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Castle House

A Grade I Listed Building in Usk, Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7051 / 51°42'18"N

Longitude: -2.9022 / 2°54'7"W

OS Eastings: 337753

OS Northings: 201088

OS Grid: SO377010

Mapcode National: GBR J9.3YG7

Mapcode Global: VH79V.ND2R

Entry Name: Castle House

Location: Situated on the hillside a little NE of Usk town centre and below the Castle; surrounded by gardens and farmland.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Usk

Community: Usk

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

Listing Date: 16 February 1953

Last Amended: 30 April 2004

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Building Class: Domestic

Source ID: 2128

History

Gatehouse of C14, 1368-99. For many years the residence of the steward of the lordship. In C17 belonged to Thomas Herbert, county sheriff in 1673.The C19 house was constructed against and partly incorporating it on the line of the retaining wall to the outer ward. Its present appearance is mainly mid C19. The original entrance to the outer bailey was probably at N end of Castle House adjacent to the town rampart. Map of 1800 shows the gatehouse but not the later residential wing. Owned by the Humphreys family in C20 who have created a garden within the Castle; some extensions to house made between World Wars.

Exterior

An important house, the former castle gatehouse incorporated into a C19 house forming a rough L-shape to the principal complex. The former gatehouse faces S and is part of a projecting wing which, set into the hillside, has a lower ground floor than the upper range extending E/W across a terrace. Lime-rendered stone rubble with slate roof. Central pointed stone archway set within a rectangular corbelled shallow recess; at first floor is an oriel window with cross framed (C20) glazing and pitched roof; further corbelling to slightly jettied second floor which has a rectangular cross-framed window in apex with square hoodmould; scalloped bargeboard to the overhanging eaves. Inside the open porch, stairs rise to rear under a chamfered two-ordered arch with portcullis slot, to doorway in right side; walls of unrendered stone rubble and vaulted narrow-stone roof. The corbel table extends round the gatehouse sides; right tall lateral stack of blue brick. The higher cross range shares the same eaves level; the slate roof is swept and with overhanging eaves; a small dormer is incorporated; narrow corniced end stacks of coursed dressed stone. At the right junction of the two wings is a long narrow pointed-arched staircase window of leaded quarry glazing with Gothick pointed arched glazing at head under an arched hoodmould. Two upper floor windows: one with 3 lights of quarry panels, one smaller and rectangular; one 16-pane casement below, all with square-headed hoodmoulds. Chamfered stone rectangular cellar opening. To left, the gable end of cross range is close to the side of the gatehouse The former has asymmetrical windows at 2 levels, including a wide inserted C20 window to the main living room; two narrow stone strings to the gable. Deep square recess to gatehouse at intermediate level. Stepped down to E is a lower wing with small-slate roof, swept and overhanging eaves and casement windows under timber lintels, at three levels to gable end. The garden (S) elevation now houses the main entrance. The main unit is of limewashed stone; roof has small gabled dormer and overhanging eaves and tall tooled-stone stacks. Three first floor windows all with heavy hoodmoulds: cross-framed and long to right, over a C20 glazed conservatory; paired multipane segmental-arched casements to left over a single storey lean-to bay from which projects a later wide gabled stone porch with cambered-headed stone lintel to doorway and narrow stone kneelers. To left casement windows and lean-to to the lower range. Attached to right a later single storey tiled roof wing with brick surrounds to arched windows

Interior

Interior plan reflects the two main building periods and adaptation of levels. In effect the residential wing, now the main house, on the higher garden terrace wraps round the deeper gatehouse, the axis of the two ranges at right angles to each other and with not much connection in the living space between the two. Steep stairs lead up from lower floor gatehouse doorway to level of this cross wing. The cellar of the house, level with lower storey of gatehouse, has a chamfered door head. Main living room occupies the S end bay of the later wing. Hall and landing run axially through the range with kitchen at N end - range by James of Monmouth. The stairs rise close behind gatehouse with landing balustrade. Upper room over porch was for portcullis. Access to this roof space from house shows two roof-frames of differing dates for the porch. A-frame trusses with 3 rows of purlins visible in top floor ceiling of house.

Reasons for Listing

Listed Grade I as a major historic building, in particular the importance of its medieval gatehouse.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Barn at Castle House
    Extending along the terrace of the former outer ward, W of and adjacent to Castle House.
  • II Castle Parade House
    Immediately below Usk Castle, rear garden boundary with Castle House, fronting the main road but set
  • I Usk Castle and precincts
    On a spur on the hillside a short distance NE of the town.
  • II Wall to Castle Parade House
    On N side of Castle Parade, forming S boundary of Castle Parade House to Road.
  • II Ty Cornel
    In a prominent position near the junction with Twyn Square, end on to the main road, facing towards
  • II Ty Basket
    A corner position, just below Usk Castle.
  • II Mulberry House
    Set back from the road up a small drive.
  • II Nos.1,3 & 5 Twyn Square,,,,,gwent,
    Adjoining the former United Reformed Church at the top of the Square (E), set back from the road by

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