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Rowton Castle and Attached Stable Courtyard, Alberbury with Cardeston

Description: Rowton Castle and Attached Stable Courtyard

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 29 January 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 258952

OS Grid Reference: SJ3789412739
OS Grid Coordinates: 337894, 312739
Latitude/Longitude: 52.7087, -2.9207

Location: Cardeston, Shropshire SY5 9EP

Locality: Alberbury with Cardeston
County: Shropshire
Country: England
Postcode: SY5 9EP

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

14/47 Rowton Castle and
29.1.52 attached stable courtyard
(formerly listed as
Rowton Castle and


Country house. Circa 1700, for Richard Lyster, on site of medieval
castle destroyed in 1482, altered and extended in 1809-12 by George
Wyatt (1782-1856) for Col. Richard Lyster and further altered and
extended in 1824-28 for Henry Lyster and his wife Lady Charlotte Ashley
Cooper. Coursed Alberbury breccia rubble with grey sandstone ashlar
dressings; hipped slate roof. 5-bay C17 house, north-west front
remodelled and north-east wing added in 1809-12, south-east (entrance)
front remodelled and porch added, north-east wing extended to south-east,
large circular tower added to south-west and service buildings added
1824-28; remodellings in a Tudor Gothic style. Basement, 2 storeys and
attic, and 3 storeys. South-east (entrance)front: chamfered plinth,
cornice,and coped parapet; 2 gabled dormers with 4-centred 2-light
casements; pairs of brick ridge stacks on rear range off-centre to left
and right, each with 5 octagonal brick shafts and external brick end
stack to left. Central block of 1:3:1 bays; wooden cross-casements
with chamfered reveals and returned hoodmoulds; central 3-storey break
(1824-28) with trefoil-headed panelled buttresses, first-floor cill
string, cornice to battlemented parapet, and brick end stacks, each with
5 octagonal brick shafts; central second-floor window with 2 four-centred
lights, Y-tracery, chamfered reveals, and returned hoodmould; first-floor
canted bay window with 1:4:1 four-centred arched lights, frieze with
plain shields, string courses, battlemented parapet, and flanking lancets
with cinquefoil heads and hoodmoulds with uncarved stops; 3 steps up to
deeply recessed 4-centred moulded arch with pair of nail-studded boarded
doors, trefoil-panelled spandrels, flanking trefoil-panelled buttresses,
moulded cornice, and pierced parapet with plain shields. Octagonal tower
to left with chamfered one-light openings, and slit opening in battlemented
parapet. Projecting gabled wing (1824-28) to right with plinth, cornice
and parapet,and octagonal corner turrets with chamfered offsets, string
course, corbelled-out battlemented parapet and slit openings on each
floor; 2-light attic casement and first-floor cross-casement, both with
returned hoodmoulds, 4-centred arched ground-floor window consisting
of 2 four-centred arched lights with glazing bars, cusped panelled tracery,
and returned hoodmould. Right-hand return front: 3 bays to left with
gabled dormers, first-floor cross-windows, and 4-centred arched ground-
floor windows consisting of 2 four-centred arched lights with glazing
bars, cusped panelled tracery, and returned hoodmoulds; 3-storey square
tower (Wyatt) to right with battlemented parapet, 2 second-floor 2-light
casements with hoodmoulds, and 2-storey canted bay with first-floor
mullioned windows, those to sides blind, and ground-floor tripartite,
glazing bar sash with flanking blind windows (evidence of probable
intention to have ground-floor mullioned windows too - see mullion stubs).
Rear: 1:3:1 bays, central full-height half-octagonal bay; 3-bay ashlar
loggia to left with moulded Tudor-arches,plain shields in spandrels, and
pierced battlemented parapet; 3-storey 2-bay square tower to left with
first- and second-floor casements and ground-floor glazing bar sashes;
large circular tower to right with brick dressings, corbelled-out
battlemented parapet and irregularly placed cross-windows and narrow
slit openings. 2-storey service block to south-west; red brick dressings;
cornice and stepped parapet, and projecting square corner towers with
plinths, corbelled-out battlemented parapets and slit openings; 4-bay
