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The Red House

A Grade II* Listed Building in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5767 / 54°34'36"N

Longitude: -2.4909 / 2°29'27"W

OS Eastings: 368366

OS Northings: 520279

OS Grid: NY683202

Mapcode National: GBR CH1J.J4

Mapcode Global: WH92Z.Q727

Plus Code: 9C6VHGG5+MM

Entry Name: The Red House

Listing Date: 6 June 1951

Last Amended: 22 August 2019

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1146473

English Heritage Legacy ID: 73646

Location: Appleby-in-Westmorland, Eden, Cumbria, CA16

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Appleby-in-Westmorland

Built-Up Area: Appleby-in-Westmorland

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Appleby St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

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House and Judges' lodging, 1717 for Thomas Carleton; late-C20 modifications. Classical style.


House and Judges' lodging, 1717 for Thomas Carleton; late-C20 modifications. Classical style.

MATERIALS: a red sandstone ashlar main elevation, with weathered irregular blocks to the rear elevation; a slate roof with stone copings and stone chimneys.

PLAN: double-pile plan with a central main entrance, originally with four rooms to the ground floor and a rear staircase and off-set rear entrance.

EXTERIOR: situated on a site that slopes gently to the north and falls to the west. Two storeys plus a raised basement, and seven bays beneath steep double pitched roofs of Westmorland slate with gable ashlar chimney stacks.

The main (east) elevation is constructed of ashlar red sandstone with prominent quoins, moulded bands to the ground and first floors and a deep eaves cornice. The central entrance is reached by a set of stone steps flanked by ornate C19 railings, and has a bolection moulded surround with a segmental pediment: the lintel bears the date 1717 in incised calligraphic lettering, separated by a monogram. There are six four-over-four sliding sash windows to the ground floor and seven to the upper floor, that to the centre with a moulded architrave, the others are hollow chamfered. The basement is rusticated with four small windows and a separate entrance, the latter reached down a set of stone steps and fitted with a six-panel door. The right and left gables are of coursed rubble with a single attic window.

The rear (west) elevation has a semi-basement and two upper storeys, with an off-set entrance to the left reached by a set of stone steps. The entrance has a partially moulded architrave and a carved and decorated stone lintel inscribed 'TC MC 1663', and a four-panel door. To the right is a three-light stone window with flat mullions. Set above and slightly to the right of the entrance there is a large stair window fitted with a horned twenty-over-twenty sliding sash window with a plain stone surround. To the left there is a single window to each floor, and to the right a pair of windows to each floor: all are fitted with nine-over-nine sliding horned sash windows (replaced to the top right) in plain dressed stone surrounds. There are also four inserted C20 bathroom windows. There are two stone bands, the upper one runs around the bottom of the stair window and the lower one rises around the entrance. There is a large basement window to the right; a similar window to the left has been converted to a set of french doors.

INTERIOR: the ground and first floors are each divided into a pair of apartments with some inserted partitions and openings, but overall the original plan-form is retained. A C19 lobby opens through timber and glazed double doors with side lights into a hall with an arched opening between the hall and the rear stair hall. The latter retains the original early-C18 dog-leg staircase that rises from basement to first floor. It has an open string, a balustrade of turned vase-shaped balusters (three per tread), square newel posts and drops, and a ramped, flat-topped handrail with moulded sides. At the intermediate garden level a half-landing gives access to the rear entrance lit by a mullioned window, above which there is a complete set of ten servants' bells; the upper half-landing is lit by the tall multi-paned stair window.

The basement is divided into three spaces, the central space with a six-panel door, a stone flag floor and stone shelving on supports. Several early ceiling beams are visible throughout. The ground floor north apartment occupies the former smoking room, kitchen and back stair and the south apartment occupies the former dining room, office and clerk's closet. There are panelled windows and shutters to the six principal south windows and original chimney breasts to the north and south gables; other features include a six-panel door in a moulded architrave and the former site of the back stair. The north and south apartments to the first floor also have panelled reveals and shutters to the principal east windows, and the former site of the back stair; doors are mostly six-panel replacements. The attic is partially converted, and a limited view of the roof space indicates the presence of the original rook structure. Other features include a small hob-grate to the north gable and a re-used six panel door and an architrave with corner blocks.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: to the front there is an in filled area bounded by a low, red sandstone wall of three courses with flat coping stones, set with original cast-iron C19 railings with ornate heads.


The Red House was built in 1717 for Thomas Carleton (1660-1731), steward of Lord Thanet at Appleby Castle from about 1690, at a cost of £513 6s 6 1/2d. It was constructed on a site comprising six burgage plots that Thomas Carleton and his father, a former Mayor had acquired by 1693. Documentary evidence suggests that the new dwelling was constructed on the footprint of a former house owned by the Carleton Family, and extended eastwards to the street. Its rear elevation contains re-used stonework, and a dated stone lintel above the rear entrance inscribed 'TC MC 1663', is thought to have been re-used from the front entrance of the earlier house. Detailed records of the new house's construction describe the supply of materials, their source, their cost and the role of various individuals. A local carpenter Mark Gardner designed the stair, which has similarities to his earlier commission for the great staircase at Appleby Castle. The Red House also functioned as a lodging for visiting Assize circuit judges, and original plans show that there was ground floor provision for an 'Office' and 'Clerk's Closet' along with a smoking room and a dining room.

Thomas Carleton's will of 1728 granted to his widow Dorothy 'the use and occupation of that part of my new built Dwelling House I now live in with half the garden [and] outhouses'. When in 1768 the estate of Thomas Carleton was sold to Christopher Harrison of Appleby for £720, the Red House is described as: 'Dwelling House with yards, gardens, Brewhouse, Malt Kiln'. The building subsequently passed through a number of owners until eventually it was conveyed to the Earl of Thanet in 1780. During the First World War it was used as a convalescent home. In the late C20 the ground and first floors were converted to four apartments leading to minor modifications of the original plan-form by the introduction of some internal partitions, and the insertion of some new openings to the rear elevation.

Reasons for Listing

The Red House, a house and judges' lodging of 1717 for Thomas Carleton, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a high status dwelling with an intact and well-articulated main classical elevation including a similarly styled main entrance with a dated lintel of 1717;
* it contains re-used stonework from an earlier dwelling on the same site, including its carved and decorated main entrance dated 1663, which was inserted to the rear elevation;
* a handsome three-storey building, whose scale and massing and symmetrical design create a prominent landmark building on the town’s main street;
* its early-C18 plan-form is largely retained, in which the functional spaces - including service, domestic and legal - are legible;
* it retains some fixtures and fittings notably the fine early-C18 dog-leg staircase by local carpenter Mark Gardner who also designed the great staircase at Appleby Castle, to which it has some similarities.

Historic interest:

* unusually detailed records describe its construction, including the supply of materials, their exact source, their cost and the role of various individuals;
* its high status design reflects the fact that it functioned as a lodging for the visiting Assize circuit judges.

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