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Jonathan Swift House

A Grade II Listed Building in Whitehaven, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5481 / 54°32'53"N

Longitude: -3.5978 / 3°35'52"W

OS Eastings: 296742

OS Northings: 518158

OS Grid: NX967181

Mapcode National: GBR 3H9V.WD

Mapcode Global: WH5Z1.PYY7

Entry Name: Jonathan Swift House

Listing Date: 21 July 1987

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1247785

English Heritage Legacy ID: 429157

Location: Whitehaven, Copeland, Cumbria, CA28

County: Cumbria

District: Copeland

Town: Copeland

Civil Parish: Whitehaven

Built-Up Area: Whitehaven

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kells St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

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Listing Text

1814 Jonathan Swift House

NX 91 NE
House. c1700 and c1800. Red sandstone rubble with some modern brick patching, pebble-
dashed, slate roofs. The building is in three sections, two of which appear to be more
or less contemporary and one a later addition. South-west section is c1700.T-shaped
range but both roofs are contained within a single rectangle One storey and attic.
East front has a modern door and window. South front has a single-light window over a
two-light, modern casement. West front has a plain sash. North front has a plain
chamfered door with a two-light window with chamfered surround and mullion above. Both
these features appear to be original. Coped gables with kneelers. Replacement roof with
single-gable stack. Interior has suffered a fire. Stone spiral stair. Extremely rough
beam spans the kitchen. The roof has been replaced with some survivial of fire-damaged
timbers and the top of the stack has been removed. This range has had some rebuilding
as is evident from the squared stones with herringbone tooling, a C19 repair on the
south-east quoin. North range. This appears contemporary with the first section, but
has a lower roof line. Two storeys. West front has a doorway with decayed, moulded
surround flanked by small blocked openings. Above are four C19 sashes in chamfered
surrounds. These appear to be original openings, perhaps with dropped sills. This range
otherwise featureless. Interior. The lower room has a fireplace with an ogee mould
shelf, above is an early C19 hob grate with a plain stone surround. The roof has been
replaced, but retains one original pegged truss with halved apex and trenches for
purlins. This appears to be late C17. The lower room was the beer cellar when this was
a public house. East range might be late C18 or early Cl9 and shows patching to the
walls. Doorway with plain stone surround on south end. One modern window to each floor
on north end. These have chamfered surrounds. The interior is featureless. It is
evident that this is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Whitehaven and predates the
main development of the town in the early C18. It is certainly the same building
clearly seen in the Matthias Read drawing of 1738 and other contemporary pictures. It
is not, however, very likely that it is the house stayed in by the infant Jonathan Swift,
who, it is claimed, lived there 1668-1671. During the C18 it was an inn known as
Bowling Green House and later Flagstaff House and Red Flag. The walled enclosure of
the bowling green, now much damaged, survives to the northwest of the house.

Listing NGR: NX9674218158

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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