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Cattle shelter at Norris Castle

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

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Latitude: 50.7621 / 50°45'43"N

Longitude: -1.277 / 1°16'37"W

OS Eastings: 451088

OS Northings: 96082

OS Grid: SZ510960

Mapcode National: GBR 89S.1ZD

Mapcode Global: FRA 8762.BBW

Plus Code: 9C2WQP6F+R5

Entry Name: Cattle shelter at Norris Castle

Listing Date: 16 November 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1438962

Location: Norris Castle, 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

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Cattle shelter, early C19, for Lord Henry Seymour.


Cattle shelter, early C19, for Lord Henry Seymour.

MATERIALS: constructed of coursed rubble with a slate roof.

DESCRIPTION: a rectangular single-storey building with a hipped slate roof and red ridge tiles, built into the west boundary wall of the estate. The main façade faces east, towards the park, and has a wide square-headed opening with a timber lintel, replacing two earlier round-headed arched doorways and their dividing wall. The stone voussoirs that formed the outer jambs and outer arches of the doorways remain in place. In the south elevation is a small square-headed two-light window, which no longer contains the casements or fixed panes. A four-panelled door at the south end of the west wall leads through to the adjoining property. The north elevation is now blind but contains possible traces of a blocked opening. Internally, the cattle shelter has a clasped purlin roof with struts and dragon ties.


The cattle shelter is one of a pair situated along the west boundary wall 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 c1799 (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). The inclusion of a watercolour view of Norris by the landscape designer Humphry Repton (1752-1818) in the 1805 edition of Peacock's Polite Repository suggests his likely involvement in the design (Carter et al 1982). Lord Seymour held an interest in agricultural improvement, which was integrated into the new estate. The extensive model farm housed cattle and horses with manure being utilised on an attached kitchen garden. Engravings indicate that the park served as pasture for cattle, sheep, and a muster of peacocks.

The cattle shelter is one of two that were built in the early C19. It is not shown on the small scale (one inch to one mile) 1810 OS map but is likely to have been erected at the same time as the west boundary wall to the estate. The cattle shelter appears to be one of the ‘sheds’ mentioned in a set of 1830 sales particulars, by which time the boundary wall was also built: ‘One hundred and twenty-four acres, nearly encompassed by lofty and substantial walls…Grounds, paddocks, with sheds, grass land, well supplied with water, and plantations’. The cattle shelters are shown on the 1845 Tithe map and appear on the 1864 and 1898 OS maps.

Reasons for Listing

The cattle shelter at Norris Castle, built for Lord Henry Seymour in the early C19, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as a cattle shelter forming part of a progressive estate within the context of early C19 agricultural improvement, and a landscaped park laid out according to picturesque principles;
* Materials: the cattle shelter is well constructed of coursed rubble and squared stone;
* Group value; as one of a pair of cattle shelters that form part of a marine villa estate of outstanding architectural and historic interest, including a Grade I listed house and model farm, Grade II listed lodges, Bathing House and attached sea wall, Pump House and four stone-lined watering ponds, within a Grade I registered landscape, adjacent to a Grade II* registered park and Grade I listed house at Osborne.

External Links

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