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Apethorpe Palace Formerly Known As Apethorpe Hall

A Grade I Listed Building in Apethorpe, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.5474 / 52°32'50"N

Longitude: -0.4925 / 0°29'33"W

OS Eastings: 502318

OS Northings: 295458

OS Grid: TL023954

Mapcode National: GBR FX3.897

Mapcode Global: VHFN9.D7ZJ

Plus Code: 9C4XGGW4+WX

Entry Name: Apethorpe Palace Formerly Known As Apethorpe Hall

Listing Date: 23 May 1967

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1040083

English Heritage Legacy ID: 233008

Location: Apethorpe, East Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire, PE8

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Apethorpe

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Apethorpe St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough

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Listing Text

This list entry was subject to a minor amendment on 30/01/2015.

TL 0295,


(Formerly known as Apethorpe Hall)




Country house. Late C15 for Sir Guy Wolston, mid C16 for Sir Walter Mildmay,
south and east ranges rebuilt as state apartments c.1623 for Sir Francis Fane
later Earl of Westmorland. Orangery 1718 probably by John Lumley. Remodelled
c.1740, probably by Roger Morris, for the Seventh Earl of Westmorland, mid C19
by Bryan and Edward Browning for the eleventh Earl of Westmorland and early C20
by Sir Reginald Blomfield for the first Lord Brassey. Squared coursed limestone
and limestone ashlar, with collyweston slate and lead roofs. Originally hall
with cross-wings, now double courtyard plan. Elizabethan, Jacobean and Palladian
styles. 2 storeys with attics. East range, entrance front c.1623 is of limestone
ashlar with a 9-window range of alternate 2- and 4-light stone mullion windows
with transoms, and king mullions to larger windows. Centre bay breaks forward
slightly and has shaped gable with finial, similar gables to end flanking bays.
Centre 3 bays are flanked by lateral projecting stacks, each with 2 flues.
Central porch has 2 pairs of Roman Doric columns on plinths with pairs of plain
pilasters flanking the inner archway. Frieze with irregularly spaced triglyphs
and rosettes and open balustrade with a central female bust. Inner arch has
jewelled keystone and fielded panelled spandrels. 2-bay arcades of semi-circular
arches, with keyblocks, flanking the porch are early C20 reconstructions of an
original arcade, removed mid C19. Chamfered plinth with blocked cellar windows
to left. Moulded string course above ground floor window heads and similar
double string course above first floor windows. Parapet has subdivisions with
finials and merlons at mid points of flanking ranges. Gabled roof, behind
parapet, has C18 gabled dormers. South range, garden front, to left of entrance
front is a irregular arrangement. Bay to far left is ashlar and breaks forward,
with a 2-storey, 5-light stone mullion, canted bay window, all in similar style
to the entrance front. 4 bays to centre have 3 gables of squared coursed
limestone, added to existing range early C20. Lateral stacks between each bay.
Bay to right is subdivided, part breaking forward with a 2-storey, 6-light stone
mullion canted bay window, with transoms, and part with 4-light stone mullion
windows. Ground and first floors of 3 bays to centre and left break forward in
3-stages with an eight bay open loggia at ground floor with semi-circular arches
and diamond keyblocks. This was added c.1848 by Bryan Browning and has a flat
roof, the S bay arcade to the left forms the axis of the garden front and has 3
tall 3-light stone mullion windows with transoms, at first floor, originally a
conservatory. Each gable has a 7-light stone mullioned attic window. C16 gable
to left of loggia has early C19 two-storey canted bay window with sashes.
2-window range set back to left is C16 with C18 sash windows with ashlar
surrounds and glazing bars. Orangery c.1718 of ashlar is attached to left.
9-window range with tall sash window openings, with ashlar surrounds and
keyblacks, and C20 casement windows with glazing bars. C20 door at base of third
window from left. Cornice and panelled parapet with small urn finials. C16 gable
to left of orangery is end of west range of second courtyard and has C19 two-
and 5-light stone mullion windows. North elevation is an irregular range. From
left to right the principal elements are a 2-storey canted bay window
corresponding with and similar to the far right of the garden front. 5-window
range of square windows at ground floor, and of blind sash windows at first
floor, forms the library of c.1740. Late C15 gatearch, remodelled 1652, of 3
storeys. Gatearch with panelled doors has moulded stone surround and spandrels
with the arms of Mildmay and Walsingham. To the left is a round head niche with
vermiculated rustication and an heraldic griffin above. A similar arrangement
