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Description: West Bitchfield
Date Listed: 27 August 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 238563
OS Grid Reference: NZ0907877061
OS Grid Coordinates: 409078, 577061
Latitude/Longitude: 55.0879, -1.8593
BELSAY WEST BITCHFTELD
NZ 07 NE
10/77 West Bitchfield
House. C14 tower with additions of C16 and C17. Extensively restored and east
wing added 1935 by Caroë and Lord Gort. Dressed stone and ashlar with Welsh
3-storey tower to left with 2-storey, 6-bay house attached to right and C20 wing
on extreme right.
Tower: partly ruinous in 1930's. South side has C17 doorway with moulded
surround; on south-east corner at 2nd floor level the start of a rounded corbel
for a corner turret (cf. Belsay Castle). On west side several slit windows and
one C16 window with moulded surround; other windows are 2- and 3-light mullioned
windows of 1935.
Attached hall and former kitchen wing, refaced in late C17, has steps up to
central 2-leaf, 6-panel door in surround with bolection moulding, pulvinated
oak-leaf frieze and scrolled pediment. Mullioned-and-transomed cross windows,
with roll-moulded sills and cornices on ground floor. The crosses are renewed.
Sundial of 1711 above door, brought from Belsay in C20. Moulded cornice, and
panelled parapet added 1935. Gabled roof with external stacks.
C20 wing recessed to right in similar style.
Rear facade is irregular. It has tower to right with one cruciform slit window.
Left of the tower is the hall with enormous external chimney stack. Left of
this a projecting 3-storey C16 staircase wing which has, on ground floor two
2-light windows with segmental heads to lights; scattered fenestration with 2-
and 3-light mullioned windows above. Left of this the former kitchen, now the
dining room, with another enormous external chimney now covered on ground floor
by 1935 entrance, with doorway in C17 style. 1935 wing to left.
Interior: Tower has vaulted ground floor and stair in thickness of wall; C14
door with pointed arch and continuous chamfered surround (cf. Belsay) between
tower and hall. 1st floor ceiling with broach-stopped beams brought from
elsewhere; on 1st and 2nd floors two C17 fireplaces with moulded surrounds.
Drawing room (former hall) has large fireplace with bolection-moulded surround,
and Palladian doorcase with pulvinated frieze.
Late C17 staircase with dumb-bell balusters.
Dining room has large fireplace with segmental head and a doorway with Tudor-
arched lintel inscribed RF 1622 IF for Fenwick.
Country Life Vol. LXXXVIII p. 278.
Archaeologia Aeliana 3rd Series Vol. XVIII p. 101-116.
Listing NGR: NZ0907877061
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.