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Name:Birtsmorton Court, Birtsmorton
HER Reference:WSM07609
Type of record:Building
Grid Reference:SO 800 354
Map Sheet:SO83NW
Parish:Birtsmorton, Malvern Hills, Worcestershire

Monument Types

  • MOAT (MEDIEVAL - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GATEHOUSE (14TH CENTURY AD to 21ST CENTURY AD - 1301 AD to 2050 AD)
  • MANOR HOUSE (14TH CENTURY AD to 21ST CENTURY AD - 1301 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Events

  • Evaluation in 2000, Land Adjacent to Birtsmorton Court, Birtsmorton (Ref: WSM29251)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Full description

Grade I Listed. Moated manor house. Late 16th century with 14th century remains, 18th and 19th century alterations and 20th century additions. Stone, brick and timber-framing with tile roofs. Built around a courtyard. The east, entrance, facade is mostly early 20th century re-using earlier brick and timber and has an earlier stone base. It is of two storeys with attic and is framed in square panels. It has a three-bay centre with a gabled dormer to the central bay, and a cross-wing to each side with diagonal bracing to the gable. A Tudor-arched doorway to the right of the second bay is approached by a 20th century bridge over the moat. Chimney at left, between central first and second bays, and at left of right-hand wing. To the right is a gable of a 17th century timber-framed range on an older stone base. This is framed in square panels and jettied. Its north wall has two projecting stone chimney stacks with brick caps. Adjoining to the west is a 14th century stone gateway with a segmental arch moulded in two orders with added brick battlements and a 19th century bridge. The courtyard is entered from this gateway. Ahead, on the south side, is the hall which has some exposed timber-framing. Above the pointed timber doorway is a window lighting the screens gallery. To the right is a 17th century timber window of five lights with two transoms. To the left of the doorway is a range of three bays and two storeys in stone, on the site of the service wing. This has two-light mullioned windows. The south wall of the hall, facing the moat, has a two-storey gabled timberframed bay window on each side of a stone stack with brick shafts. Adjoining to the left (west) are two bays of the end wall of a 18th century brick building which closes the west side of the courtyard. This is partly a casing of the 16th century timber-framed solar wing. Interior: inserted floor removed from hall in 20th century. The screens gallery is supported on round timber posts. The front incorporates three large plaster panels with late 16th century shields of arms. The plaster ceiling of the hall has moulded ribs, roses, and fleur de lis ornament. Large wall-posts are set in front of the close-studded high end wall. The south room of the west, or solar, wing, is lined with late 16th century oak panelling and has a decorated plaster ceiling. The panelling is divided by Corinthian pilasters and has a frieze with the painted shields of arms of the neighbouring gentry. A carved overmantel has three round-headed panels with painted shields of arms. On the first floor is a fragment of wall painting of a similar date.[1][2]

Bought in 1424-5 by John Nanfan who is said to have demolished most of the house before his death c.1447. Probably remodelled for Giles Nanfan from 1572. Further work in the 18th t0 20th centuries (including work by F S Waller, 1871-2) provided varied aspects on every side. The east range of the house, destroyed by fire in the 18th centry, was re-created in 1929-30 by A Hill Parker and Son.[3]

See Nash [4] and the Victoria County History: Page, W. Victoria History of the Counties of Engalnd, Worcestershire Volume IV, 'The church stands near Birtsmorton Court, formerly the home of the Bruts, Ruyhales and Nanfans, the last-named being a family of great distinction in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.'

Further details of the history of the Court, and the manor of Birtsmorton.[5]

Illustrations in Niven (Plates 12 and 13).[6]

Site of National Significance - considered for scheduling by English Heritage.[7]

Aerial Photographs.[8][9][10]

Sources and further reading

<1>Digital archive: English Heritage. Reg updates. THE NATIONAL HERITAGE LIST FOR ENGLAND. English Heritage.
<2>Digital archive: English Heritage. 2000. Images of England. English Heritage website of Listed buildings. English Heritage. www.imagesofengland.org.u.
<3>Bibliographic reference: Brooks, A, and Pevsner, N . 2007. The Buildings of England: Worcestershire. Yale University Press. 151-152.
<4>Bibliographic reference: Nash, T.. 1781. History of Worcestershire - Volume I. . 1. 84.
<5*>Bibliographic reference: Page, W. 1924. A History of the County of Worcestershire; Volume IV. Victoria County History. 29.
<6>Bibliographic reference: Niven, W. 1873. Illustrations of Old Worcestershire Houses.
<7>List: 1998-1999. List of Nationally Important Sites. MPP List.
<8>Aerial Photograph: St. Joseph, J. 1961. Oblique photograph of Birtsmorton Court, Birtsmorton. Worcestershire Archaeological Service.
<9>Aerial Photograph: St. Joseph, J. Unknown. Oblique photograph of Birtsmorton Court, Birtsmorton. Worcestershire Archaeological Service.
<10>Aerial Photograph: St. Joseph, J. 1961. Oblique Photograph of Birtsmorton Court, Birtsmorton. Worcestershire Archaeological Service.