was removed from the left side when the library was built. Above are the arms of
Mildmay Fane, second Earl of Westmorland flanked by Cornucoplae. 3-light stone
mullion, first floor window has arch-head lights, embellished cill and jambs and
a device above with inscription: "Pace et amore suum palma coronat opus".
Similar 2-light second floor window. 3 bays to right of gatearch are C16 and
break forward and set back alternately, having various 2- and 3-light stone
mullion windows. To the right the shaped gable of the Old Dining Room has 2 tall
C18 sash windows at first floor, and a blind oval window in the gable. The
kitchen is a 3-window range of tall 2-light wood mullion and transomed full
height windows. To the right are 3 irregular gables with 2-, 3- and 4-light
stone mullion windows. A lateral stack separates this range from a 2-storey
range, modified C20 to form a caretakers dwelling. East elevation of main
courtyard is of late C15 and C16, hall range with cross-wing. Irregular 7-window
range with shaped gable of cross-wing to left of centre. 4-light, stone mullion,
oriel window to hall, with transoms and arch-head lights, is to right of centre.
Hall window, to immediate right, is formed with four 2-light stone mullion
windows, with high cills. 2-storey porch, to right, originally gave access to
the screens passage, and has a small shaped gablet, with pinnacles, above.
Doorway with 4-centred arch-head, door with traceried panelling and 2-light
stone mullion window above. 2-light stone mullion window and attached 5-light
stone mullion canted bay window to far right. Similar canted bay window to far
left. Cross-wing and bay to left have 3- and 4-light stone mullion windows. All
windows have arch-head lights. Pitched roof behind plain parapets. West
elevation of main courtyard is early C17; five-window range at first floor.
9-bay arcades at ground floor of blind semi-circular arches with keyblocks and
plain pilasters between arches, supporting an entablature above. Reconstructed
by Blomfield early C20 with the exception of the early C17 centre bay, which
breaks forward as 2-storey porch with pairs of Doric ironstone columns. 8-light,
stone mullion square bay window with transom, above porch, has plain parapet
with centre merlon armorial device and pinnacles. Flanking first floor windows
are 2- and 4-light stone mullion windows with transoms. Plain parapet with 3
shaped and stepped gables with pinnacles. South elevation of main courtyard has
3-storey late C15 gatearch, to centre, with oriel window at first floor.
Octagonal stair turret with lead domed roof, to right. 4-window range to right
is the library of c.1740. Rusticated ground floor with small square windows.
First floor sash windows each have moulded stone surround and pulvinated frieze
with entablature. Frieze below eaves, with cornice and shallow gabled roof.
4-window range to left of gatehouse is late C15/early C16 modified C17 and C18.
2 light mullion and transom windows at ground floor and sash windows at first
floor. Plain parapet with pinnacles with stepped and shaped gable to right of
centre. North elevation of main courtyard c.1623 remodelled c.1740 probably by
Roger Morris. 10-window range. Rusticated ground floor with sash windows at
first floor, all similar to the south elevation of the library. 3 bays to right
of centre have engaged doric columns rising from a first floor plat band to
support a triangular pediment, with central lunette. Pedimented bays break
forward slightly and have a central panelled door at ground floor and alternate
triangular and segmental pediments over first floor windows. Metope frieze with
cornice and plain parapet above. East elevation of second court is an early C16
five-window range of 2-light stone mullion windows, with arch-head lights, at
first floor and later 3-light windows at ground floor. Doorway with 4-centred
arch-head, to left of centre. West elevation of second court is the rear of the
hall range. Former porch into hall, to left, now modified. Various gables. 2
minor courtyards enclosed by the hall range and the matted passage were roofed
mid C19. An archway from the north-west corner of this courtyard, now blocked,
formerly led to a third courtyard which is formed from various outbuildings,
modified C20. Interior: the hall c.1480 has C17 fireplace with 4-centred
arch-head. Doorway with 4-centred arch-head in north wall. Gallery with turned
balusters and some reset C17 panelling. Original 4-bay roof with 5 trusses with
cambered arched-braced collar, 2 tiers of purlins and 3 tiers of windbraces. Mid
C19 heraldic glass in oriel window by Edward Browning. A moulded doorway in the
south wall of the hall leads to the cross-wing consisting of 3 rooms at ground
floor and originally one room at first floor. To the south is the parlour. These
ranges have roof structures of c.1624; they were remodelled internally by
