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Kirby Hall, Attached Walls and Archways, Gretton

Description: Kirby Hall, Attached Walls and Archways

Grade: I
Date Listed: 17 April 1972
English Heritage Building ID: 229858

OS Grid Reference: SP9258092698
OS Grid Coordinates: 492580, 292698
Latitude/Longitude: 52.5243, -0.6369

Location: Gretton, Northamptonshire NN17 3EN

Locality: Gretton
Local Authority: Corby Borough Council
County: Northamptonshire
Country: England
Postcode: NN17 3EN

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Listing Text

SP99SW (North side)
5/76 Kirby Hall, attached walls and
17/04/72 archways
(Formerly listed as Kirby Hall
including garden walls and


Country house. 1570-75, probably by Thomas Thorpe master mason, for Sir Humphrey
Stafford, completed 1576-83 for Sir Christopher Hatton I. Probably modified by
Henry Thorpe early C17 for Sir Christopher Hatton II and altered 1638-40 after
style of Inigo Jones, probably by Nicholas Stone, for Sir Christopher Hatton
III. Squared coursed limestone with ashlar dressings and slate roof. Courtyard
plan. 2 storeys with attic. Entrance front of 1638-40 is of 13-window range.
Centre 3 bays break forward as a 3-storey porch with centre bay taken up as
attic storey. Central arch-head opening is flanked by niches. Similar opening at
first floor has keyblock and panelled pilasters and gives access to balcony with
plain iron balustrade. Flanking window openings have moulded architraves and
cornice and pulvinated frieze over. 3 second-floor windows have plain stone
surrounds and attic parapet has 2 similar openings with circular stone dial
between. Centre 3 bays of each range flanking the porch break forward slightly.
All ground floor windows have segmental arch heads and moulded stone and eared
architraves, some with leaded casements and iron grilles. First floor window
openings are similar with square heads having moulded cornice and pulvinated
frieze. End bays have arch-head door openings at first floor with balconies
similar to porch. Pediments over have ball finials and supporting volutes with
open roundels. Remains of similar pedimented treatment to centre of each range
flanking the porch. Ground and first floor of porch are rusticated ashlar and
second floor has similar quoins. Moulded frieze and cornice between floors and
below parapet. Parapets to porch and flanking ranges have turned balusters. End
bays have ashlar stacks with rusticated bases and shafted flues. Attached to the
ends of the entrance front are walls which form a forecourt to the house. These
have 3 elaborate gateways, that to centre with frosted rustication, broken
pediment with cartouche, niches at the sides and a section of balustrading
either side beyond. The gates to sides have coping, over the overthrow and side
niches, and merlons on top. Garden front to right of entrance front is of 1570s
to left and 1580s to right. Irregular 18-window range of mainly 4-, 6- and
8-light stone mullion and transom windows, some with leaded lights, others
blocked. One bay to far left has similar first floor balcony to the porch and
corresponding end bays of entrance front. Bays 2 to 6 from left are grouped in
pairs with lateral stacks between. Gables between stacks have scrolls, volutes
and ball finials. Bays 7 and 8 from left are late C17 and break forward to house
great staircase. 4 bays from right also break forward with 5-window range
between each projection forming a symmetrical elevation. Varying sized gables
over bays to right of garden front have scrolls, volutes and obelisks
distinctive of work on this elevation completed for Sir Christopher Hatton I.
Garden front terminates to far left with pair of large late C16 stone bow
windows of 30-lights to ground floor and 20-lights to first floor. 6-light attic
windows with stepped heads are set in curved gables. Range to right is now blank
forming the south elevation of the Great Hall. Lateral stack and door opening on
axis of courtyard with flight of steps. Brick staircase projection to right of
Great Hall is of 1630-40 and gave access to chambers formed over domestic
offices, now gone. Elevation to left of main front is remains of irregular
9-window range; bay to far right has similar first floor door opening with
balcony as porch and corresponding end bays of main front. Courtyard elevations;
rear of entrance front, has datestone 1640 which refers to remodellings.
9-window range with open loggia to ground floor. Centre of first floor has arch
head door opening giving acces to balcony, broken pediment over with bust by
Nicholas Stone. First floor window openings have moulded and eared architraves
with alternate bracket triangular and segmental pediments over. Giant Ionic
reeded and decorated pilasters between bays. Centre 3 bays are taken up to
second floor with 2 windows and central dial. Supporting scrolls and balustered
parapet over. Opposite elevation is Great Hall and Buttery range. Central
2-storey porch dated 1572 and 1638 has arch-head opening flanked by ionic
pilasters. First floor opening with balcony is similar to opposite elevation and
is flanked by Corinthian columns and brackets supporting decorated frieze and
cornice. Curved gable above is decorated with 7 Corinthian colonettes and
strapwork. Three and half bays flanking porch have 16- and 20-light stone
mullion and transom windows with giant pilasters between. 6-window ranges to
left and right side of courtyard have stone mullion windows with giant pilasters
between alternate bays. Moulded cornice and decorated frieze. Gable abutments in
the hall range are similar to hall porch. Interior: Great Hall has barrel
vaulted ceiling with elaborately carved wind braces and ribs, fragment of
similar ceiling to long gallery in west range. C17 panelled gallery in Great
Hall. Porch has 2 C17 plaster ceilings. 2 staircases have moulded stone
handrails. Various moulded stone fireplace surrounds throughout the house. Kirby
Hall passed from the Hattons to the Finch Hattons and ceased to be maintained as
a residence from the early C19 onwards. Owned by Winchelsea estate in
guardianship of HBMCE. Kirby Hall is scheduled as an ancient monument.
(Garden is included in the HBMC County Register of Gardens at Grade II*;
Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, p.279; Kirby Hall by G.H. Chettle,
Country Life, Vol.XX, p.558).

Listing NGR: SP9258092698

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.