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Shardlow Hall with attached garden seat to north-east corner, steps c.14m from north-west front and steps c.7m west of south-west corner

A Grade II* Listed Building in Shardlow, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 52.8699 / 52°52'11"N

Longitude: -1.35 / 1°20'59"W

OS Eastings: 443853

OS Northings: 330472

OS Grid: SK438304

Mapcode National: GBR 7H4.1HQ

Mapcode Global: WHDH8.74F5

Plus Code: 9C4WVM92+X2

Entry Name: Shardlow Hall with attached garden seat to north-east corner, steps c.14m from north-west front and steps c.7m west of south-west corner

Listing Date: 11 March 1987

Last Amended: 1 May 2012

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1088368

English Heritage Legacy ID: 83183

Location: Shardlow and Great Wilne, South Derbyshire, Derbyshire, DE72

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Shardlow and Great Wilne

Built-Up Area: Shardlow

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Shardlow and Great Wilne St James

Church of England Diocese: Derby

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Small country house built in 1684 with alterations and re-fronting of the north-west side in 1726, probably by Francis Smith of Warwick; alterations and addition of wings c1768 by Joseph Pickford; and further alterations carried out in the C19 and C20.


MATERIALS: ashlared Keuper sandstone from Weston Cliff with stone dressings to the south-east entrance front, and red brick with gauged brick and stone dressings to the north-west garden front. Flat roof with stone chimney stacks over the original C17 house and slate-clad roofs to the wings.

PLAN: the two-storey central section has a double-pile plan. The entrance front comprises a small central hall with two reception rooms either side; and the garden front comprises a larger central staircase hall flanked by two reception rooms to the north-east and a three-bay saloon to the south-west. The first floor has a similar configuration of rooms. The central section is flanked by Palladian wings added c1768; the north-east one used for services, and the south-west one partially rebuilt as staff accommodation in the mid-C19. These, particularly the north-east one, have been considerably altered and modified in the C20.
EXTERIOR: the south-east entrance front is rather severe. It has a central, five-bay section with a deeply recessed central bay lit by two windows closely set over the front door. Either side are one-bay projections, flanked by slightly recessed single bays. The corners have early C18 rusticated quoins and each floor has continuous hoodmoulds. The central bay has a flight of steps with shaped C17 balusters up to the C18 moulded doorcase with double keystones and C20 double-leaf, part-glazed door. Above is a diamond-shaped plaque inscribed ‘1684’. The regular fenestration consists of six-over-six pane sashes with exposed sash boxes set flush with the outer face of the wall. The high, flush parapet has plain copings. To either side are slightly recessed, single-storey wings which have three semicircular headed glazing bar sashes and a plain parapet with panels of balustrading above the windows. The advanced end pavilions have continuous banding at parapet, ground- and first-floor levels, and a moulded pediment with bases at the eaves for ball finials, only some of which remain. The south-west pavilion has central six-over-six pane sash windows to the ground and first floors, whilst the north-east pavilion has a blocked central window and a blind elevation above.

The more elegant north-west garden front has seven bays with slightly advanced, wider outer bays which have rusticated quoins at both ends. It has a stone plinth, plain stone band at first-floor level and a moulded stone cornice with a blocking course. A flight of steps with shaped balusters leads up to the central doorway which has a pedimented Gibbs surround and C20 double-leaf, part-glazed door with a two-pane over-light. To either side there are three six-over-six pane sash windows with flat gauged brick arches and stone keyblocks; the windows to the south-west have been enlarged. The first-floor windows are similar except for those in the third and fourth bays which have early C20 stained glass; and the central window has a shouldered moulded stone surround with a keyblock. The wings have been much altered on this elevation: the south-west wing has a C20 single-storey linking block to the end pavilion and a flight of steps has been erected in front on the canted bay window.

The side elevation of the south-west pavilion, which was rebuilt in the mid-C19, is rendered and incised to resemble stone. It has an advanced central pedimented bay with quoins, a stone plinth, and continuous first-floor band. The ground floor of the central bay is lit by three six-over-six pane sashes, and the first floor by a tripartite window, both with a continuous sill band. The narrower bays either side have sash windows, those in the first floor set in pedimented gables which rise through eaves level. The side elevation of the north-east pavilion is of red brick and much plainer. It has three bays and two storeys, with evidence of alterations to the brickwork and replaced fenestration.
INTERIOR: this retains a high proportion of joinery and fixtures, including early C18 two- and six-panelled doors with H-L hinges, some set in panelled soffits and jambs; deep skirting boards; moulded cornicing; window shutters; fitted cupboards and shelving; and fireplaces, including two with bolection moulded surrounds. The principal elements of special interest are found in the late C17/ early C18 central section. The entrance hall has a panelled dado, a prominent panelled doorcase with a moulded cornice supported by paired consoles, a dentilled cornice enriched with egg and dart, and a bolection moulded fireplace with C19 tiles. It provides access to the reception rooms and staircase hall through three moulded arches with panelled soffits and sides. There are two similar arches in the first-floor corridor leading to the bedrooms. The staircase hall has a deep, moulded C17 cornice and plasterwork oval, and a fine early C18 open-well staircase which has three knopped balusters per tread, one plain, one fluted and one twisted; a moulded, ramped handrail; scrolled tread-ends; and panelled dado with fluted pilasters. The room to the south-west of the entrance hall and three of the first-floor rooms on the south-east front have excellent full-height late C17/ early C18 panelling with incorporated two-panelled doors. In the ground-floor panelled room there is a marquetry overmantle above an C18 marble fireplace which has a fluted keystone. The two-bay room to the north-east of the entrance hall (now subdivided) has a delicate dentilled cornice and two C18 tall arched niches. In the three-bay saloon on the garden front there are early C19 reeded window and door surrounds with floral motifs in the corners, and a pair of re-set Rococo-style marble fireplaces with a curved mantel incorporating a shell motif, supported by elaborate consoles. The coffered ceiling with ornate plasterwork decorated with floral mouldings, Vitruvian scroll, and prominent circular roundels of intertwining fruit and foliage, dates to c1900. The south-west wing contains some good quality Edwardian painted glass.

