large country house, later a hotel and now a house again (2009), built in 1797-1800 to designs of James Wyatt. It was built for John Penn, Military Governor of the island of Portland and grandson of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, USA. The building was constructed of squared and coursed Portland stone and is covered with slate. The flag of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which was presented by the US senate, hangs in the hall. It is alleged that Churchill and Eisenhower planned part of the D-Day invasion here.
More information : (SY 6959 7110) Pennsylvania Castle [NAT] (1)

Pennsylvania Castle is of two and three storeys and was constructed of ashlar and squared rubble. The roof is covered with slate. It was built in 1800 by James Wyatt for the Governor of Portland and grandson of William Penn, John Penn. Originally it comprised a rectangular block with a small rectangular tower at each corner and a large circular tower adjoining the north-east corner. Later additions have been made to the southern end and the west side. The walls feature embattled parapets. The castle maintains a Gothic appearance by pointed arches, pointed lancet windows and intersecting glazing bars. A gallery is situated along the eastern front and links the Dining room in the round tower to the Drawing Room, which is located in the lower part of the south-east tower. The entrance hall is at the north end. The castle can be reached through a stone gateway. The house was converted into a hotel. (2-3)

The building was constructed of squared and coursed Portland stone. In the late 20th century it was extended to the south by a flat-roofed block in two storeys and a glazed full-width conservatory. There was also a late 20th century addition at the south front. The castle appears as "Sylvania Castle" in Hardy's "The Well-Beloved". (4)

The flag of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which was presented by the US senate, hangs in the hall. It is alleged that Churchill and Eisenhower planned part of the D-Day invasion here. (5)

In the 1980s the building was converted into a hotel. By 2009 it was again in private use. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : OS 1:2500 1980
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : RCHM Dorset 2 (ii): South East 1970 253
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Bldgs of Eng: Dorset 1972 342 (N Pevsner & J Newman)
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Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DoE (HHR) Weymouth and Portland Sep 1978 (23-24)
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Source Number : 5
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : http://www.weymouth-dorset.co.uk/portland.html [Accessed 11-AUG-2009]
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Source Number : 6
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : http://www.itraveluk.co.uk/content/345.html [Accessed 11-AUG-2009]
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Georgian
Display Date : Built between 1797 and 1800
Monument End Date : 1800
Monument Start Date : 1797
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Late 20th Century
Display Date : Altered late C20
Monument End Date : 2000
Monument Start Date : 1967
Monument Type : Hotel
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Late 20th Century
Display Date : Change of use 1980s
Monument End Date : 1989
Monument Start Date : 1980
Monument Type : Hotel
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 21st Century
Display Date : Change of use by 2009
Monument End Date : 2009
Monument Start Date :
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 : 381996
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SY 67 SE 67
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, PENNSYLVANIA CASTLE, WAKEHAM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31