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Grimsthorpe Castle and North Court

A Grade I Listed Building in Edenham, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 52.7925 / 52°47'32"N

Longitude: -0.4524 / 0°27'8"W

OS Eastings: 504456

OS Northings: 322778

OS Grid: TF044227

Mapcode National: GBR FT2.SKL

Mapcode Global: WHGLC.02WK

Plus Code: 9C4XQGRX+X3

Entry Name: Grimsthorpe Castle and North Court

Listing Date: 6 May 1952

Last Amended: 15 December 1986

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1062823

English Heritage Legacy ID: 194089

Location: Grimsthorpe Castle, South Kesteven, Lincolnshire, PE10

County: Lincolnshire

District: South Kesteven

Civil Parish: Edenham

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Edenham St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Tagged with: Architectural structure English country house Historic house museum

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TF 02 SW, 6/115

Grimsthorpe Castle and North Court

(formerly listed as 30,10.68 2 items)




Country house, incorporating remains of medieval castle. C13,
possibly C14, largely rebuilt c.1541 by Charles Brandon, Duke of
Suffolk, late C17 alterations by Second Earl of LIndsey, c.1723,
north front by Sir John Vanbrugh for First Duke of Ancaster,
alterations of 1756, 1811 alterations to west front by Page and
Garling, C19, c.1900 alterations by Detmar Blow, C20 alterations
and additions. Limestone ashlar, Collyweston and Welsh slate
roofs. Quadrangular plan with angle towers. Numerous wall,
gable and ridge ashlar stacks. 2 storey, 11 bay north front with
3 storey single bay flanking projecting angle towers. Plinth,
first floor band. To either side of the centrepiece are
rusticated paired Doric pillars supporting a triglyph frieze
containing the Ancaster cannon, surmounted by a balustraded
parapet with urns, having at the centre the Ancaster arms with
life sized supporters, flanked by groups of classical statues on
panelled bases. The towers have rusticated quoins, modillioned
cornices surmounted by balustrades with urns at the corners.
Central 8 panelled double doors having moulded stone surround
with pediment and triglyph frieze flanked by triple windows.
Beyond are single windows and in the flanking towers are further
single windows, having rusticated surrounds with stepped
keyblocks. To the first floor are 7 windows to the centre with
single windows beyond and to the towers single Venetian windows
with pulvinated frieze and dentillated cornice. The windows to
the centre all have semi-circular heads and fixed glazing bar
sashes with eared and shouldered pedimented stone architraves.
The west front has at its south end the projecting early C13 King
John's Tower, and at the north end are the 3 side bays of
Vanburgh's north front corner tower, to the left of this is one
of the C16 Charles Brandon lower 3 storey towers. Between the 2
towers are 5 C16 canted bay windows, rising through 2 storeys
with embattled tops. The plain parapet and central elevated
stack were added c,1900. The south front has to the left the 4
storey C16 tower, bearing a sundial and cartouche dated 1756.
At the right hand end is King John's tower, and between the 2 are
8 gabled C16 bays, refenestrated mid C18 with glazing bar sashes,
3 stepped chimney stacks and much evidence of the original
pattern of fenestration. The west front was largely remodelled
c.1811 and incorporates at the left hand end the side of
Vanburgh's north front and at the right hand end the Charles
Brandon tower. Between the towers is a 3 storey 9 bay range,
punctuated by 3 projecting C16 chimney stacks, the windows
between are of 2 lights, glazing bar sashes, with 4 centred
arched heads with drip moulds, in Neo Gothic style. North
courtyard of flanking walls, corner towers, screen and pair of
gates. c.1723, also by Sir John Vanbrugh. Ashlar and wrought
iron. Coped side walls, each having 18 blank niches, with
rusticated semi-circular arches, moulded imposts and stone seats.
These are linked to square 2 storey angle towers, having plinth,
rusticated quoins, moulded first floor band, balustraded parpaet
with large circular finials. To the ground floor are single
square windows with rusticated quoins and stepped keyblocks. To