centre, 4-pane sashes with chamfered reveals; porch to left with chamfered
entrance, flanking buttresses, and corbelled-out battlemented parapet.
Lead downpipes and rainwater heads throughout. Stable courtyard:
coursed Alberbury breccia with red sandstone ashlar dressings and
grey sandstone ashlar chamfered coping; 2 sides of a square with gatehouse
to south-west; 2 square turrets in south-east range with string courses,
battlemented parapets and slit openings flanking blocked former
depressed-arched carriageway, now with inserted reused C13 doorway
consisting of moulded arch, hoodmould with carved stops, and nail-studded
boarded door with strap hinges possibly introduced from White Abbey (qv)
or Alberbury Castle (qv); gatehouse in south-west range with corbelled-
out battlemented parapet, central depressed-archway with hoodmould,
pair of nail-studded doors with strap hinges, and flanking rectangular
windows with chamfered reveals and returned hoodmoulds; flight of 15
stone steps adjoining the south-east range with trefoil-arcaded balustrade,
chamfered coping, and trefoil-panelled piers with urns. Interior:
mainly late C17 and early C18, and early C19. Hall; early C18 fittings
including bolection-moulded panelling with dado rail, fireplace with
bolection-moulded surround and panel above with flanking pilasters,
doors with 8 raised and fielded panels, panelled window shutters and
probably early C19 plaster dentil cornice and wreathed ceiling rose;
left-hand ground-floor room with early C18 fittings including bolection-
moulded panelling, dado rail, moulded cornice, and bolection-moulded
fireplace surround; ground-floor corridor with C18 bolection-moulded
panelling too; ground-floor left-hand rear room with C19 panelling
and C17 fireplace, heavily carved with foliage trails; pair of dragons
in frieze, guilloche-decorated band, carved cornice and triangular
pediment with pair of trumpet-blowing figures in the tympanum; ground-floor
right-hand rear room: saloon by Wyatt with curved corners, moulded plinth,
enriched dado, plaster panels with reeded surrounds, acanthus-enriched
cornice, enriched soffit with paterae and Tudor flower, plaster ceiling
rose, door architraves with bay-leaf ornament and corner paterae,
panelled window architraves, and 3-bay screen to central ground-floor rear
room with Ionic columns, entablature and segmental recess above; panelled
sliding doors to central ground-floor rear room, also probably decorated
by Wyatt with enriched frieze and Tudor flower ornament; staircase hall
by Wyatt: acanthus frieze to ground and first floors, 4-flight rectangular-
well staircase with partial cantilevering, open string, cast iron square-
section balusters, ramped moulded handrail, and wreathed newel post with
curtail; reused probably late C16 panelling in lobby with square-in-square
motif and carved foliage trails; ground-floor right-hand front room
(probably 1824-28) in a Gothic revival style with marble fireplace
consisting of depressed moulded arch with trefoil-panelled spandrels, flanking
twisted shafts and frieze with shields and Tudor- flower ornament, and Gothic
panelled doors, including pair of large doors to saloon with flanking
Tudor-arched recesses, heavy Tudor-arched pelments with pendants and
battlementing; service wing has C19 C17-style panelling with fluted
arches above, and C17-style staircase with alternating turned and twisted
balusters, moulded handrail, and carved square newel posts; C19 C17-style
back staircase with alternating turned and twisted balusters, moulded
handrail, and carved square newel posts; central first-floor room
with re-ordered C18 bolection-moulded dado panelling, and C17 fireplace
heavily carved with foliage trails, pair of dragons in frieze and
guilloche-enriched cornice. Detached service block (qv) to north-west.
The castle is an interesting example of how an early C19 architect like
George Wyatt (son of Charles) conceived classical interiors for a
Gothic building. The designs were exhibited at the R.A. in 1809 "as
about to be carried out"and in 1812 as "lately executed". V.C.H.,
Vol VIII (1968), pp. 201-2; B.O.E., p. 236; Colvin, p. 939; Burke's
and Savills Guide to Country Houses, Vol II, Hereford, Shropshire,
Warwicks and Worcester, Ed. Peter Reid, p. 111.

Listing NGR: SJ3789412739

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.