History in Structure

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Knolton Hall

A Grade II* Listed Building in Overton, Wrexham

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.9586 / 52°57'30"N

Longitude: -2.9652 / 2°57'54"W

OS Eastings: 335260

OS Northings: 340573

OS Grid: SJ352405

Mapcode National: GBR 77.KL6Y

Mapcode Global: WH89C.FW7R

Entry Name: Knolton Hall

Listing Date: 16 November 1962

Last Amended: 15 March 1994

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1691

Building Class: Domestic

Location: On the western edge of the Community, approached by a drive which leaves the main road at the top of Barton’s Bank.

County: Wrexham

Community: Overton (Owrtyn)

Community: Overton

Locality: Knolton

Traditional County: Flintshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

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History

The origins of the present house are in a house of c1600, which has been successively extended and remodelled, principally in the C18, apparently in 2 distinct phases, and then, c1857-68 by John Cunningham of Liverpool, for Mr R C Cotton of the Combermere family.

Exterior

The earliest form of the building is apparent in the layout of the entrance front, which comprises a central hall range flanked by 2 advanced gabled wings, both of which have lateral stacks. Left-hand wing is partially timber framed, the framing surviving in the gable end and in part of the return wall to the garden front: small panels with cusped quatrefoils. The rest of the building is painted brick, with heavy slate roofs throughout. In the C19 remodelling, the front gables at least were painted with mock framing which has since disappeared. Fenestration of left hand wing entirely of the C19, with carved mullioned and transomed windows, some with decorative leading. Towards the rear of this wing, a pavilion roofed tower is a C19 addition over the staircase. The entrance hall is itself gabled, and was probably raised in height with the addition of its gabled upper storey during the C19 remodelling: the upper storey is jetted in brick. Central doorway in porch flanked by C19 carved wood mullioned and transomed windows of 2-lights. 6-light mullioned window above the doorway is also a C19 insertion, and there is a 4-light mullioned window in similar style in the attic, which has carved wood entablature bearing an inscription ‘every house is builded by some man but he that built all things is God’. Right hand gable is also almost certainly part of the original layout of the house, although the external structure appears to be no earlier than the C18. Upper windows have the carved mullions that characterise the C19 work, but there is possibly one original opening surviving to the ground floor. This wing is partially wrapped round by a later wing which seems to be mid C18: fenestration belongs to the C19 remodelling, but brickwork, which includes part bands in the return elevation, is C18. It appears to have been extended by a single bay to the rear, probably during the major C19 remodelling. Ornately panelled bargeboards throughout, all added in the C19.

Garden front: The garden front is entirely a mid C19 addition to the house, and may itself have been extended by one bay to the right (E). It comprises a 2-storeyed, 3 window range, with 2 gables over left hand windows, and a steeper gable over the narrower right hand bay, which seems to be of the newer brickwork. 4-light mullioned and transomed rectangular bay window in centre, with similar window to left; 3-light mullioned and transomed window to left above, and 2-light sashes above the bay window, and in the right hand bay. Axial stack.

Rear elevation: Gables over hall range and cross wing, with subsidiary gables of less height built against them, representing an extension of the original plan in the C19. N gables is an extension of the C18 wing, probably late C18 or early C19, and pre-dating the major C19 remodelling. Wide return gable of C19 wing to right, itself extended along its rear elevation in the early C20.

Interior

Plan comprises entrance hall with flanking wings and staircase; corridor running to rear of hall added in C19, connecting the C19 garden front wing with the back stairs (at rear of N cross wing of hall) and C18 wing to N. Entrance hall was opened out through 2 storeys in the C19 remodelling: gallery runs along E wall: with C18 ornate cast iron rail, said to have come from Overton church. Dado panelling may partly pre-date the remodelling (perhaps C17) and can be clearly distinguished from the C19 pine panelling which forms architraves to doorways; and which frames the stairs which foliate fretwork; pine panelled pedimented overmantle is dated 1868, with initials ‘CMARC’ on scrollwork. Staircase opens off the hall towards the rear left (S): early C18, with turned balusters, 3 per tread, carved tread ends, fluted newel and swept rail. Dado panelling made from smooth planks of timber. Decorative plasterwork over doorway to S room has dado panelling similar in style to that in the hall; simpler moulded full-height panelling, C17 in style but almost certainly late C19 in date, in N room which has plaster moulding to beams which panel the ceiling, and a corner fireplace. The room formerly extended further towards the rear of the house, where small service rooms have been created. ‘Cromwell Road’ in C18 N wing also appears to have been remodelled in the C19: graining over oak dado panelling, and ornate carved surround to corner fireplace. Upper rooms in this wing have chamfered ceiling beams and bolection moulded fireplaces, one of which retains a rectangular hob-grate of the late C18. Double ogee grate also survives in first floor of N cross wing of hall.

Reasons for Listing

Listed at II* as a substantial, complex country house with some external and internal parts of considerable quality.

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