History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Boathouse with Attached Quays and Enclosed Dock with Slipway Approximately 300 Metres to North of Wray Castle

A Grade II Listed Building in Claife, Cumbria

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street View
Contributor Photos »

Street View is the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the building. In some locations, Street View may not give a view of the actual building, or may not be available at all. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 54.4034 / 54°24'12"N

Longitude: -2.963 / 2°57'46"W

OS Eastings: 337585

OS Northings: 501308

OS Grid: NY375013

Mapcode National: GBR 7KRJ.B8

Mapcode Global: WH82D.GL84

Entry Name: Boathouse with Attached Quays and Enclosed Dock with Slipway Approximately 300 Metres to North of Wray Castle

Listing Date: 22 September 1987

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1087278

English Heritage Legacy ID: 76759

Location: Claife, South Lakeland, Cumbria, LA22

County: Cumbria

District: South Lakeland

Civil Parish: Claife

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Hawkshead St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Find accommodation in

Listing Text

This List entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 30/01/2017






Boathouse, mid-C19.

MATERIALS: roughly coursed slate rubble; corrugated iron sheeted roof

PLAN: L-shaped

EXTERIOR: This boathouse is situated on the edge of Lake Windermere's western shore some 30m north of Wray Castle. It is constructed in a castellated Gothic style and comprises two storeys and two bays, the more northerly of the latter recessed. It is surmounted by a crennelated parapet, the upper parts partially lost and corbelling carries turrets at the corners. Two large boat entrances occupy the ground floor of each bay they are of unequal size and length, both with segmental- pointed heads and there are similar, partially blocked windows above. The south bay also has a tall narrow window to the right. Both returns have five battered and staged buttresses with some windows and an entrance on the south side. The rear elevation has a porch with a crow-stepped gable and a segmental headed entrance, reached by a set of stone steps, gives access to the first floor. On the west side of the boathouse there is a stone quay which projects into the lake and on the east side a second quay and an enclosed dock with a slipway.

INTERIOR: the ground floor is essentially an undivided wet dock for boats, comprising two parallel docks. It is entered though a doorway near the south corner and stone steps lead down to slate paved stone built walkways along the south-east and south-west sides of the larger, eastern dock. A central wooden walkway is a later insertion on the site of a former 'floating stage'. The rear wall of the dock contains two wall cupboards, there are wooden shutters to the openings in the north west side and a row of square socket holes of uncertain function. Timber posts and a cast iron column support the first floor, which is divided by lightweight modern partitions into two spaces, and the small workshop at the south corner, enclosed by timber partitions, contains a fireplace and storage cupboards.

HISTORY: this boathouse was one of five constructed on the Wray Estate during the second half of the C19; its size and position indicate that it was the principal boathouse for the occupants of nearby Wray Castle. The building is not depicted on the 1847-8 Ordnance Survey map but is present on the next edition published in 1888; all evidence supports the view that it was constructed shortly after 1847 as it is an integral part of the owner, James Dawson's (1779-1875) building project at Wray. A small room on the first floor is the 'workshop' referred to in 1920s sales documentation.

SOURCES: Bostock J, Wray Castle: Boathouse Approximately 300m to North of RMS Wray Castle, Claife, South Lakeland, Cumbria (2010)
Haigh S, Outbuildings at Wray Castle Claife Cumbria: Vernacular Buildings Survey for the National Trust (2005)
Menuge A and Goodall I, Wray Castle, Claife Cumbria. A report for the National Trust (2006)
Menuge A, Patriotic Pleasures: Boathouses and Boating in the English Lakes (in prep).

This mid-C19 boathouse to Wray Castle is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Group Value: it has group value with the numerous listed buildings of the Wray Estate, the principal building of which is listed at Grade II*.

* Architectural Interest: A Gothic treatment and good quality detailing makes this an extremely attractive example of a mid-C19 boathouse.

* Historical interest: it is the largest example of a Lake District Victorian boathouse, many of which were built to service the large villas which proliferated from the 1770s, and from which a nautical culture developed.

* Landscape setting: the Gothic boathouse is part of a carefully planned design in which its presence punctuates the approach to Wray Castle in the same way the Gothic gate lodge does the approach by land.

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

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.