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Description: The Judges' House
Date Listed: 10 January 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 307587
OS Grid Reference: SP2813365026
OS Grid Coordinates: 428133, 265026
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2827, -1.5890
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811/3/175 NORTHGATE STREET
30-JUN-10 (West side)
The Judges' House
(Formerly listed as:
THE JUDGES LODGINGS)
(Formerly listed as:
THE JUDGES HOUSE)
A townhouse of 1814-16, by Henry Hakewill, with extensions to the south of 1955 and 1963. The C20 extensions are not of special interest.
MATERIALS: The main range is constructed from sandstone ashlar under a slate roof, with sandstone ashlar stacks.
PLAN: The main range has a three-bay, double-pile plan, orientated north-south; the later ranges run southwards from the southern end of the main block.
EXTERIOR: The original range is of two storeys and basement. The main elevation, of three bays, has plain, wide pilasters to either end, moulded cornice and a blocking course. The ground floor, which has horizontal channelling, has a central Greek Ionic porch approached via a short flight of steps with wrought-iron handrails to a two-fold, six-panelled door. To either side are six-over-six hornless sash windows with stone cills. The first-floor windows are similar, set within moulded architraves with a moulded cill band running between the pilasters.
INTERIOR: The interior of Hakewill's range has a series of principal rooms and spaces, together with a few ancillary rooms surviving the removal of the rear wing. The principal rooms to ground and first floors have moulded cornice, dado and skirting boards, with moulded doorcases and four-panelled doors. The rear hall houses the open-well, open-string stair, which has moulded stone treads, plain stick balusters and a moulded, wreathed handrail set on a rounded curtail step. The stair is lit by a large, round-arched window to the half-landing with a moulded architrave. The High Sheriff's room to the rear has a grey marble fireplace with elegant cast-iron grate, with classical details. To the first floor, the dining room occupies all three bays at the front of the building; it has a good decorative scheme including a dentil cornice, elaborate doors and doorcases, and a grey marble fireplace with incised Greek key decoration. The drawing room to the rear has a similar fireplace to that in the High Sheriff's room. The basement includes a wine cellar with stone shelving.
HISTORY: The Judges' House was built in 1816 to provide accommodation for assize judges serving at the courts, housed in the adjacent Shire Hall building, and as a meeting place for the Warwickshire Justices of the Peace. The building was designed in 1814-16 by Henry Hakewill (1771-1830), a notable Greek Revival architect. Hakewill was architect to Rugby School, the Radcliffe trustees in Oxford and to Middle Temple, designing buildings for all these locations in the first three decades of the C19. He also designed churches and country houses, several of which are listed in high grades. Hakewill's original building, whose main range fronts Northgate Street, had a large, two-storey wing to the rear (west), providing ancillary rooms and accommodation. In 1955, when the Warwickshire County Council offices to the rear of the building were expanded to provide a new council chamber, the rear wing of the Judges' House was demolished to create space for the new buildings. At the same time, the adjacent house to the south, 7 Northgate Street, was replaced by an extension to the Judges' House in a pared-down classical style, to compensate for the loss of the rear range. In 1963, the building was extended further to the south, the new range continuing from the 1955 extension and replacing two late C17/early C18 houses at 3 and 5 Northgate Street. The Judges' House continued in its original use at the time of inspection (2010).
SOURCES: Pevsner, N and Wedgwood, A: The Buildings of England: Warwickshire (1966), 458
A History of the County of Warwick (Victoria County History): Volume 8: The City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick (1969), 451
Warwickshire County Council: Shire Hall, Warwick: A Conservation Statement Version 1.0 (May 2007)
Warwickshire County Council: Shire Hall, Warwick: Heritage Audit of Warwickshire County Council Offices, Council Chamber and Members' Area (July 2009)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Judges' House, built to Henry Hakewill's designs of 1814-16 in a Greek Revival style, is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the imposing Greek Revival building was designed by Henry Hakewill (1771-1830) an architect recognised as nationally significant for his work in this style
* Historic interest: the building was provided specifically to offer accommodation for visiting assizes judges attending Warwick to hear cases at the adjacent courts
* Intactness: Hakewill's building is almost entirely unaltered since its completion
* Interior features: the principal rooms and spaces have a good decorative scheme including mouldings, fireplaces and an elegant main stair
* Group value: the house forms part of a group with the large number of other listed buildings lining both sides of Northgate Street, and in particular with the adjacent Old Shire Hall, which houses the courts served by the visiting judges who stayed at the lodgings, and the former county gaol further to the north (both Listed Grade I).
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.