Former lodge to Norton Priory, now a private house, 1870, constructed for Sir Richard Brooke, 7th Baronet Brooke of Norton Priory. Snecked red-sandstone ground floor with a painted brick and half-timbered first floor, red-tiled roof, cast-iron rainwater goods. 2-storeys. Tudor Revival style.
Reason for Listing
Red Lodge, including boundary fencing and adjacent former Norton Priory estate entrance gate piers and gates, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it is a good example of a mid-late C19 entrance lodge with a distinctive Tudor Revival design that is little altered externally;
* Historic interest: the lodge, its surviving boundary fencing and neighbouring entrance gate piers and gates, are some of the last surviving features of this once extensive estate, which dates back to medieval times, and they make a significant contribution to understanding the functioning of the estate during the C19;
* Group value: the lodge has strong group value with other designated features on the Norton Priory Estate, including the estate's only other surviving lodge on Main Street, Halton, which is listed at Grade II.
Red Lodge was constructed in 1870 as a lodge for the Norton Priory estate. It was constructed for Sir Richard Brooke (1814-1888), 7th Baronet Brooke of Norton Priory and High Sheriff of Cheshire whose initials adorn the building. The identity of the architect is unknown, although it has been suggested that the lodge is possibly by John Douglas; however, this is unconfirmed.
Norton Priory was originally the site of an Augustinian monastery (later an abbey), which had moved to the site from Runcorn in 1134 following its foundation in 1115. The abbey was dissolved in 1535-6 under Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. In 1545 the site was purchased by Sir Richard Brooke who constructed a house on the site, known as Norton Hall, which incorporated the Abbot's lodgings and the west range. In the C18 this Tudor house was replaced by an L-shaped Georgian house, which was modified by James Wyatt in the mid-C18, and a walled garden also constructed. Further alterations took place to the house in the C19, and in 1921 the Brooke family left. The house was demolished in 1928, although a late-C12 undercroft, which had survived from the abbey, was retained. In 1966 the site was given in trust for the use of the general public and opened in the 1970s following extensive excavations. The site is now a visitor attraction, and the monastic remains are both a scheduled monument and a Grade I listed building. A late-C18 garden loggia in the grounds, associated with the site's later phase as Norton Hall, is also listed at Grade II, along with an C18 ice house. Another former lodge to the estate, located on Main Street, is listed at Grade II. Most of the estate's land has since been re-developed and built upon.
PLAN: When originally constructed Red Lodge formed the north-eastern entrance point to the Norton Priory estate, with a sinuous drive leading off in a south-westerly direction towards the main house of Norton Hall. Although the approach drive to the lodge survives within a plantation to the right (east) of the former lodge, the drive leading towards the house, along with the accompanying parkland, has since been built upon and lost. The former lodge itself is aligned north-south with an irregular cruciform plan and a main entrance located on the eastern side, facing the former approach drive.
EXTERIOR: Red Lodge incorporates an integral plinth and has quoining to each corner. Both the ground and first floors are lit by metal-framed, mullioned windows of varying size; all the windows to the ground floor have ashlar dressings and ovolo-moulded mullions, and all the windows to the first floor are composed of 3-lights. Each elevation incorporates a gabled bay with a jettied gable supported by carved brackets; the upper floor on the north, south and west sides is also jettied out slightly and supported on carved timber corbels. The south, east and west gabled bays incorporate decorative framing. The gabled bays on the east and west sides are slightly lower in height and project from the main body of the building at right angles, in the form of short cross wings; the bays are not directly aligned (hence the building's irregular cruciform plan) and that to the east side contains the building's stair, which is lit at half-landing level by a 3-light mullion window in the same style as the first-floor windows on the rest of the elevations. Substantial buttressed wall stacks also exist to the east and west elevations; that to the west side incorporates a decorative carved panel bearing the initials of Sir Richard Brooke, 'RB' and the date '1870'. The main entrance is set to the east side of the building and consists of a 4-panel door set underneath a corbelled, lean-to porch roof with a tiled roof. Set in front of the north gable end, and a secondary entrance, is a larger, open-fronted lean-to porch with a tiled roof, which is due to be replaced by a modern single-storey extension and link passageway in the same style as the rest of the lodge.
INTERIOR: Internally there are floorboard floors (some hidden under later coverings) and screed floors, and deep sills and reveals to the windows. Fireplaces have been removed, except for a small painted fireplace to one of the first-floor rooms, and original doors possibly survive under later plyboard coverings. The ground floor consists of a single room containing an altered fireplace opening, with a small room off to the west side. A dog-leg stair with a winder at half-landing level and a panelled balustrade is located off to the east side of the ground floor, adjacent to a modern plank and batten door that leads into a lower-level, under-stair storage area, which is lit by an external window and which is believed to have possibly originally accessed a basement that has since been blocked-up. The first floor consists of a narrow landing hallway with one room off to the south side and two rooms off to the north side; some built-in cupboards survive and some painted roof timbers are exposed as features.
Red Lodge is enclosed by wrought-iron estate fencing, which has been extended eastwards slightly (probably in the early-mid C20) to increase the plot size. Later gates in a similar style to the fencing are incorporated to the south side. The southern run of fencing also incorporates a short off-shoot, which connects to two sandstone gate piers with rounded heads and carved chevron decoration to each face. The gate piers are separated by a wrought-iron vehicular/carriage gate and separate pedestrian gate with scrolled tops and ball finials that span the remains of the former Norton Priory estate driveway and originally formed one of the estate entrances.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.