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Lingholm, Allerdale

Description: Lingholm

Grade: II
Date Listed: 4 September 2013
Building ID: 1413920

OS Grid Reference: NY2539722244
OS Grid Coordinates: 325400, 522224
Latitude/Longitude: 54.5897, -3.1559

Locality: Allerdale
Local Authority: Allerdale Borough Council
County: Cumbria
Postcode: CA12 5TZ

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Listing Text


Detached villa with attached terraces and detached store, 1871-5 for Lt-Col. G F Greenall, of the Greenall brewing family, to the designs of Alfred Waterhouse, with later-C19, early-C20 and mid-C20 additions and alterations.

Reason for Listing

This detached villa with attached terraces and detached store of 1871-5 to the designs of Alfred Waterhouse, with later-C19, early-C20 and mid-C20 additions and alterations is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Design quality: a good asymmetrical design and confident massing that is enlivened by the use of steep gables, mullion and transom windows, dormer windows and clustered tall cylindrical chimneys;
* Architect: a characteristic and good example of a domestic commission by the renowned architect Alfred Waterhouse that typifies his work for later C19 wealthy industrialists;
* Intactness: although the original east elevation has been modified, its replacement facade's are lively and of good quality and overall the building's plan and interior remains intact;
* Interior : the principal ground floor spaces are richly decorated and display significant quality and craftsmanship; they include C17 goat skin, C17 panelling and exposed Lakeland green slate. The early C17 dining room fireplace and overmantel bearing the Royal Arms of James I and associated symbolism is of particular interest;
* Historic association: the confirmed historical association and influence of the house and wider estate on the writings of Beatrix Potter strengthens the special interest of Lingholm.


Lingholm was constructed in 1871-5 for Lt-Col. G F Greenall, of the Greenall brewing family, to the designs of Alfred Waterhouse at a cost of £15,700. During the 1890s the house was frequently let as a fully furnished summer house, and between 1885 and 1907 the author Beatrix Potter spent nine summers there with her family and friends and was inspired in some of her works by the grounds. She spent her time walking, writing and sketching in the woodland and grounds. The woods of the wider estate, with its population of red squirrels, are said to be the direct inspiration for The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (1901-3) and the source of many of its illustrations. Beatrix also made several sketches of what was then the extensive kitchen garden and apparently mentioned it as a possible background to the Tale of Peter Rabbit. Views from the lake shore also feature in her Derwentwater Sketchbook (1903), and several of her most famous tales, Mrs Tiggywinkle and Benjamin Bunny were inspired and illustrated during her time spent walking in the Newlands Valley. During the late C19, the dining room was extended slightly towards the lake; the ceiling, which bears the initials of G F Greenall dates this extension to his ownership of the house.

The estate was purchased in c.1900 (most probably the late 1890s) by Col. George Kemp, owner and chairman of Kelsall and Kemp, woollen manufacturers of Rochdale, and later First Baron Rochdale. The house was remodelled at this time by the addition of a two-storey billiard room/games block to the north elevation and the drawing room was extended to the east; the latter probably designed by Percy MacQuoid, specifically to display newly purchased tapestries. MacQuoid (1852-1925) was a collector of English furniture and is considered to have acted as mentor and interior designer for his friend the First Baron Rochdale as he did for several other wealthy industrialists of the time. Family records document that the C15 drawing room fireplace was bought in 1903 in Florence and came originally from a palace in Arezzo. The panelling and chimneypiece were also introduced into the dining room, purchased in 1909 from Mallett & Son of London; documents attest that it originated in a New Forest hunting lodge once owned by James I, and had, since the reign of Charles, I been installed in a house in Southampton. The wider grounds were also developed during the early C20, and the garden designer and author B H B Symons-Jeune designed a water garden. It is understood that during the First World War, Lingholm was in use as a military hospital. In the mid-C20, the house was truncated at the south end which included the loss of the original entrance portico, and this end was subsequently remodelled.

