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Description: Bell's Castle and Adjoining Look-Out Tower
Date Listed: 2 December 1986
English Heritage Building ID: 148541
OS Grid Reference: SO9532938253
OS Grid Coordinates: 395329, 238253
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0427, -2.0695
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KEMERTON CP UPPER KEMERTON
SO 93 NE
3/88 Bell's Castle and
adjoining look-out tower
House and adjoining look-out tower. C17 or earlier origins, remodelled and
extended early C19 for Admiral Bell, with further alterations and additions
of 1904 and 1910 by Ernest Newton. Part limestone ashlar, part coursed lime-
stone rubble with ashlar dressings. Roofs concealed behind tall embattled
parapets which are swept upwards to square corner pinnacles. Ashlar chimney
stacks incorporated each side of main west tower parapet. Asymmetrical plan
composed of a main two-bay square west tower, a smaller single-bay east tower
linked by a central two-bay range; a large L-shaped wing adjoins the east
tower. Two and three storeys with basement; first floor stepped sill band to
central range and east tower. Gothick style. Main south elevation: 2:2:1 bays,
the outer tower bays project slightly and have corner pilaster strips which
terminate in the parapet pinnacles. The basement level has 2-light chamfered
mullioned windows, with square heads and 4-centred arched lights, in bays 1 to
4. The windows elsewhere are tall and narrow with 2-centred arched heads, raised
architraves and 2-light leaded casements. The ground floor windows have Y-tracery.
Bays 1 and 2 in the west tower have two ground floor windows (wider than the rest),
two first floor windows and a central second floor window. Bays 3 and 4 of the
central range have two windows on both floors. Bay 5, the east tower, has a
first floor window with latticed glazing bars beneath the arched head. The
former main entrance below has a square ashlar porch with a flat roof behind
an embattled parapet with a string course at its base, and gabled and crocketted
corner pinnacles; there is a tall weathervane on the left pinnacle. The porch
has a chamfered 2-centred archway which has a hoodmould with returns. Within,
11 steps lead up to a similarly arched doorway with flanking pilasters and double
doors. To the rear of the east tower is a lean-to early C20 addition with an
embattled parapet and leaded casements. The east wing incorporates part of the
C17 original building which was extended and altered by Newton. Coursed limestone
rubble with plain tiled roof and brick ridge stacks. A two-bay range adjoins the
main building and has a five-bay south return (composed of two two-bay wings and
a central single-bay wing). Mainly two storeys. Windows are all leaded casements.
Main south elevation: part adjoining main house has a ground floor 2-light window,
two gabled half-dormers with 2-light windows and glazed double doors with flanking
lights. In the angle with the main part is a ground floor 3-light, 2-light and
single-light casement, a first floor 2-light window and two 3-light windows.
There is a central half-glazed door and above it is a plaque decorated with the
Holland-Martin crest. There is also an upper-level door approached by external
ashlar steps with cast iron railings; at the top of the steps is a cast iron
balustrade decorated with the figure of Neptune, fish and shells. The main
entrance is now in the east side of the east wing and has a semi-circular metal
canopy on wrought iron brackets and a half-glazed door. Interior: noted as having
several pointed archways and pointed niches throughout. The look-out tower adjoins
the south-west corner of the main building. It is said to be C17 or earlier.
Coursed rubble with ashlar dressings. Square plan. Three stages with plain
parapet and square corner pinnacles. The south front and east side elevations
have a second stage semi-circular headed light with a hoodmould and a third stage
basket-arched light. The west elevation has a ground floor rectangular light.
Main entrance in east side has a chamfered basket-headed archway. The tower
is linked to the main building by a short wall, about one yard long and 20
feet high. It has a 4-centred headed archway above which is a pointed-arched
opening on moulded corbels. (Newton, W G: The Life and Works of Ernest Newton,
Listing NGR: SO9532938253
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.