HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Worcestershire and Worcester City HER Result
Worcestershire and Worcester City HERPrintable version | About Worcestershire and Worcester City HER

If you have any queries regarding this record please contact us at HERecord@Worcestershire.gov.uk for County records (WSM) and archaeology@worcester.gov.uk for City records (WCM)

Name:Hartlebury Palace, Hartlebury
HER Reference:WSM00001
Type of record:Building
Grid Reference:SO 836 712
Map Sheet:SO87SW
Parish:Hartlebury, Wychavon, Worcestershire

Monument Types

  • MANOR HOUSE (MEDIEVAL - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (MEDIEVAL - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Events

  • Watching Brief in 2005, Hartlebury Castle, Hartlebury (Ref: WSM34417)
  • Earthwork Survey, 2006, Hartlebury Castle (Ref: WSM35953)
  • Dendrochronological Analysis in 2008, Hartlebury Castle, Hartlebury (Ref: WSM42243)
  • Historic Building Assessment in 2014, Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire (Ref: WSM55837)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Historic Environment Flood Risk Assessment (NHPP)

Full description

Around AD850 land is Hartlebury was given to Bishop of Worcester by Burghred, King of Mercia. By 1237 a Manor House was in existence which included a chapel, study, kitchens and Great Hall. Between 1255-63 Bishop Walter Cantilupe began to fortify the building, probably adding a moat. In 1268 a licence to crenellate was given to Bishop Gifford. The northwest bastion of the curtain wall is all that remains of this work. Around 1450 Bishop Carpenter built the Gatehouse and drawbridge on the east side of moat and may have rebuilt the Great Hall. Most of surviving fabric of the building dates to this period. From the late 16th century onwards Hartlebury became the pronciple residence of the Bishops of Worcester. During the Civil War is was garrisoned for the King but the garrison surrendered, after a two day siege, to Colonel Thomas Morgan who slighted the building. The manor and remains of the Castle were purchases in the next year (1647) by Thomas Westrowe for £3,133.6s 8d and what was left ofthe building was used to house Royalist prisoners. In 1675 Bishop Fleetwood began to rebuild the castle in the style of a gentleman's country seat. From then on successive Bishops improved and embellished the building. In 1846 Hartlebury became the sole palace of the See of Worcester and little happened to the building apart fromthe conversion of the stable block to a college for clergy in 1905. In 1964 the north wing of the castle was taken over for adaptation into a museum by (the then) Hereford and Worcestershire Council. The museum was opened in 1966. [1] [11]

Other sources. [2] [3] [4] [5] [8] [9][13]

Site of National Significance - considered for scheduling by English Heritage. [6]

15th with late 17th century and mid-to late 18th century extensions and 1960s remodelling. 18th century work by Henry Keene and James Smith of Shifnal. Sandstone ashlar and brick, hipped slate roof to front, tile roof to rear. U-plan, main block aligned north/south, containing 15th century hall to north end and 18th century saloon (within 15th century walls); to rear (west) of hall a former long gallery (divided up as private rooms in 1960s) with 18th century library above; south range has 15th century chapel projecting forwards (east) with Bishop's study behind; between this range and saloon is the entrance hall with staircase behind, above entrance hall is the Prince Regent's Bedroom; north range of late 17th century was the kitchen wing, now Hereford and Worcester County Museum. East front: symmetrical central block of one storey with crenellated parapet, central porch and six windows: glazing bar sashes under 2-centred heads with Gothick glazing, installed c1760 - 1770; porch: c1680 semi-circular pediment flanked by ball finials, the pediment bearing Bishop Fleetwood's (1675 - 1683) arms; lugged architrave to panelled door; on roof is an octagonal cupola with open sides in Chinoiserie Gothick style, to front of pedestal a wind direction indicator connected to the weather vane. The central block is flanked by two wings which break forward of two storeys with attics lit by three hipped dormers, and four windows in slight breaks forward (the wall is of c1680, the sashes c1760 - 1770): 20-pane sashes to first floor, ground floor windows as central block, but of less height; beyond these two wings there is the chapel projecting to the left, and balancing wing to the right, chapel: diagonal buttresses, three stepped lancets (the central one larger) in a recessed panel with 4-centred head (of c1750); four 2-centred headed windows with Y-tracery face into the courtyard; the balancing wing has two windows, that to left a 20-pane sash, to the right.2-light casements of mid-20th century, ground floor: two windows similar to central block. Interior: hall: retains C15 five-bay roof of arch braced collar trusses, with ceiling inserted just above collar; the wall posts rest on corbels; fireplace in centre of west wall has bolection moulded surround and overmantel of late 17th century; geometrical staircase at north end with cast iron handrail (late 18th century) leads up to an entrance to kitchen range; the entrance at the south end from the porch is set in a tall recess with 4-centred head and moulded jambs and arch, reflected by a similar feature in west wall over opposed doors. Saloon: decorated c1760 with Rococo style papier-maché to walls and ceiling; ceiling panels represent music scores and wind instruments; to each wall two large panels framing spaces for portraits. Entrance hall: overmantel with landscape by Zuccarelli (originally in Saloon whence it had come from Bishop Hurd's (1781 - 1808) London House). Chapel: by Henry Keene c1750, plaster fan vault, panelling to walls, stalls, reredos and Bishop's pew in Gothick style; east window: late 19th century glass, remnants of 18th century glazing by J Rowell in heads of windows. Bishop's study: has late 17th century bolection moulded panelling. Prince Regent's Bedroom: very plain room with pelmets of c1807 to match the bed hangings, and similar pelmet in adjoining dressing room. Library: 1782 by James Smith of Shifnal, executed by Joseph Bromfield of Shrewsbury, tripartite plan, with bow window to middle of west wall, divisions marked by Ionic columns, outer compartments each have three bays of bookcases; main part has coved ceiling with small central saucer dome, two bookcases flank central fireplace on east wall, each with scrolled pediment; columns marbled and bookcases grained. There is a moat around the house, the east side of which has been filled in, and is still with water to the west. There has been a Bishop's Palace on this site since at least the mid-C13. One of the most significant of the early works of the Gothick Revival (predates Strawberry Hill); partly inspired from Batty Langley's pattern books eg the screen between the Chapel and the ante-Chapel. (VCH 3, p 382-3; BoE pp 190-191; E H Pearce, 1926, Hartlebury Castle, with [some notes on Bishops who lived in it and on others who lived elsewhere, London; CL 7 Feb 1931; CL 16 & 23 Sept 1971; Colvin, 1978, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600 - 1840, London, pp 142, 483, 509, 758-9; Dr Timothy Mowl: Journal of Garden History Vol III, no 2, pp 134-143 "The Case for the Enville Museum"). [9][12]

