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Building, Number 1, the Gatehouse

A Grade II Listed Building in Brampton, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.3166 / 52°18'59"N

Longitude: -0.2216 / 0°13'17"W

OS Eastings: 521320

OS Northings: 270209

OS Grid: TL213702

Mapcode National: GBR J2T.QT0

Mapcode Global: VHGM2.31QF

Plus Code: 9C4X8Q8H+J9

Entry Name: Building, Number 1, the Gatehouse

Listing Date: 19 May 1975

Last Amended: 10 July 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1164841

English Heritage Legacy ID: 54529

Location: Brampton, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, PE28

County: Cambridgeshire

District: Huntingdonshire

Civil Parish: Brampton

Built-Up Area: Brampton

Traditional County: Huntingdonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Brampton St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Ely

Tagged with: Gatehouse Thatched cottage

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A former lodge to Brampton Park on Buckden Road, constructed in 1825, to the designs of John Buonarotti Papworth, which was used as the Gatehouse to RAF Brampton and is now the Chaplain's Office.


A former lodge to Brampton Park on Buckden Road, a Cottage Ornee constructed in 1825 probably to the designs of John Buonarotti Papworth, which was used as the Gatehouse to RAF Brampton and is now the Chaplain's Office.

Probably timber framed with a roughcast render and a thatched covering to the roof.

A broadly asymmetrical cruciform plan.

A single storey former lodge under a hipped roof with deep eaves carried on wood posts creating a loggia on the south elevation and a projecting porch on the east. The posts are surrounded with columns formed by slender metal rods which rest on stone bases and have simply moulded caps. There is a rebuilt ridge stack with grouped shafts in the roof's centre.

The main entrance is on the east elevation. The timber-panelled, early-C19 door has iron stud decoration and slender pointed arched, glazed openings in the upper half. The entrance is flanked by two canted bays and there is a single canted bay on the south elevation. The projecting bay on the west elevation has moulded timber details and decorative barge boards.To the left, is a casement with a pair of lights with four-centred arch heads which may be original; all other fenestration is C20. The north elevation is blind.

The three room plan remains. In the southern room is an early-C19 reeded fireplace and cupboard. The central room, probably the original kitchen, has C20 fixtures and fittings. An early-C19, vertically boarded door with square motifs leads into the partitioned north room, used as an office. The entrance door is hung on a pair of 'HL' hinges and has contemporary furniture.


Brampton Park has C12 origins when it was held in direct fealty to the King by William the Sokeman. It is likely that a Royal hunting lodge existed on the estate, but its exact location is unknown; the house was described as ruinous by 1328. During the C16, the Throckmorton family built ‘a fair brick house’ here. The house was extensively remodelled between 1805 and 1825 by Lady Olivia Bernard Sparrow, who ran the estate after the death of her husband in 1805. Elements of the C17 house may have been incorporated into Brampton Park House which is currently used as the Officers’ Mess and listed at Grade II. Lady Olivia commissioned Thomas Steadman Whitwell to rebuild the house in 1821-22. John Buonarotti Papworth undertook further alterations in 1825 and probably designed the Coach House and entrance lodge (also known as Building No.1, The Gatehouse), both listed at Grade II.
During World War I the camp housed German prisoners of war. At the end of hostilities, the main house was restored to Lord Mandeville, who let it for domestic use. During World War II the house was known as Sun Babies Nursery caring for about 100 babies evacuated from London. It continued in this role until spring 1942 when the estate was taken over by the United States Army Air Corps, being officially activated as the First Bomb Wing Headquarters. In September 1945 the First Air Division HQ, as Brampton was now known, moved to nearby Alconbury. In 1955 RAF Brampton became a permanent establishment and from 1957 accommodated the Central Reconnaissance Establishment (CRE), and Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC); JARIC remains to this day. Today, RAF Brampton is an operational site under Air Command, providing accommodation and support facilities for a range of lodger units.
The Gatehouse no longer fulfils that role; it has been sensitively refurbished to form the military chaplain's office. The building has been altered historically; the wooden posts which form the loggia on the south and east sides have been encased by columns formed by a number of slender metal rods, over-painted black. In the C20, most of the fenestration was replaced and the chimney has been rebuilt at roof height. Internally, the northern room has been subdivided with partitions. In the central room, the fireplace has been removed and toilet facilities created in the space to the west of the stack.

Reasons for Listing

The Gatehouse at RAF Brampton is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: the building retains the rustic thatched roof and rough hewn timber columns characteristic of the Cottage Ornee style, promulgated by its architect, John Buonarotti Papworth in his 1818 publication 'Designs for Rural Residences'. The retention of the original, ornate entrance door with date plaque above adds considerably to the architectural merit and charm of the Gatehouse;
* Alterations: the building is little altered and although the windows have been replaced, this does not unduly affect the architectural interest of the building;
* Interior: the Gatehouse retains its original plan-form and the reeded fireplace and contemporary doors are fixtures and fittings of note;
* Group value: the Gatehouse has group value with the Officers' Mess (former Brampton Park House) and Coach and Stable Block, both listed at Grade II.

External Links

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