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Elemore Hall School and Doorway and Archway Attached, Pittington

Description: Elemore Hall School and Doorway and Archway Attached

Grade: I
Date Listed: 28 February 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 110020

OS Grid Reference: NZ3510044168
OS Grid Coordinates: 435100, 544168
Latitude/Longitude: 54.7912, -1.4556

Location: Pittington, Durham DH6 1QD

Locality: Pittington
County: Durham
Country: England
Postcode: DH6 1QD

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Listing Text

NZ 34 SE
(South side)
8/29 Elemore Hall
28/2/52 School and doorway
and archway

House, now local authority residential school, with doorway attached to north,
and archway to north-east. 1749-1753 rebuilding (dated .. 50 on pediment) by
Robert Shout of Helmsley (1734-97), with his brother John, for George Baker;
on basement of C16 house built for Bertram Anderson, mayor and M.P. of Newcastle
upon Tyne. Interior 1752 stucco by Jos. Cortese and P. Robinson. C16 rusticated
ashlar basement; C18 tuck-pointed Flemish bond brick (some C20 patching on
pointing) with Penshaw sandstone ashlar dressings and alternately-projecting
quoins. Roof of graduated Lakeland slates with stone gable copings. E plan.
Basement and 3 storeys of diminishing height; 7 bays, the 3-bay central
projection and the wings (with 2-bay inner returns) all pedimented. 2-storey,
3-bay left extension links with doorway to former stable yard.

Long central stone steps in 2 flights, the lower wider, have stone balustrades
and scroll-buttressed panelled piers, the lowest pair with large acorn finials.
Half-glazed double doors in lugged architrave with stepped key and pedimented
Ionic Order with rusticated pilasters. Ground floor of each wing has front
Venetian window opening onto balustraded stone balcony supported on 4 large
scrolled brackets. Architraves to all windows, those over door and over
Venetian windows lugged and keyed; all sashes, most with vertical glazing bars.
Floor bands. Central top pediment of soft sandstone has eroded richly-carved
coat of arms (Baker and Routh) with lion regardant supporters and lion rampant
crest; of date 17..50 in lower angles only '50'survives. Roof has tall
corniced stacks above eaves on returns and rear.

Floor bands continue on inner returns of wings and on right return to garden,
with addition of first-floor sill band; windows in similar style to those of
front. Right return 5 bays, the outer 2 wider, has long flight of stone steps,
with flat-coped dwarf walls swept out to square piers, in front of half-glazed
door in pedimented rusticated surround; bracketed stone balconies to all
ground-floor windows. Small central pediment above eaves cornice.

Left extension of main elevation has blank ground floor, and 3 first-floor
sashes under roof hipped at left; stable doorway adjoining has pedimented,
keyed, rusticated surround. Left return of main building, within former
stable yard, has chamfered stone surround to blocked Tudor-arched door at
basement level, with 3 and 2 transom lights of 2 wholly-blocked stone-mullioned
windows above; sashes with glazing bars inserted below these; similar sashes
on upper floors, all in plain stone surrounds. Some small C20 additions.

Rear stable yard entrance attached at right-angles to rear elevation of house,
has high keyed round arch with alternately-projecting quoins and voussoirs.

Interior: includes stucco roses and modillions by Peter Robinson; and
ceiling decoration by Jos. Cortese (signatures). Front hall has part dado
rail, stucco panelled ceiling and modillioned cornice; 6-panel door in
pedimented lugged surround to large central room, now dining room. This has
stucco dentilled cornice; fireplace removed from rear wall. Widened arch at
right leads to smaller room whose rich stucco frieze has panels of thunderbolts,
arrows, oak and laurel foliage, lyre and Pan pipes, crown and scroll, shield
and spear, many of these symbols of Jupiter. Paired modillions over frieze
support ceiling with central Cupid and Psyche among delicate floral trails.
Panelled window shutters and soffits with Greek fret. Door at front wall of
this room, now blocked, led to stair hall in right wing, which has open-well
cantilevered stone stair to first floor, with narrow moulded handrail on iron
balustrade of square-section rods, with corner and central panels of tied
scrolls and water-leaves. Dado rail; 6-panel doors with ovolo surrounds to
fielded panels; stucco ceiling decoration of central panel showing Jupiter in
clouds, holding thunderbolt and wearing crown, with eagle. This has been
said to be Neptune but has the characteristics of Jupiter, and given the
association of Jupiter with the oak, and with hospitality, it is likely that
these rooms in the grandest suite of the house are decorated with Jupiter in
mind; Finely-moulded heads fill 4 corner panels of ceiling; delicate floral
trails define spaces. Ground-floor room at front of right wing, entered from
stair hall, has ceiling decorations of similar quality with vine trails; some
accounts refer to this as 'dining room', which seems most likely; 'drawing
room' may have been a change of function.

Other rooms plainer, many with stucco cornices; many 6-panelled doors in
architraves. Top floor has 2-panel doors with L hinges. Basement has 3 C16
chamfered-arched door surrounds; king-post roof with diagonal struts.

Sources: Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic, University of Durham,
Baker-Baker papers; John Gosden, 'Elemore Hall Transformed 1749-1753', in
Transactions of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and
Northumberland, new series 6, 1982, pp.31-35.

C.H. Hunter Blair, 'The renaissance heraldry of the county palantine of
Durham' in Archaeologia Aeliana, fourth series, XII, for 1935, pp.xvii-81.

J. Lemprière, Classical Dictionary, 1788; 1984 facsimile of 1865 edition, p.340.

Listing NGR: NZ3510044168

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.