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South Lodge to Norris Castle

A Grade II Listed Building in East Cowes, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.7574 / 50°45'26"N

Longitude: -1.2739 / 1°16'26"W

OS Eastings: 451312

OS Northings: 95559

OS Grid: SZ513955

Mapcode National: GBR 89S.GR9

Mapcode Global: FRA 8762.RJ8

Plus Code: 9C2WQP4G+WC

Entry Name: South Lodge to Norris Castle

Listing Date: 17 August 1951

Last Amended: 15 August 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1223286

English Heritage Legacy ID: 418923

Location: East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: East Cowes

Built-Up Area: East Cowes

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: East Cowest St James

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth

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Gate lodge, built in about the 1920s at Norris Castle. Architect unknown.


Gate lodge, built in about the 1920s at Norris Castle. Architect unknown.

MATERIALS: cast stone (imitating quarry-faced natural stone and ashlar) with concrete lintels.

PLAN: a two-storey building, three bays long and a single bay wide, with canted bay windows to the north and south elevations. It is orientated north to south, parallel with the approach road to the landscaped park.

EXTERIOR: the main façade is symmetrical, comprising three bays facing the approach road at the east. The central bay forms a crenelated square tower projecting forward slightly from the elevation. It rises above the main roof to an attic level containing a blind oculus. On the ground floor is a round-headed arched doorway with a timber-panelled door under an overlight with Y-tracery. It is flanked by paired pointed sash windows in round-headed openings. The arches of the openings are formed of cast stone moulded to imitate ashlar, in contrast to the quarry-faced finish of the walls. There are three pairs of squared-headed horned sashes to the first floor, each with concrete lintels, beneath a flat roof with a crenelated parapet.

The west elevation is an irregular composition with four bays to the ground floor; a square-headed doorway flanked by two small square top-hung windows, and a large square-headed fixed window. There are two narrow square-headed sashes to the first floor, positioned towards the south end of the west wall.

The north and south elevations have canted bay windows; paired pointed sash windows under round-headed openings to the ground floor and square-headed sashes to the first floor.

INTERIOR: the main entrance leads to a small entrance hall; to the south is a kitchen and to the north is a lounge with a brick fireplace. A straight staircase with a timber handrail leads from the lounge to the first floor which contains two bedrooms and a bathroom.

Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the later C20 sanitary ware in the bathroom of the lodge is not of special architectural or historic interest.


The South Lodge is situated on the south boundary of the Norris Castle Estate. In 1795 Lord Henry Seymour (1746-1830) purchased a small farm called ‘Norris’ and subsequently constructed a marine villa estate. It included Norris Castle, a Gothic Revival house built in the form of a castle, and a castellated model farm (Norris Castle Farm) constructed to the designs of the architect James Wyatt (1746-1813) from about 1799 (both Grade I listed). A landscaped park with an oval loop of carriage drive was created from former fields covering 124 acres and is shown on the 1810 OS map (Grade I registered). In addition a gate lodge, now known as Fort Norris but formerly as West Lodge (Grade II listed), was built in Gothic style on the principal approach near the west boundary of the estate in about 1800. Constructed in stone rubble, it consists of a small, circular three-storey tower with a castellated parapet and a single-storey C20 addition to the west.

The South Lodge was built in about the 1920s at the opposite end of the looping drive, near New Barn. It was constructed in a similar castellated Gothic style to the other buildings on the estate. The 1898 OS map (1:10560) shows that the area now covered by the garden of the lodge had been enclosed by that time. The lodge itself is not shown on the 1916 Estate Plan but first appears on the 1938 OS map (1:10560). It is likely to have been built in the 1920s when the then owner, Major Arthur Birkbeck reunified the estate by purchasing land that had been parcelled off and sold by the previous owner. The lodge is situated at the entrance of a second approach to Norris Castle; the ‘Farm Approach’. The approach road begins from New Barn Road, entering between gate piers beside South Lodge, passing through an open field, then between a second set of gate piers in a boundary wall, past the principal front of Norris Castle Farm before curving to meet the entrance to the house. The erection of the lodge reflected the changing status of this approach in the 1920s, gaining greater prominence at this time. It was designed to closely replicate the Bailiff’s house, which formed the central portion of the main façade of the castellated model farm. The South Lodge hinted at the architectural quality of the model farm, in the same manner that the West Lodge (Fort Norris) hints at the architecture of the castle itself. In addition, it served as a new feature, contributing to views towards and from the designed landscape.

In contrast to the original buildings on the estate, the lodge was constructed of cement-based cast stone (concrete masonry that was moulded or cast to imitate natural stone) rather than local Bembridge limestone. The material was commercially produced from the mid-C19 but underwent a revival in the early C20, being widely used in America in the 1920s. The construction technique typically involved mixing Portland cement with a crushed natural stone to proportions that dictated colour and texture, casting it in a mould or machine and/or splitting the block to produce an individual quarry-faced finish.

Reasons for Listing

The South Lodge to Norris Castle, built in about the 1920s, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic Interest:

* The lodge reflects the changing status of this approach to Norris Castle in the 1920s, hinting at the architectural quality of the model farm in the same manner that the West Lodge (Fort Norris) hints at the architecture of the castle, and contributes to views towards and from the Grade I registered designed landscape.

Architectural interest:

* The lodge is carefully-detailed and proportioned to match the Bailiff’s house, which formed the central portion of the main façade of James Wyatt’s Grade I listed castellated model farm, and faithfully reproduces the aesthetic of the Regency marine villa estate.

* Rarity: a relatively rare surviving example of an early C20 domestic building constructed of cast stone blocks designed to imitate quarry-faced natural stone;

* Group value: for the particularly strong claims to group value with the Grade I listed model farm, as well as the Grade I registered landscaped park, Grade I listed house and the Grade II listed West Lodge (Fort Norris), Pump House, Bathing House, sea wall (a 50m length), cattle shelters and watering ponds.

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