House, built in 1849.
Reason for Listing
201 Eastgate, a mid-C19 villa, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the house presents a well considered and integrated classical design, enhanced by restrained decorative detail;
* Interior detail: The design of interior detail is of good quality and demonstrates skilled craftsmanship;
* Intactness: both exterior and interior fabric and detail survive remarkably intact, as does the internal plan;
* Historic interest: the internal plan form and decorative detail illustrate a hierarchy of space and social relationships;
* Group value: it has group value with 254 and 256 Eastgate and 250 and 252 Eastgate, two pairs of early-C19 houses immediately to the south-west, and with the Lincolnshire Poacher public house to the east, all listed at Grade II.
The town of Louth in Lincolnshire, often referred to as the ‘Capital of the Wolds’ has Saxon origins, and at the time of the Domesday survey was one of Lincolnshire’s 7 market towns, with a population of 600. Its medieval core is still discernable in the town’s street pattern, and was bounded by the River Lud, the streets of Gospelgate and Kidgate to the south and Church Street to the east. Street names including the suffix ‘gate’ abound in the medieval core, which is signed from a great distance in every direction by the spire of the St James Church, completed in 1505, the tallest such spire of any parish church in England. Louth’s medieval prosperity was derived from exporting wool and grain, and its magnificent parish church is testimony to the wealth generated by agriculture in the region, and by Louth’s relative proximity to the east coast. The town’s population was reduced by three-quarters by outbreaks of plague in the 1630s, and by the early C18 economic prosperity had understandably waned considerably. However, the opening of the Louth-Tetney canal in 1770 heralded a new era of prosperity, and the growth of industries related not only to the region’s agriculture such as malting and grain processing, but also activities such as tanning, boatbuilding and warehousing. Much of this development took place around the canal terminus at Riverhead, and the growth of the town eastwards, along Eastgate James Street and Walkergate.
In 1848, the East Lincolnshire Railway came to Louth, extending trade and communication links beyond those of the canal, and further enhancing the town’s economic strength. An expanding population stimulated the development of terraced housing and villas, churches, chapels, schools and a range of public buildings all graphically captured in the remarkable ‘Louth Panorama’ a two section painting by a local man, William Brown. The Panorama presents a view of the town from high in the spire of St James Church. It portrays Louth at the height of its development and prosperity, shortly after the arrival of the railway, set in its surrounding rural landscape, with the east coast seascape in the background. The structure of the town has changed remarkably little since the Panorama was created, and Louth has mercifully escaped the large-scale post-war redevelopment experienced by many communities in England. Louth remains a thriving historic market town with a high proportion of well-preserved C19 buildings.
Eastgate is first documented in a charter of 1317 which contains a reference to a property at the junction of Eastgate and the street now called Northgate. This seems to have remained almost the east extent of continuous development on the north side of the street until the second half of the C19; both a map of 1839 and the sketches William Brown made in 1844 for his Panorama (first shown in 1847) depict a scattering of properties east of the junction with Northgate, including the House of Correction (now the site of almshouses, built in 1885). To the south development was continuous in 1839 up to Albion Place (in 1889 named Leakes Court), with the spread of industry and terraced housing taking place after 1839 up to Holy Trinity Church, built as a chapel of ease in 1834. Opposite the church, and slightly further to the east, Brown has drawn what appears to be a pair of substantial houses, grown to five or six houses by the time of the final version of the Panorama, completed after the construction of the railway. The present group, from 193 to 209, seems to have been built at various times in the early to mid-C19 for or by Louth's prosperous and growing mercantile and business class. 201, with its short north wing, is clearly represented on the Panorama. The deeds to 201 Eastgate are said to date the house to 1849.
House, 1849; brick with slate roofs,.
PLAN: 201 Eastgate forms an L shape, with pitched roof over the main south range extending over a short north wing to its east end. There are chimney stacks to both gables.
EXTERIOR: two storeys with semi-basement, constructed of brick laid in Flemish bond above a rusticated stone plinth. The south elevation is of three bays, the outer bays, with ground floor and semi-basement bay windows, slightly advanced. The elevation is symmetrical, and has a raised central front door, reached by steps, with three fielded panels and overlight. The door is beneath a classical portico with fluted columns and Doric capitals, the frieze decorated with triglyphs. The double height, flat roofed canted bays flanking the front door have ground floor windows with cambered arches and with pilasters between, the outer windows with single paned horned sashes, the central window with three over three horned sashes. The basement bays have a single, small three over three sash window with rusticated wedge lintel. The three windows to the first floor are six over six unhorned sashes under rusticated wedge lintels with keystones.
The ground falls away slightly to the north, so that the semi-basement opens directly onto the garden. There are two bays to the main range, each with six over six unhorned sashes under cambered brick arches to ground and first floors, the ground floor west window slightly larger. At basement level there is a door to the east bay under a cambered brick arch, to the west of which is a twelve paned Yorkshire sash, also with cambered brick arch, and beyond that, an arched opening to a passage to the front of the house. To the east, the short north wing has modern windows, including French doors opening onto a timber balcony at ground floor level, above the basement.
INTERIOR: the front door opens onto an entrance lobby with a full height glazed partition, the lower part panelled, between lobby and entrance hall. An arch marks the division between entrance and stair halls, both of which have a cornice and dado rails with panel decoration between. They also have deep moulded skirting boards and wide floor boards which continue throughout the ground floor, although the skirting boards are deeper in the polite front rooms. Doors to either side of the entrance hall open onto the front rooms, that to the south-west with Adam style fireplace, dado rail and deep moulded cornice, that to the south-east with delicately decorative plaster cornice and marble fireplace, its architrave carved with foliate decoration. There are two main rooms to the north of the stair hall: to the west is a room with shuttered windows and a plain marble fireplace with brackets supporting the mantelshelf; and to the east a modern kitchen. The stairs are at the east end of the stair hall, where a short panelled passage also leads to a door to the basement stairs. The dogleg stairs to the first floor are open tread, with stick balusters and handrail with volute end.
To the west of the first floor landing an arch defines the entrance to a central west-east corridor with rooms to either side. Surviving detail on this floor includes six panelled doors, moulded cornices and other joinery, a fireplace in the room to the north-west with a decorative cast iron basket grate and wood surround with fluted decoration, and another to the south-west room with a reeded surround and tiled hearth. At the back of the house a small enclosed winder stair rises to a single attic room.
The semi-basement contains the main service rooms, and there is an external but covered through passage creating direct access from the front to the back of the house. The interior includes an arched cellar, a room with a small cast iron fireplace and one with a chimney breast with opening wide enough to accommodate a kitchen range.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.