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HER Number (PRN):13238
Name:Plaish Hall, PLAISH
Type of Record:Building
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1307552: PLAISH HALL, PLAISH

Monument Types


A 16th century country house, which is protected by Grade I Listing.

Parish:Cardington, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SO59NW
Grid Reference:SO 5301 9647

Related records

03685Related to: Chapel Yard Plaish (Monument)
03941Related to: Plaish Hall moat (Monument)
07699Related to: Plaish Hall Park (Monument)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA8840 - 2019 Photographic survey at Plaish Hall by Peter C Walker


Country house. Circa 1540 and c. 1580, for Sir William Leighton, incorporating parts of a C15 house, with C17, c. 1889 and early C20 alterations and additions. Red brick (English bond) with vitrified blue diapering and grey sandstone dressings; sides and rear of coursed grey sandstone rubble; stone slate roof, with gablets at ends of hall range. H-plan with gabled wings. 2 storeys and attic over basement. Chamfered plinth, stone quoins, and parapeted gables with stone copings and kneelers; pairs of large C16 and C17 external lateral stone and brick stacks with pitched-roofed links to attic and groups of star-shaped and square brick shafts with oversailing caps [that to rear at left a C17 replacement and that to front at left having lost 2 spiral moulded circular brick shafts since 1917 (Avray Tipping)]. External lateral stack at rear of hall range has 3 circular brick shafts with moulded diapering and moulded bases and caps; C19 brick stack at rear too Pair of central flat-topped late C19 wooden dormers with 3-light wooden casements. South-east front: 1:3:1 windows; C16 and C17 stone double-chamfered 3- and 4-light mullioned and transomed windows (some C19 restorations and insertions), C16 windows with pointed-arched lights and hollow chamfers; ground-floor window off-centre to right possibly replacing former oriel or bay (see straight joints); first-floor half glazed C19 door off-centre to left has small C19 balcony with scrolled stone brackets and wrought-iron balustrade; C19 nail-studded ground floor door off-centre to left with C19 moulded and chamfered 4-centred stone archway. Left-hand return front: gabled former garderobe turret off-centre to right; C19 porch off-centre to left with lean-to roof, C19 nail-studded boarded door to right and C15 three-light window to left with pointed cusped lights under a straight head. Right-hand return front: gabled former garderobe turret off-centre to right with half-octagonal stair turret between it and right-hand stack. Early C20 rendered flat-roofed staircase block in angle at rear. Interior: Entrance hall: probably early C20 linenfold panelling. Hall: C19 moulded Tudor-arched fireplace with carved spandrels and heavy overmantel; early C20 linenfold panelling; moulded stone 4-centred archway at upper end has old boarded door with strap hinges. Drawing room: C16 ceiling divided into lozenge panels by thin ribs with small pendants, each painted with the initials "H. R. ", small shields and scrollwork; C16 panelling painted to imitate relief with small floral motifs; C16 Tudor-arched stone fireplace with large overmantel consisting of 3 carved round-arched and circular panels, square-in-square panels low down to each side. Dining room: delicate C16 plaster ceiling (of the Wilderhope School) with thin ribs, "JESU" in central foiled panel, Tudor Rose motifs, and frieze with grotesques and roses; probably late C16 fireplace with Ionic half columns and frieze and cornice with acanthus brackets. Staircase: early C20 incorporating reused timbers from former C16 hall roof and gallery (including balusters from gallery and hammer struts reused as newel posts) with closed string, pierced splat balusters, square newel posts with cable-moulded corners and large finials; moulded ceiling beams with run-out stops; first-floor timber framed cross walls. Right-hand bedrooms: one has chamfered Tudor-arched brick fireplace with broach stops. Back bedroom has chamfered Tudor-arched fireplace, remains of stencilled fleur-de-lys wall decoration, and newel stair in turret-(formerly carrying on up to attic). Left-hand bedrooms: one has chamfered Tudor-arched fireplace with brick reveals and stone lintel. Centre room has late C17 stone fireplace with deep lintel and moulded cornice. Front bedroom has delicate C16 plaster ceiling with thin ribs dividing it into 4 panels with Tudor Rose motifs at corners. Sometime soon after c. 1917 the pair of octagonal stair turrets formerly in the angles at the rear were demolished and replaced by a new staircase block. At the same time a first floor was inserted into the central hall and many of the old timbers from the former hammerbeam roof and west gallery were reused in the new staircase. There is a monument to Sir William Leighton in St. Mary's Church, Cardington (qv). The brickwork at Plaish is some of the earliest in the county. Buildings of England, pp228-9; H. Avray Tipping M. A., F. S. A., English Homes, Period III, Vol. I, Late Tudor 1558-1649, Country Life (1917), pp14-21 <2>

An article providing detailed discussion of the house, wherein it is described as one of Shropshire's most important brick houses. It is argued that it dates from the later 16th century, rather than c.1540. A Henrician ceiling, the main evidence for the latter date, is shown to be an insertion of the late 19th or early 20th century. <7>