Browning mid C19. The matted passage runs parallel to the hall range and
originally gave access to the cross-wing at right angles to the parlour; it has
been incorporated into the range by later additions. The Old Dining room, to
north of the hall, is noted as having a plaster barrel ceiling and fireplace
with C17 plaster overmantel with 3 armless terms between 2 armorial panels.
North range of main courtyard has centre gatearch; canopy room above noted as
having a quadripartite vault. 2 rooms at first floor to left of gatearch, noted
as having C18 panelling. To the right of the gatearch is the library c.1740, all
internal fittings were removed in 1949. To the far right of the library is a C17
staircase noted as having turned balusters. The south range of the main
courtyard contained the state rooms of c.1623 at first floor. The ground floor
was originally an open flagged room and has heavily rusticated doorways at
either end. A new dining room was created at the east end in 1876. At the west
end is the White Stair remodelled c.1848 by Bryon Browning, it has stick
balustrades and cantilevered stone treads. Plasterwork panels c.1740; panel on
south wall has swags and scroll pediment. The Great Dining Room or Tapestry Room
to east of the White Stair has a clunch fireplace of 1562 and has a rectangular
opening with sunk panelled surround and overmantel with inscribed central panel
and flanking pairs of quasi Ionic pilasters. Dentilled cornice, coved ceiling
with strapwork incorporating armorial crests. The drawing room to the east has
C17 scratch moulded panelling. Oolite fireplace with black marble insets and
ionic columns frieze above rectangular opening has open book and flanking arms
holding sword and sceptre. Overmantel has bas-relief, Sacrifice of Isaac, and
former flanking figures, one now missing. Coved ceiling with fretwork of broad
ribs enclosing armorial crests. Doorway to right of fireplace gives access to
conservatory of c.1848. The flings room to the east has an oolite and marble
fireplace, with flanking ionic columns, a frieze depicting a hunting scene and
an overmantel with 2 terms holding back drapes to reveal the figures of War and
Peace. Ceiling with central cove has strapwork and large central panel
containing the Stuart Royal Arms. The east range of the main courtyard contains
the entrance hall at ground floor, remodelled by Blomfield early C20 and the
long gallery of c.1623 at first floor. In the entrance hall is a reset statue of
James I. The oak stair to the south of the entrance hall is C17, installed in
1922. Secondary stair, to left, rising from first floor, has turned balusters.
The Despenser Room at ground floor, to the south end of this range, has restored
C17 panelling and fireplace with 4-centred arch-head and Jacobean wooden
overmantel with Despenser crests. The Dukes Room or Princes Room immediately
above the Despenser Room has an oolite fireplace with marble inset. Flanking
pilasters, frieze with Prince of Wales devices and broken pediment above,
supporting a carved panel depicting a ship in full sail. Flat, strapwork,
ceiling. The long gallery has early C17 panelling with jewelled cutwork frieze
and fluted corinthian pilasters flanking windows. Oolite fireplace with black
marble insets has flanking ionic columns supporting anentablature and broken
pediment out of which rises a figure of King David playing a harp. Flanking
columns; reclining figures and central inscribed panel. Flat, ribbed, ceiling
with geometrical patterns. Apethorpe Palace was begun by Sir Guy Woolston in late
C15; in 1550 it passed to Sir Walter Mildmay and in 1617 to Sir Francis Fane,
later Earl of Westmorland, who was responsible for much rebuilding. Elizabeth I
stayed in 1566 and James I in 1605, 1614, 1616 and 1619, who used Apethorpe for
hunting. The Seventh Earl of Westmorland began an ambitious Palladian
remodelling c.1740 which was not completed. The house was altered mid C19 for
the Westmorlands. In 1904 the estate was sold to Leonard Brassey, later Baron
Brassey, grandson of the railway contractor Thomas Brassey, who engaged Sir
Reginald Blomfield as architect. In 1949 the house became an approved school
resulting in various modifications to the interior. Unoccupied at time of
survey. The east front of Apethorpe Palace forms part of the forecourt to
Apethorpe Palace with wall and gatepier attached to north-east corner of east
front of Apethorpe Palace (q.v.) and walls, gatepier, and attached gates attached
to and extending approximately 40 metres east of the East front of Apethorpe
Palace (q.v.).
(Buildings of England: Northamptonshire: p84; RCHM: An Inventory of
Architectural Monuments in North Northamptonshire: p5; Country Life: March 20th
1909, p414-423: March 27th 1909, p450-459)

Listing NGR: TL0231895458

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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