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The Judges' Lodgings, Attached Forecourt, Steps, Gate Piers, Gates and Railings

A Grade I Listed Building in Lancaster, Lancashire

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Latitude: 54.0501 / 54°3'0"N

Longitude: -2.8038 / 2°48'13"W

OS Eastings: 347474

OS Northings: 461873

OS Grid: SD474618

Mapcode National: GBR 8PVL.SW

Mapcode Global: WH846.XG1F

Entry Name: The Judges' Lodgings, Attached Forecourt, Steps, Gate Piers, Gates and Railings

Listing Date: 22 December 1953

Last Amended: 13 March 1995

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1298414

English Heritage Legacy ID: 383126

Location: Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1

County: Lancashire

District: Lancaster

Town: Lancaster

Electoral Ward/Division: Castle

Built-Up Area: Lancaster

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Lancaster St Mary with St John and St Anne

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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Listing Text


1685-1/6/95 (West side)
22/12/53 The Judges' Lodgings, attached
forecourt, steps, gate piers, gates
& railings
(Formerly Listed as:
The Judge's Lodging)


Town house with attached forecourt, steps and gate piers.
Later judges' lodgings, and now a museum. c1625. For Thomas
Covell, incorporating structural timbers re-used from a
timber-framed building and perhaps on earlier foundations.
Extended and altered in 1675 and early C19. Restored c1975.
Sandstone rubble (presumably once rendered) with plain quoins,
ashlar dressings, and wrought-iron gates and railings. Slate
U-plan, formed in 3 stages: the original single-depth, 3-unit
principal block with a central doorway, a short rear wing to
left (or south), chimney stacks on the gables and behind the
central unit; rear wing to right (or north) dated 1675; and
the extension of the left-hand rear wing and the enlargement
of the principal block to double depth after 1826.
3 storeys above a basement, expressed as an ashlar plinth, and
7 bays with a plain modillion cornice (probably early C19) and
coped gables with kneelers and ball finials. The doorway has a
heavily-moulded segmental head and jambs, and is flanked by a
pair of Doric columns (with a pronounced entasis) supporting a
tryglyph frieze with roses in the metopes and a lion's head
(the badge of the Cole family) over each column. The prominent
moulded cornice breaks back between the columns, and carries
an open segmental pediment with 7 raised and fielded panels in
the soffit; this pediment does not fit easily on the cornice
and suggests that the doorway in its present form is the
product of 2 or, probably, 3 stages of construction. In the
tympanum of the pediment is a panel repainted (c1986) with the
arms of the Lancashire County Council. The double door has 6
raised and fielded panels in each leaf.
All the windows have roll-moulded architraves and a similar
sill band. Above the windows on the ground and first floors
are relieving arches of rubble masonry. These windows were
originally cross-windows, as can now be seen on the second
floor of the left-hand gable, but now, on the ground and first
floors, they have 12-pane sashes, and 9-pane sashes on the
second floor. At the very bottom of the left-hand gable wall
is a blocked 3-light mullioned window, presumably of the early
The wall of the right-hand rear wing has a blocked doorway
with a lintel bearing the scarcely legible datestone with
raised letters: TCT 1675.
At the rear there are one-bay wings of random rubble with
quoins, probably added in the late C17, the south wing
extended by half a bay, and a new rear wall built across
between them in the early C19. All these ranges are
full-height and have C19 openings, but some C17 openings
survive: the re-entrant of the north wing has a chamfered
doorway on the ground floor, and both wings have blocked cross
windows on 2 floors above; there is also a cross-window,
perhaps not in situ, on the ground floor of the original rear
wall (only visible inside).
INTERIOR: the central 3-bay hall has a diamond-flagged floor
and a wide fireplace with a moulded surround in the rear wall;
the parlour to the right has early-mid C18 panelling, with
fluted pilasters and raised and fielded panels above and below
the dado rail, also a fireplace with a bolection-moulded
surround and a built-in cupboard, with a coved top painted as
a scallop. In the north wing the stone staircase with scrolled
treads dates from the early C19. On the first floor the
principal room, occupying 4 bays, has full panelling (now
painted) like that in the parlour, including double doors. On
the second floor there is a longitudinal partition wall with
some exposed timber-framing and wattle-and-daub panels. In the
cellar is a low blocked archway which may antedate the present
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the raised forecourt with entrance
staircase, gate piers, gates and railings is mid C18. It is of
rectangular plan, flagged, and stands approx 2m above street
level. It has a retaining wall of large dressed blocks with an
ashlar coping carrying bar railings set diagonally. In the
centre, approached by a double flight of stone steps with iron
railings terminating in wreaths with twisted standards and urn
finials, is a pair of tall square gate piers of rusticated
ashlar, capped with an emphatic cornice bearing iron lamp
standards of c1975. The high double gates have simple bars
with a central band of scrolled openwork.
HISTORY: Thomas Covell (1561-1639) was 6 times mayor of
Lancaster and for 48 years Keeper of Lancaster Castle; as such
he was responsible for keeping and executing the ten 'Pendle
Witches' in 1612. The house was subsequently occupied by the
Brockholes, Cole, and Butler families and was used as the
Judges' Lodgings at the time of the Assizes between 1828 and
1975. It was then taken over by the Lancashire County Museums
Service and a programme of repairs, which included
strengthening of timbers, was undertaken before fully opening
to the public.

Listing NGR: SD4747861879

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

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