Attached to the north-east corner of the six-bay garden front is an S-shaped red brick wall with flat stone coping which has an incorporated, highly decorative early C19 garden seat constructed of ashlared stone and pebblework. It has a central depressed semicircular headed niche with rusticated arch and jambs, an ashlar back and pebblework dome, and a wooden bench to the base on shaped legs. Above this is a Dutch gable in pebblework with moulded stone copings and a dentilled pediment. To either side are blind depressed semicircular headed, rusticated arches with ashlar backs and pebblework spandrels, flanked by plain pilasters. Above, to either side, is a pierced parapet with piers to both ends for ball finials, some of which are missing.

There are two flights of three stone steps in the grounds. One flight, flanked by ball finials, is located c.14m north-west of the steps leading up the garden front. The other, which has lost its finials, is c.7m west of the south-west corner of the house.


Shardlow Hall was built for Leonard Fosbrooke in 1684, according to the date stone on the south-east front. The original house had a battlemented roof and the width of the hoodmoulds indicates that it was lit by cross windows. In 1719 Fosbrooke’s grandson, also Leonard, inherited the house, and in 1726 he had the north-west elevation re-fronted, the three-bay side elevations re-fenestrated, and possibly added the first and fifth bays of the entrance front. The windows on the entrance front were probably also replaced at this time, and the open well staircase was installed. Architectural historian Andor Gomme has attributed the remodelling to Francis Smith of Warwick (1672-1738), who was just then completing the Church of All Saints in Derby (Smith of Warwick: Francis Smith, Architect and Master Builder. 2000). Francis and his brother William had, by the early 1720s, become the leading master builders in the Midlands.

On the death of Leonard Fosbrooke in 1762, his son made further alterations c1768 which were almost certainly carried out by the architect Joseph Pickford (1734-1782), who has been described by architectural historian Howard Colvin as the leading architect in Derbyshire in the reign of George III. The main change was the addition of the flanking Palladian wings, the plainer design and position of the north-east one indicating that it was used for services. The crenellations on the parapet on the entrance front were removed and the front door was given a plainer, moulded architrave. Internally, the two-bay room on the right of the entrance front was redecorated in the neo-Classical style but this was partitioned in the C20 to create two rooms. In 1800 the house was sold to James Sutton who lived there from 1826 until his death three years later. His son, also James, required more room for staff and rebuilt the south-west pavilion. This was probably done around 1843-44 by H. I. Stevens of Derby who was then building the new parish church opposite the hall gates, which was largely financed by Sutton. The house had, by this time, acquired a landscaped park laid out to the south up to the Trent and Mersey Canal. The Ordnance Survey maps of 1882 and 1901 depict a fish pond in the south-east corner of the park; a square lawn on the north-west side of the house; a complex of buildings, probably stables, to the north-east; and further to the north-east a large walled garden surrounded by woods with a network of paths. The maps show that there was a conservatory on the garden front of the south-west wing which has since been removed and replaced with a C20 single-storey block.

Shardlow Hall was in institutional use for most of the C20. It was let as a preparatory school between 1911 and 1933, during which period the south-west wing was altered, possibly to accommodate staff. The staircase and large fireplace with overmantle were probably installed in this period. The house was then used briefly as a hotel before lying empty until it was requisitioned by the army during World War II. It was occupied from 1946 to 1986 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food who removed the stables and the walls of the kitchen garden, and erected a number of buildings on the north-east and north-west sides of the house. The Crittal-framed glasshouses built by the Ministry in the former walled garden have fallen into disrepair. The majority of the alterations to the hall took place during the Ministry’s occupation, and have mostly been restricted to the wings, particularly to the north-east one. Some of the rooms have been sub-divided and over-boarded, and window and doors have been replaced. The central section of the hall has been left relatively intact, with the exception of the loss of some fireplaces. In 1987 Shardlow Hall was acquired by a new owner who established a residential home in the former Ministry outbuildings, and leased the house for corporate use. It is currently only partly occupied.

Reasons for Listing

Shardlow Hall, a small country house erected in 1684 and enlarged in the C18, probably to the designs of Francis Smith and then Joseph Pickford, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: in its fabric, architectural style and interior decoration, Shardlow Hall demonstrates the evolution of a small country house over three centuries;

* Historical Association: the probable association of the two C18 phases of remodelling with Francis Smith, one of the most successful master builders in English architectural history, and Joseph Pickford, the leading local architect of the period, adds significantly to its more than special interest;

* Interior: the central section of the house retains a good proportion of joinery and fixtures, some demonstrating a high quality of design and craftsmanship; notably four rooms with excellent late C17/ early C18 panelling with incorporated two-panelled doors, two bolection moulded fireplace surrounds, a C17 plasterwork oval in the staircase hall, and a high quality, early C18 staircase.

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