the first floor are single square fixed lights in eared and
shouldered surrounds. These are linked by low ashlar walls with
panelled piers supporting handsome wrought iron side screens to
the central gate which is by Edward Nutt, consisting of 2 gates
with scrolled mid rails and fleur de lys. To either side are
pierced panels with scrolls and leaves, supporting single
acanthus and an overthrow comprising the 3 cannons badge, with
gilded supporters, a Ducal crown, all set in a gilded frieze.
Interior. The 2 storey Great Hall, by Vanbrugh, has arcaded side
walls, on the south wall the upper arches are painted in
grisaille with 7 Kings of England by Sir James Thornhill. At
each end are triple arched openings dividing the hall from the
staircases at each end. The ceiling has oval recess, slightly
domed with floriate centrepiece. The black and white marble
floor reflects the pattern. The inner doorcase has fluted Doric
piers with triglyph frieze and Willoughby head. The massive
chimney piece has a square surround with blank panel over,
flanked by Willoughby heads on ornate fluted bases and surmounted
by a ducal coronet. The double stairs at each end have delicate
wrought iron balustrades by Bell of Sheffield. The ceilings over
the staircases are painted, on the west side by Sir James
Thornhill and on the east by Franscesco Sleter. The east
entrance hall is a tripartite vaulted space, by Vanbrugh, like an
undercroft. To the east of the Hall, on the first floor, is the
State Dining Room with fine painted ceiling, probably also by
Francesco Sleter, and a beautiful fireplace, possibly by Sir
Henry Cheere. The King James Dining Room has a complex scheme of
decoration with fluted pilasters, semi-circular headed doorways
with delicate plasterwork to walls and ceilings. The State
Drawing Room has similar decoration, evidently the embellishment
is drawn from different periods, with oval ceiling panel, ornate
bay windows, and a further fireplace also be Cheere. The
Tapestry Drawing Room, narrower and lower than the others, is
possibly of C14 origin although the decorations are all C18 and
C19. In King John's Tower is the Birdcage dressing room with
paintings on the vault by Clement and Chinese wall paper. On the
west side of the Hall is the Chapel, by Vanbrugh, with the lower
part by Detmar Blow. In each wall are 3 shell headed niches, the
windows have broken pediments with cartouches and fluted
Corinthian pilasters to the upper stage. The elaborate pulpit is
on a pedestal with panels and acanthus flourishes to the corners.
The steps up have an ornate plaster balustrade. The fine ceiling
with quatrefoil centre and decorated beams is featured in a book
of William Kent designs. The Chinese Drawing Room has a coved
ceiling with octagonal coffering and painting by Clermont. The
woodwork is of black and gold fretwork with inset lacquer panels.
The more domestic rooms of the south range include library and
yellow drawing room, with full height C18 panelling and marble
bolection moulded angle fireplaces. The doors along the long
corridor are all panelled with semi-circular heads and keyblocks.
History. The first castle was probably built by Gilbert de Gant,
in early C13 and King John's Tower survives from this period.
The Tenth Lord Willougby was granted the Castle in 1516. His
daughter, Baroness Willoughby de Eresby inherited the estate and
married her guardian, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. He
pulled down the adjacent Vaudey Abbey after the Reformation, and
used the materials to build, very rapidly, a courtyard house in
1540 in time for a visit by King Henry VIII in 1541. The next
major phase of development was after the Restoration when
Montagu, the Fourteenth Lord Willougby d'Eresby rebuilt the north
front. Blocked cross mullioned windows on the south side of
Vanbrugh's north front are all that remain of this phase. The
early C18 redevelopment was commissioned by the First Duke of
Ancaster in 1715 when Sir John Vanbrugh was asked to redesign the
castle. Vanbrugh died before the work has completed and it is
thought that Hawksmoor may have finished the work to the north

Listing NGR: TF0445622778

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