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Description: Bell Court
Date Listed: 23 June 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 133137
OS Grid Reference: SO8027200307
OS Grid Coordinates: 380272, 200307
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7012, -2.2868
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SO 8000 NYMPSFIELD FRONT STREET
(north east side)
17/345 Bell Court
A detached house in Cotswold vernacular style, dating from the late C16 or early C17, built of local limestone rubble with ashlar and rubble chimneys, and a Cotswold stone slate roof. The house is of two storeys and attic, and is approximately cruciform on plan.
EXTERIOR : The house has gables to all four sides. The main elevation (south-west) has a full central gable with moulded coping and kneelers, repeated on the two-storey central porch, which has a circular window with stone surround. The door is a C20 replacement. The main elevation has windows to the ground and first floors either side of the porch, with a further window in the first floor gable. The windows to the main, rear and north-west elevations are two-light chamfered stone mullions, with a three-light mullioned window under a hood mould to the ground floor south-east elevation. Windows are C19 leaded lights with decorative iron catches. To the rear is a roughly central chimney gable with a single diagonal ashlar stack, a second having been removed, and a single storey lean-to extension with C20 metal windows dating from the early C20.
INTERIOR : The ground floor has a principal room and a kitchen in the original house. The principal room has a good C17 stone fireplace with a very depressed four centred arch and two moulded mantel shelves on brackets above a plain lintel. The room also has a C17 moulded plaster ceiling with geometric fields decorated with fleurs-de-lys and thistle motifs, running either side of a large chamfered beam with scroll end stops. The door in this room, as throughout the house, is a plank and batten door probably dating from the C17. The kitchen has a similar beam to that in the principal room, a large inglenook fireplace with plain timber lintel and a bread oven; the floor is covered in stone flags. A stone winder stair leading to the first floor has another early door with the remains of a wooden latch. To the first floor are two rooms : a principal room has a similar fireplace to that in the ground floor room, but simpler in design. Doors throughout the first floor are early plank and batten doors with wooden latches and some contemporary iron door furniture. The attic is reached by a timber winder stair. The main elements of the roof structure are largely intact, with three trusses each of principal rafters with collars and trenched purlins, with a diagonally set ridge purlin clasped between the crossed principal rafters. Additional framing forms the gables to the front and rear.
HISTORY : The house reportedly dates from 1575, and evidence in the fabric supports a late C16 or C17 date. The house is situated on the Roman road from Easton Grey, which became the major route from Stroud to Gloucester; Bell Court was previously the Bell Inn, one of five coaching inns in the village, though it was reportedly built as a farmhouse for nearby Court Farm, which dates from the C16 or C17, and Bell Court was known as Court Farm House before becoming an inn. The original house appears to have been rectangular on plan, with a large external rear stack; the porch to the main elevation was added soon after its completion, probably in the later C17. The OS map series shows that a lean-to extension was added to the rear in the period 1883-1903, though this may not be the current rear extension.
SOURCES : Verey, D : The Buildings of England : Gloucestershire : The Cotswolds, 1979
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE :
Bell Court is a good example of a well preserved late C16/early C17 Cotswold vernacular house, with a good quality interior which retains good C17 stone fireplaces to the ground floor and first floor principal rooms, and an interesting decorative plaster ceiling, as well as a good deal of early joinery. Although there have been some alterations and additions which preclude it from claims to more than special interest, Bell Court is a substantially intact building dating largely from the C17, and as such demonstrates sufficient special architectural interest to remain listed at its current grade.
Listing NGR: SO8027000309
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.