Alfred Waterhouse (1830-1905) has an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) and is considered one of the most successful and prolific architects of the Victorian period. He first practised in Manchester, capitalising on his mill-owning family’s links with many Quaker industrialists, gaining commissions for private homes across the north of England and in the Lake District; these include Rosetrees on the Lingholm Estate, prior to building the main house and Fawe Park immediately adjacent to Lingholm. Waterhouse gained a reputation for grand public buildings, including the competition-winning design for Manchester Town Hall and most famously the Natural History Museum in London, from where he practised in his later career. He is thought to have been responsible for around 650 buildings in his lifetime. Around 40 of these are listed of which seven are domestic properties thought to be of his design.

Beatrix Potter is also entered in the ODNB; her books have become classics of children’s literature and are available in thirteen languages.


MATERIALS: local coursed slate stone with yellow and red ashlar dressings; Westmorland slate roof coverings. Roughcast rear and left return.

PLAN: rectangular main range with the principal elevation facing east onto Derwent Water, and a reverse L-shaped rear range creating a service courtyard, open to the north. Attached south and upper and lower east terraces, the latter accessed by stone steps at the south end.

EXTERIOR: the remodelled main (east) elevation comprises three distinct sections.

Central Section: dating from the early years of the C20 when the original drawing room was remodelled and extended towards the lake. It has two storeys and five bays under a steeply pitched roof with raised copings, triangular water tables and a south gable chimney with a pair of cylindrical chimney pots. There is a moulded eaves cornice, and a band between ground and first floor. All windows are yellow sandstone mullion and transom with prominent stone surrounds. The central projecting bay has a pediment, overhanging bracketed eaves and double-height bay windows of twenty one lights to the ground floor and fourteen lights to the first floor. To either side of the ground floor window there is a nine-light window, and flanking the first floor window there are corbelled rectangular projections with single slender lights, which rise above the eaves in the form of triangular chimney stacks, surmounted by single, tall cylindrical chimney pots. The left end bay has an entrance with a tall rectangular overlight, both having heavy moulded stone surrounds, and there is a six light window above; the right end bay has a first floor cross window.

South Section: this was probably remodelled in the last years of the C19, and was truncated at the south end in the C20. It is a two storey, three bay range with a steeply pitched roof, raised copings and a flat roof to the right end bay with a parapet in the form of a geometric balustrade. Windows are mostly red sandstone mullions or mullion and transom. There is an entrance at the south end with a mullioned overlight, and attached to the right is a large eight-light window. At the right end there is a second entrance with overlight, flanked to the left by a pair of tall lights. The first floor is inset with a low, red sandstone geometric balustrade to the front; it has a central four-light window, two-light windows to each end bay and a single roof dormer. Attached to the left are the lower parts of a partially demolished bay with a red sandstone canted bay window. The left return has a projecting single storey room with a flat roof and a large modern picture window; there is a modern entrance to one side and a detached vestibule to the other. The first floor of the south range rises above and is roughcast with modern windows and prominent triple chimney pots.

North Section: said to have been added in the early C20 as a billiards/games room, but it is present on the Second edition Ordnance Survey map of 1899, and probably dates to the very last years of the C19. It has two storeys and three bays and is designed in a vernacular style with a steep, hipped roof of slate surmounted by stone finials; all window and door openings have prominent red sandstone surrounds. The ground floor has triple full-height windows, with shaped heads that are set with original nine-light wooden frames, each light comprising eight small square panes. To the first floor there are three similar windows; the end windows have slatted wooden lower parts and glazed uppers, and that to the centre is in the form of a full roof dormer with double glazed doors. The latter open onto a full width balcony, supported on red sandstone corbels, with a slender metal balustrade of geometric and scroll patterns. The right return has a plain central entrance with a boarded door, flanked by tall windows in identical red sandstone surrounds to the east elevation. Red sandstone pilaster strips rise to first floor level to support a narrow corbelled balcony accessed by a large opening in a full roof dormer identical to that of the east elevation. A narrow two-story block is attached to the right.

Rear (West) Elevation: this has five bays and two storeys plus attics, and is roughcast except for a neatly coursed slate stone plinth; the dressings are mostly of red sandstone. The main entrance to the house is at the west end now within a C20 single storey flat roofed vestibule, added when the south end was truncated. It is attached to paired projecting gabled bays with a central stone waterspout and cast-iron rain water goods. There are large sandstone mullion and transom windows of varying sizes; that to the ground floor right lighting the entrance vestibule and that to the first floor left lighting the main stair. Two plain bays are attached to the left with a mullioned window to each floor and a pair of timber-framed roof dormers lighting the attic.

