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Wardell Hall, Melbecks

Description: Wardell Hall

Grade: II
Date Listed: 21 April 1986
English Heritage Building ID: 322052

OS Grid Reference: SD9854998263
OS Grid Coordinates: 398549, 498263
Latitude/Longitude: 54.3799, -2.0238

Location: B6270, Melbecks, North Yorkshire DL11 6PE

Locality: Melbecks
Local Authority: Richmondshire District Council
County: North Yorkshire
Country: England
Postcode: DL11 6PE

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Listing Text


1203/15/111 LOW ROW

(Formerly listed as:

House and attached cottage, C18 with later alterations. Coursed stone rubble, coursed squared stone to southern elevation, stone slate roof.

Linear range of domestic and farm buildings facing nearly south-east, but for ease of description assumed to face south. Evolved plan (see history) with a two bay house framed by ridge stacks, with a central entrance and rear continuous outshut including the stairs. To the east there is a gable entry single bay cottage with outshut, now incorporating the eastern bay of the house's outshut. To the west of the house there is an additional bay with a secondary entrance, this bay also providing access to the outshut. Beyond to the west there is a former cross-passage through the building range, with former farm buildings beyond that have been converted for domestic use.

Front (south): The two storey house with the additional west bay is framed by quoining, with rougher quoining to the cottage gable; the roof is continuous with the two gable ends being raised and coped with finely moulded kneelers. The central entrance has a stone surround with Tuscan jambs. The entrance in the western bay has an ovolo moulded, quoined surround with a massive lintel inscribed "AW 1708". The windows to the west bay have plain openings, whereas those of the house and cottage have monolithic plain stone surrounds (the sills to the cottage being lowered). All windows have horned 4 pane sashes. The chimney stacks to the house and cottage gable-end are ashlar with moulded cornices, that to the west bay being plain. The attached former farm range to the west is lower, but still of two storeys. Slight irregularity to the various openings and stonework suggest that although the domestic conversion entailed some rebuilding, most of the walling is original. The door to the cross passage has been retained although has been blocked internally. The walled garden to the front preserves the footprint of the mistal (cow byre) added in the 1950s.

Rear (north, roadside): Scattered openings. Stair windows to both house and cottage have plain stone surrounds and retain C18 6-over-6 sashes with ovolo moulded glazing bars. The two small windows to the outshut bay now incorporated into the cottage have late C19 fixed lights with margin glazing. The window to the far right has a 4-over-4 hornless sash and has a lintel reused from an ovolo moulded mullioned window. The added west bay has two inserted windows and a blocked taking-in doorway. The door to the cross passage is planked and has a horizontal slit overlight. The rest of the openings to the former farm buildings have modern joinery. This includes a partially blocked doorway with a plain stone surround and a projecting drip course with a pitching window above; a former cart entrance to the east; and an upper taking in-doorway to either end.

East gable: This includes the entrance to the cottage which is a chamfered stone surround with the right jamb inscribed "I: 1767", the door is 4 panelled. To the right is a small window with ovolo moulded jambs and lintel. Above there is another window with a projecting drip course above, to the left of its sill is a long projecting drip course extending over, but some way above, the doorway.

The house retains its C18 stair. This is a compact, open well, closed string stair. The ramped handrail has a tall grip set on turned balusters, the balusters having an unturned block separating a lower vase form from a tall column above. The balusters to the top landing are later replacements. The ground floor retains two 6 panelled doors which are raised and fielded on one side. The door to the outshut room is a plank door with a 2 panelled face to the staircase. The first floor also has a 6 panelled door, but others are later replacements. The central entrance opens into the western room to the house, this room retaining a broad, stone arched fireplace. Unfortunately this was damaged in the C20 when it was made flush faced prior to boarding over.

The cottage retains a similar, but undamaged fireplace which appears to have been reset as it is against the party wall with the house, whereas the original flue for the cottage rose to the gable end chimney. The cottage's staircase is modern. The house's ground floor outshut room, which is now incorporated into the cottage, retains stone built shelving. The roof structure to the house has been undersprayed with foam. It retains hewn hardwood timbers, although there have been some later replacement timbers.

The interior of the farm range has been refitted, although it retains a trussed roof structure that is probably C19.

The oldest part of the range is thought to be the two main ground floor rooms of the house, possibly dated to 1708. The western bay appears to have been added after this date: the 1708 inscribed door surround is not in its original position as one of the jambs is misaligned. This surround was probably originally used for the main entrance to the house, perhaps on the northern side before the construction of the rear outshut. The mullioned window lintel to the rear and the ovolo mounded window in the cottage gable are also likely to have been reused parts of the original structure. The western bay was added before or at the same time that the south side of the house was refaced, but before the construction of the cottage. By this time the house was of two storeys. The refacing appears to be contemporary with the Tuscan door surround, and is probably mid-C18, although the window surrounds may be later as the tooling is different. The cottage may have been added in 1767 (the inscribed date on the right jamb), however as the left jamb is misaligned with the lintel, this door surround also appears to have been reset. The windows to the front of the cottage have been enlarged (with the lowering of the cills) possibly with the installation of sash windows in the later C19. The reallocation of rooms between the house and cottage appears to have happened after 1989, but before the conversion of the farm buildings.

Although named hall, Wardell Hall is not thought to have been the house of a member of the gentry, but to have been that of a well-off yeoman farming family, probably called Wardell in 1708 (explaining the initials AW). A branch of the same family may have also owned the neighbouring property to the south west called Wardell House.

Yorkshire Vernacular Buildings Study Group, "Wardell Hall" building record 1393, (1992)

Wardell Hall, with its attached cottage, is designated at grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Vernacular architecture: A good example of an C18 evolved farm house retaining good quality period features, particularly the two contrasting stone door surrounds.
* Evidence of change: The survival of a wide range of evidence (for instance from the overall plan, through to the survival of C18 joinery, to minor breaks in stonework) showing how the building has been adapted over the years, particularly through the C18-C19, all combines to give Wardell Hall special interest.

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.