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Latitude: 54.4478 / 54°26'51"N
Longitude: -2.9816 / 2°58'53"W
OS Eastings: 336445
OS Northings: 506262
OS Grid: NY364062
Mapcode National: GBR 7KM0.9C
Mapcode Global: WH826.5GGM
Entry Name: Undermount
Listing Date: 10 December 2009
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1393595
English Heritage Legacy ID: 507214
Location: Lakes, South Lakeland, Cumbria, LA22
District: South Lakeland
Civil Parish: Lakes
Traditional County: Westmorland
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria
Church of England Parish: Rydal St Mary
Church of England Diocese: Carlisle
1945/0/10006 RYDAL, AMBLESIDE
A vernacular house of one and two storeys of early C19 date with earlier origins, architect unknown.
MATERIALS: Stone beneath pitched slate roofs with a rendered front elevation
PLAN: Virtually an inverted T-shape with a protruding front porch
EXTERIOR: The rendered front south-east elevation is of two storeys with three bays to the house and the attached former barn to the right. The house has a central single-storey porch with a side entrance beneath a pitched roof. Windows have copper diamond panes with stone lintels, sills and hoodmoulds. A gable between the left and central bay finishes with a circular chimney stack rising from a projecting square base. A projecting square chimney stack rises above the central and right bays and there are two cross-axial chimney stacks rising from a square base above the gable at the north-east end of the house. The attached former barn has a stable door with a window with copper diamond panes to its left on the gable end. There is a timber lintel above the stable door with a dripstone above that is carried over both the stable door and window. The former barn's upper storey has a window matching those to the house.
The south-west elevation is single storey of three bays with copper diamond window panes. The right bay is a projecting gable with a central window and circular chimney stack on a square base. The central bay is set back beneath overhanging roofs and contains the entrance door and adjacent window. There is a squat ridge chimney stack at the junction between the central and left bays. The left bay has a central window with a square chimney stack from which rise two cross-axial chimneys.
The north-west elevation is single storey of three bays. The right bay is a projecting gable with a blocked doorway. Its left return is of one and two storeys with copper diamond window panes with stone sills and lintels. A butt joint demarcates the transition from one to two storeys. Bays two and three are at right angles and are single-storey, forming the rear of the former barn. The right bay has two windows of similar design to those elsewhere on this elevation. The left bay is gabled and contains the former entrance to the barn's hayloft, now a blocked door beneath a stone lintel.
The barn's north-east gable elevation has narrow windows with copper diamond panes together with a timber mullion window to the upper storey.
INTERIOR: Access on the south-west elevation leads into the upper ground floor hallway that is lit by a half-glazed door and a splay window with shutters and moulded architrave. The hallway has a ceiling rose, moulded plaster coving and a staircase leading down to the lower ground floor. A panelled door leads into a rear study room. A segmental arch leads from the hallway to the front portion of the house where panelled doors with moulded architraves give access to a corner room and a central room. The corner room has two windows, both with shutters and moulded architraves of the same design as in the hallway. There is a window seat and a modern fire surround. Adjacent is the central room containing a wall cupboard with panelled doors, two windows with shutters and a fireplace. A corridor gives access to a master bedroom occupying the former barn's hayloft that contains a window with a seat. The corridor ends at a bathroom in which the bath is set within an alcove that was formerly the doorway to the hayloft. A small room off the corridor to the rear contains a window with shutters and seat, a panelled door and a fireplace now converted into a small cupboard.
A simple staircase with a surround of stick balusters and a wall mounted wooden handrail gives access from the hallway down to the older part of the house on the lower ground floor. The staircase leads to a corridor that has a kitchen and separate pantry with stone sconces. The modernised kitchen, entered by a timber plank door, has chamfered ceiling beams. Adjacent to the kitchen is a corridor leading to a heavy timber-planked front door with metal strap hinges. Adjacent is a front room containing a fireplace, a spice cupboard and exposed ceiling beams. The corridor to the rear of this room gives access to a rear storeroom with ceiling beams and a passage, now used as a utility room with a small window at its far end that is thought by the tenant to occupy the position of an earlier doorway. This passage appears to have given access to the earlier house.
A stable entered via a timber door with strap hinges is situated on the opposite side of the former passage entry. It contains stalls, a cobble floor and wall mounted brackets for hanging equipment.
HISTORY: Undermount has been part of the Rydal Estate since the C16 when it may have been known as 'Greens'. It is thought to have been a single-storey building that was enlarged by the addition of a single-storey extension on its south side in the C17. An undated etching shows the building to have been considerably extended and given an L-shaped plan by construction of a two-storey addition that created a new upper ground floor entered from the south-west side, while the existing lower ground floor continued to be entered from the building's south-east side. The building at the time of the etching was an inn called the 'Hare and Hounds' with a barn forming one arm of the 'L' and living accommodation forming the other arm. An extension to the house was built for John Carter in 1827; however, it is not known if the 'L'-shaped work is Carter's extension or if a later addition to the living accommodation on the building's north-west side is Carter's work. One of these periods of building work prompted William Wordsworth, who lived at nearby Rydal Mount from 1813 to his death in 1850, to write to the landowner Lady le Fleming complaining that Mr Carter had been allowed to build when she had not allowed Wordsworth himself to build in the Rashfield (Dora's Field) for his friend Miss Fenwick. During the C19 or early C20 the barn's hayloft was converted into domestic accommodation. A window adjacent to the barn's stable door was created out of a blocked door that is thought to have originally been a side passage giving access to the early house. Map evidence from 1898 to the present suggests that scince then the building's plan has remained constant. Canon Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley (1851-1920), a founder member of the National Trust, and his wife rented Undermount for a short period, probably prior to 1915 when he purchased the nearby Allan Bank at Grasmere. During this period the present bathroom was a chapel.
SOURCES: Ordnance Survey Map 1898.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: Undermount is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a good example of an evolved Lakeland vernacular building
* Its pre-C19 layout remains legible and numerous early features relating to this phase of the building's development still survive
* The C19 extensions are themselves of intrinsic architectural interest; they were undertaken in a competent and sympathetic manner and many features survive
* Undermount's historic interest is enhanced by its mention in a letter written by William Wordsworth
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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