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Swanland Hall

A Grade II Listed Building in Swanland, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.7384 / 53°44'18"N

Longitude: -0.4845 / 0°29'4"W

OS Eastings: 500058

OS Northings: 427957

OS Grid: TA000279

Mapcode National: GBR TT16.XM

Mapcode Global: WHGFP.J9HD

Plus Code: 9C5XPGQ8+96

Entry Name: Swanland Hall

Listing Date: 28 January 1980

Last Amended: 27 February 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1203487

English Heritage Legacy ID: 164811

Location: Swanland, East Riding of Yorkshire, HU14

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Swanland

Built-Up Area: Swanland

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Swanland

Church of England Diocese: York

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Swanland Hall, built in 1760 for John Porter, a wealthy merchant trader from Hull; extended and altered in the C19 and C20.


Swanland Hall, built in 1760 for John Porter, a wealthy merchant trader from Hull; extended and altered in the C19 and C20.

MATERIALS: of rendered and painted brick construction with string course bands, both hipped and gabled cement slate clad roofs with timber dentil eaves, paired eaves brackets supporting concealed gutter housings, modern plastic rain water goods; fair-faced brick chimney stacks.

PLAN: a rectangular-plan central range, flanked to the north and south by projecting rectangular wings, with various extensions to the rear. Internally, the house has a central entrance hall flanked by former reception rooms and a staircase to the rear that rises to the second-floor. The first-floor of the south wing is set at a higher level than the main body of the house.
EXTERIOR: the house has a symmetrical main (east) elevation with a central five-bay, three-storey range, flanked by a historic two-storey south wing, and a modern pastiche north wing* and north wing extension*. The central range has a rendered plinth and four rendered string courses; those to the first and second floor forming the window sill bands. The central painted oak C18 front door has six raised and fielded panels and is set in a door frame with a leaded semi-circular fanlight within an architrave, supported by engaged pilasters. The doorway has a Greek Doric porch that has a leaded flat-top canopy with an entablature supported on four columns, and is flanked to either side by canted bay windows with matching entablatures and multi-pane sash windows. The windows to the first and second-floors have gently cambered lintels, are graduated in size, with twelve-pane sashes to the first-floor and unequal nine-pane sashes to the second. The hipped roof is clad with cement slates and has a flat rectangular leaded central area, with a pair of brick chimney stacks to each end. The south wing has a single string course at first-floor level, which wraps around the end elevation, set between the three 15-light ground-floor and 12-light first-floor sash windows. The south wing has a slightly lower and recessed two-bay, two-storey extension to its rear that extends back to the south wall of the central range. Two square-plan differential height single-storey former tack rooms, with pyramidal roofs are attached to the rear wall of the south wing. A single-storey former billiard room is situated within the re-entrant angle formed by the rear of the house and the tack rooms. It has a gablet roof with a large ridge skylight lighting the interior. The west elevation has a plain timber door and a tripartite multi-paned window. The blind north wall of the billiard room is built up against the projecting stair bay, which is lit by a half-landing sash window and a tall semi-circular headed stair window with leaded glass and coloured glass detailing. The former single-storey kitchen range projects to the rear of the north-west corner of the main house. It has a number of secondary single-storey rooms* built up against it, a porch*, and a first-floor* built in 1986.

INTERIOR: the interior of the house has been largely re-worked with modern Georgian-style decorative plasterwork, timberwork, fittings and fixtures; nevertheless, the central range, the former kitchen range, and the south wing retain most of the original structural walls and plan form. The entrance hall and staircase occupy the central-bay of the house and span the full width of the building; the majority of the hall joinery is original. The four flights of the C18 dog-leg staircase have a central well hole, moulded strings, turned balusters, moulded hand rails, and a turned vase-shaped newel post at the base. The former dining room to the north of the entrance hall retains its arched servery in the west wall with two fluted pillars. The basement beneath the kitchen range has a half-arched east-west axial corridor, leading to two barrel vaulted cellars and a stone shelved storeroom. A wine cellar is reputed to be located beneath the South Wing, but this was not inspected. The upper floors of the main house and the roof spaces were not inspected.

* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that the aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.