L-shaped rear service range: this projects from the rear north end of the house and has a roughcast south and west elevation and prominent clustered tall, cylindrical chimney pots. The south elevation comprises a pair of gabled bays with a variety of small narrow window openings and a ground floor entrance with a bracketed hood. The narrow gabled west elevation has a single oriel window with paired and flush two-light mullioned windows below; there are water tables and a single cylindrical chimney pot at its apex. The north elevation, which has exposed stonework, is similarly detailed to the rear elevation. A single storey hipped roof range surmounted by stone finials projects north from the north elevation comprising various stores and a former coach house now garage, enclosing one side of a narrow courtyard.


Staircase Hall: an oak panelled entrance vestibule leads through a heavy four-panelled door into the double-height staircase hall, which has a parquet floor and timber beamed ceiling. The hall is lined with C17 gilded Spanish goatskin with acanthus leaf, vine and shell detail. A full-height carved chimney piece has paired and fluted Corinthian columns supporting an intricately carved frieze with a mirrored overmantel. The dressed stone interior houses a cast iron stove. To the left of the fireplace a richly carved oak door with a central carving of a Lion Rampant, leads out to the exterior. The original imposing oak, dog-leg stair with half landing, rises in one corner; it has a closed string, moulded handrail and a balustrade consisting of turned balusters rising off a band of diagonal bracing. Tall timber posts rise upwards to form a timber arcade, and at first floor level there are carved newel posts and a galleried landing. A pair of linen-fold carved doors beneath the stair lead into the cloakroom, and paired doors at the foot of the stair with a double 'square-within-a-square' design give entry to a sitting room and dining room.

Sitting Room: oak panelled to half-height with a simple cornice and a decorative geometric plaster ceiling; the inserted stone fireplace was recovered from the first floor.

Dining Room: leading north from the stair hall is the inner hall with a geometric tiled floor and oak wall panelling serving the ground floor principal rooms to the east. The dining room has a rich suite of C17 oak panelling throughout, mostly of 'square-within-a-square' form separated by fluted pilasters, with friezes of various forms above. The chimneypiece comprising an oak fireplace and overmantel is intricately carved incorporating coats of arms, various classical references and a scrolled frieze together with scenes depicting flora and fauna, castle and village life, dragons and other mythical creatures. The overmantel bears the arms of James I flanked by cities in false perspective. The chimneypiece is fitted with a depressed arch stone fireplace. The plaster ceiling has a geometric design incorporating coats of arms, cherubs and floral bosses, and also Greenall's initials, and the floor is oak boarded.

Kitchen: formerly one of the principal reception rooms, now converted to a kitchen.

Drawing Room: this is also known as the Stone Room, and is accessed from a hall set at right angles to the north end of the inner hall; the former has panelled walls and a wooden floor. A pointed arched entrance fitted with double carved wooden doors opens into the drawing room with a floor-board floor and a geometric and embossed plaster ceiling. The walls have carved half-height oak panelling with exposed Lakeland slate above. There is a substantial black sandstone C15 fireplace carved with bird and flower motifs placed centrally opposite the imposing central bay window; the latter has small central panes of stained glass thought to have derived from York Minster.

Billiard/Games Rooms: the ground floor retains its original plan and now serves as an office. A double height former gun room is attached to the rear. The first floor has been converted to a self contained apartment (not inspected).

Rear Service Range: running west from the inner hall there are a range of service rooms including a scullery and the original kitchen and a back stair; the first floor has been converted to a self-contained apartment (not inspected).

First Floor: from the first floor landing, a corridor leads north to the principal bedrooms; the main bedroom (facing east) has plaster panels to all walls and a simple cornice. All other bedrooms are plain with simple cornices and skirting boards. Three original fireplaces are retained; two of moulded timber design with mantle shelves and one with slender engaged columns supporting a mantle shelf. The first floor of the games room and the first floor of the rear service range have been converted to self contained apartments (not inspected).

Second Floor: this has been converted to a pair of self contained apartments (not inspected).

Subsidiary Features: a small stone store with a hipped roof is situated immediately north west of the house. Attached to the house there are upper and lower east terraces and a south terrace, bounded by slatestone walls.

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