The hall had a form of hammer-beam roof when built in the C16 as shown in 1868 drawing (reproduced) but had a floor inserted towards the end of the C19. The hammer beams were then reused as support posts for the new staircase and the flat balusters which surmounted the screen at the lower end of the hall were reused as stair balusters. The house was built with a rear wall chimneystack serving the hall and this, with those for the parlours, forms a distinctive feature of the house, but it must be emphasised that Plaish was a magnate's house. The wing previously thought to be of c.1540 on account of the HR cipher on the parlour ceiling is now known to be of c.1577 and the painted ceiling to be a piece of late C19 or early C20 antiquarianism. Description and photograph of ceiling. Photograph of exterior.<8>

Incorporates part of an earlier stone building, possible a castle of fortified manor house. This earlier building, in existence by at least 1255, was surrounded by a moat, the remains of which were visible in 1868. The 'free-chapel within the Castelle of Plashe' held by Sir William Surlande, is mentioned in the early 16C. <9>

The present form of the house, which incorporated parts of an earlier one, is of the 1570s or 1580s. In its use of brick and with its tall identical wings of two and a half storeys, Plaish was in advance of many of its contemporaries. Nevertheless it was still built under the influence of earlier habits: it had a great hall rising through two storeys, a pretended hammer-beam roof, an entry at one end of the hall range into a through passage separating the hall from the service end, and a spiral staircase at each end of the hall to serve each of the wings. It may be considered as the last medieval and the first modern house to be built in the county. It is the county's earliest brick house to survive in anything like its original form, probably of the 1570s or 1580s. Photograph of exterior.->

->In the so called Oak Room the wainscot was painted and enriched with gold stars. <10>

External photographic survey undertaken in January 2019. <11>

<00> Shropshire County Council SMR, Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards, SMR Card for PRN SA 13238 (Card index). SSA20722.

<01> Ministry of Housing and Local Government, 1949/ 1973, Provisional List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (Atcham Rural District), p12 (List of Buildings). SSA3081.

<02> Department of the Environment (DoE), 1986-Apr-07, 42nd List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, p27-28 (List of Buildings). SSA2875.

<03> Anon, 1978, Plaish Hall, Cardington (Photograph). SSA13865.

<04> Pevsner Nikolaus, 1958, Buildings of England (Shropshire), p228-229 (Monograph). SSA110.

<05> Forrest H E, 1914/15, The Old Houses of Wenlock, p15,19,29 ill48 and 50 (Monograph). SSA872.

<06> Newman J & Pevsner N, 2006, Buildings of England: Shropshire, p471 (Monograph). SSA23518.

<07> Mercer E & Stamper P, 1989, Plaish Hall and early brickwork in Shropshire (Article in serial). SSA28792.

<08> Moran Madge, 2003, Vernacular Buildings of Shropshire, pp.123,124, 304, 307, 311, 344, 345 (Monograph). SSA22146.

<09> Jackson M, 1985, A gazetteer of Medieval castles in England. Part 33- Shropshire, p.34 (Gazetteer). SSA29943.

<10> Mercer Eric, 2003, English Architecture to 1900: The Shropshire Experience, pp.138, 159, 167 (Monograph). SSA23161.

<11> Walker Peter C, 2019, Photographs of Plaish Hall (Photograph). SSA30629.


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 13238.
[01]SSA3081 - List of Buildings: Ministry of Housing and Local Government. 1949/ 1973. Provisional List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (Atcham Rural District). Provisional List. p12.
[02]SSA2875 - List of Buildings: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1986-Apr-07. 42nd List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Vol 1160-0. List volume. p27-28.
[03]SSA13865 - Photograph: Anon. 1978. Plaish Hall, Cardington. Colour.
[04]SSA110 - Monograph: Pevsner Nikolaus. 1958. Buildings of England (Shropshire). Buildings of England. p228-229.
[05]SSA872 - Monograph: Forrest H E. 1914/15. The Old Houses of Wenlock. p15,19,29 ill48 and 50.
[06]SSA23518 - Monograph: Newman J & Pevsner N. 2006. Buildings of England: Shropshire. Buildings of England. p471.
[07]SSA28792 - Article in serial: Mercer E & Stamper P. 1989. Plaish Hall and early brickwork in Shropshire. Trans Shropshire Archaeol Hist Soc. 66. pp.90-96.
[08]SSA22146 - Monograph: Moran Madge. 2003. Vernacular Buildings of Shropshire. pp.123,124, 304, 307, 311, 344, 345.
[09]SSA29943 - Gazetteer: Jackson M. 1985. A gazetteer of Medieval castles in England. Part 33- Shropshire. p.34.
[10]SSA23161 - Monograph: Mercer Eric. 2003. English Architecture to 1900: The Shropshire Experience. pp.138, 159, 167.
[11]SSA30629 - Photograph: Walker Peter C. 2019. Photographs of Plaish Hall. Colour. Digital.
Date Last Edited:Feb 4 2019 11:42AM