Swanland Hall is thought to have been built in 1760 as a country residence for John Porter, a wealthy merchant trader from Hull; it was recorded by the Window Tax returns of 1774 and 1779, as having 41 windows. John Porter died in 1793 and upon his death, Swanland Hall and his additional landholdings were passed to his wife Jane and their daughter, also called Jane, who was married to a James Walker. Upon the death of Jane Porter in 1812, the estate was sold by Jane Walker to Nicholas Sykes. The Deeds of the purchase describe the hall as a Mansion House with coach houses, stables, offices and other outbuildings, gardens, orchard, hot houses, plantations, fish ponds, trees, woods and underwoods. Sometime during this period, the house was extended by the construction of Regency-style wings, to either side of the C18 house; the ground-floor of the north wing housed new kitchens with cellars below, with the south wing housing wine cellars, a drawing room, bedrooms and dressing rooms. Nicholas Sykes died in 1827 and it was not until 1830 that the house was conveyed to John Todd, in whose family it remained until the 1920s.

A map dating to 1824 shows the main house and the rectangular-plan semi-detached wash house and stables (Hall Cottage) to the rear; the house was served by a drive from the east and the services are served by one from the south-west; the drives were connected by a courtyard on the northern side of the house. It also shows an un-roofed structure on the northern side of the courtyard, possibly indicating that the coach house was under construction at that time. The 1837 enclosure map shows the house with the new wings and a coach house on the northern side of the open courtyard, linked to the north wing by a screen wall with a central gateway, but it does not show the wash house and stables. All features are however shown on the 1855 first edition 1:10,560 Ordnance Survey map, which also shows that a north drive had been created to serve the service buildings, and that the old drive to the east no longer existed and a new drive had been laid to the south-east of the house. There is no wall shown separating the wash house and stables from the courtyard and carriage house. Map regression shows that small changes were made during the late C19 and early C20 to the plan of the rear of the house by the addition of a number of small single-storey extensions, and that the south-west drive had been truncated to the south of the wash house and stables. The south wing was ravaged by a fire in September 1898 and was re-built in a slightly enlarged form in 1920; during the following year, a billiard room was also added to the rear of the house.

The Swanland Hall estate was broken up and sold in 1926; the Hall, together with extensive stabling, garage and estate buildings, and 44 acres of land (Lot 4) was sold to the Barton family, who partially demolished the north wing, leaving the ground-floor to form a rectangular-plan, flat-roofed, single-storey kitchen range. In 1947, a Mr and Mrs Clayton became the owners of the Hall, and during their ownership, it gradually fell into a state of disrepair. Mrs Clayton died in 1979 leaving instructions in her will for the Hall to be demolished; however, pressure from a number of amenity societies resulted in the Hall gaining Grade II-listed status in January 1980. Nevertheless, the proposed demolition went to public enquiry in 1983, but it was not granted and in 1984, Listed Building Consent was obtained to convert the Hall into flats; the work included the renovation of the C18 staircase, the renovation and conversion of the derelict interior, the re-installation of decorative plasterwork, fittings and fixtures, the re-building of the two-storey north wing to include an internal ground-floor swimming pool, and the construction of a new three-storey north wing extension with garages below. This work was completed in about 1986-87. In addition, the low yard walls to the rear of the house were raised in height, a new boundary wall was built across the former open courtyard between Hall Cottage and the Hall, and the gateway from the cottage through the existing rear wall was blocked-up. At about the same time, a number of low walls were erected as part of the landscaping of the garden and a boundary wall with railings was erected along the Hall Park frontage.

Reasons for Listing

Swanland Hall, built in 1760 for John Porter, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural Interest:

* As a mid-C18 country house, whose scale, composition and quality of materials are of a high standard, it falls well within the date range when there is a presumption in favour of listing;

* Swanland Hall retains a number of significant features such as the original configuration of the fenestration, a handsome entrance with a Greek Doric porch, flanked to either side by canted bay windows;

* The original plan form is largely retained and readable and sufficient original fabric remains to confirm the special interest of the building;

* The interior retains a good quality C18 staircase and most of the structural walls, which is a significant survival.

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