Tree-ring dating was undertaken by English Heritage in 2008. [11] Five areas were dated; The Great Hall, Kitchen, Saloon, Chapel and the Bell cupola. The felling dates for each were as follows:

The Great Hall: 1411-1464 AD
Kitchen: 1469 AD
Saloon: 1430 - 1636 AD
Chapel: 1678/9 AD
Bell cupola: 1722 - 1771 AD

[SO 8360 7124] Hartlebury Castle [T.I.] Moat [G.T.] (OS 25" 1927) Hartelbury Castle was built in the reign of Henry III and in 1268 licence was granted to fortify it. A survey of 1648 records a water-filled moat around the castle. (History of Worcester I, 1781, 568 (T Nash)) The Hall, Chapel and apartments west of it and a fragment of the kitchen wall appear to date from the 15th C. but are much altered.The East arm of the moat, now filled in, was once spanned by a drawbridge. The interior seems to have been enclosed by a wall, of which the North-west bastion alone remains. It probably dates from the 13th C. The park, exant c 1540,was finally dis parked 1841. (The Victoria history of the county of Worcester: volume three 1913 edited by William Page and J W Willis-Bund 382 4 Some account of English deer parks with notes on the management of deer photocopy 1867 by Evelyn Philip Shirley 162 English Deer Parks 1867 162 (E P Shirley)) The exterior of Hartlebury Castle has a comparatively modern appearance. A notice states that the site has been the home of the Bishops of Worcester for over 1,000 years, and the house is open to the public. The moat has been mutilated by gardening, etc., and the West arm alone remains apparently intact. Published survey of moat (25" 1927) has been revised. (Field Investigators Comments F1 JHW 16-AUG-62) Grade I: A bishops' palace, or fortified house, since the 13th century, drastically rebuilt in 1680. (List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest Default value used to record large numbers of archive items which are not separately catalogued. See Monument Recording Guidelines for details of use. DOE (HHR) District of Wychavon, Hereford and Worcester, 1985 43-4) Hartlebury Castle. Bishop's palace. C15 with late C17 and mid to late C18 extensions and 1960s remodelling. C18 work by Henry Keene and James Smith of Shifnal. Grade I (see list for details). Little remains of a castle begun about 1255. Much was done in the C15, but in 1646 the castle was almost destroyed. Rebuilding begun in the late c17 and continued into the late C18. (Nikolaus Pevsner 190-1) Additional reference. (Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England Published 1984-7, with later amendments English Heritage Part 20 Hereford and Worcester (November 1986)) Listed by Cathcart King. (Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands 1983 David J Cathcart King 507 2)[14]

This record includes National Record of the Historic Environment Information provided by Historic England on 9th April 2019 licensed under the Open Government Licence: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/ [14]

Sources and further reading

<1>Guide: Bond C J. 1968. Hartlebury Castle; Historical Notes. HWCM.
<2>Bibliographic reference: Dyer, C. 1991. Hanbury: Settlement & Society in a Woodland Landscape. Dept of English Local History Occasional Papers.
<3>Bibliographic reference: Page, W. 1913. A History of the County of Worcester: Volume III. Victoria County History. III. vol III, p381.
<4>Bibliographic reference: Lines Charles. 1905. Hartlebury Castle;The Historic Seat of the Bishops of Worcester. English Counties Periodicals.
<5>Bibliographic reference: Unknown. 1959. Minted at Hartlebury Castle. TWAS. New Series, 36.
<6>List: 1998-1999. List of Nationally Important Sites. MPP List.
<7>Bibliographic reference: Atkin, M.. 1995. The Civil War in Worcestershire. Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd.. 942.44062.
<8>Aerial Photograph: Aerofilms Ltd. Unknown. Missing Oblique photograph of Hartlebury Castle - type unknown, original missing from folder. Worcestershire Archaeological Service.
<9>Digital archive: English Heritage. Reg updates. THE NATIONAL HERITAGE LIST FOR ENGLAND. English Heritage.
<10*>Bibliographic reference: Tyers, I.. 2008. Dendrochronological Analysis of Oak Timbers: Hartlebury Castle, Near Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire. English Heritage.
<11>Guide: County Museum Services. 1984. Hereford and Worcestershire Country Museum. Hartlebury Castle. WCM Service.
<12>Digital archive: English Heritage. 2000. Images of England. English Heritage website of Listed buildings. English Heritage. www.imagesofengland.org.u.
<13>Aerial Photograph: Aerofilms Ltd. Unknown. Oblique Photograph of Hartlebury Castle and Park, Hartlebury. Worcestershire Archaeological Service.
<14>Internet Site: Historic England. 2019. National Record of the Historic Environment Monument Database. 1997, 2001, 2004, 2010.