Description: Cromwell House
Date Listed: 20 November 1987
English Heritage Building ID: 323877
OS Grid Reference: SD8294858584
OS Grid Coordinates: 382948, 458584
Latitude/Longitude: 54.0230, -2.2618
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1297/13/19 WEST END
20-NOV-87 CROMWELL HOUSE
House, C16, remodelled 1685, extended in C18 and altered circa 1840.
Slobbered squared rubble, grit stone and other stone dressings. Blue slate roof to the front, stone slates to the rear.
Originally a single-depth, lobby entry house facing south-east, but subsequently evolved into a double pile, central entry house with a rear stair hall. See history below.
Front: Asymmetric, of three bays and two storeys. Entrance offset to right of centre, with an elaborately carved grit stone surround with cyma moulded jambs and a flat lintel with a cyma framed plaque carrying "C RE 1685" in relief, the plaque flanked by incised spirals. To the left there is the blocked former lobby entry doorway. The windows have sawn stone plain surrounds and are probably C19 enlargements; most have rougher stone lintels surviving immediately above, probably indicating the C18 windows. First-floor stonework retains blocked fragments of a pair of pre-C18 small, chamfered windows. A third blocked window described in 1987 as being to the left with a chamfered surround and decorated head was not observed, but probably survives under ivy. The gutter is supported by plain, paired modillions. Gables are coped and have shaped kneelers. Stone ridge and end stacks and a C20 roof window. All joinery to the front elevation is C20, the windows being 9 pane, top-hung casements. Attached garage to the right is not of special interest.
South-West Gable: The roof of the front range is asymmetrical, the front roof slope being steeper, with a lower eaves, than the rear, the front roof slope and covering being a C19 alteration. However coping and kneelers match. The two-storey rear range is set back by a bay, but continues the shallow roof slope as a catslide with a plain verge. The angle is infilled with a single-storey extension with a lean-to roof of blue slate. Guttering of the front elevation is carried across the gable of the front range on further paired modillions. The front range has a 2 over 2 sash window to the ground-floor, and a further similar window to the first-floor, a second first-floor window having replacement joinery. The first-floor window to the rear range is a small single light which appears to be inserted and is thought to have originally been a stair window.
Rear: The rear porch at the northern end of the elevation is not of special interest. The next bay breaks slightly forward and has a tall stair window with coloured margin glazing; the stone frame to the opening being simply dressed and projecting slightly. To the right there is a former doorway with a similarly framed opening that has been converted into a window with an inserted cill. The window openings to the two bays to the right are different, being flush framed. The jambs are formed with red brick quoining partially concealed by render imitating single piece stone jambs. Two of these windows retain 2 over 2 sashes, that to the upper window being hornless. The window to the single-storey section was originally a doorway with a quoined opening. The flat roofed boiler room to the right is not of special interest. The roof of the rear catslide has a tall stack in line with the middle ridge stack.
North-East Gable: This is coped, with a kneeler to the front only. The gable has a single window towards the rear with a 2 over 2 sash.
Ground-floor front range: The central room (hall) has a large inglenook fireplace to the south-west formed with a wide, 4-centred arch of cyma moulded voussoirs. To its left there is a cupboard reduced in size from the former lobby entry. To the right there is a deeply chamfered stone doorway with a 6 panelled door. In the opposite wall there is a basket arched opening through to a curved corridor to the stair hall. This archway has a panelled soffit springing from corniced imposts. The front doorway retains internal shutters, the opposite wall has a built in cupboard with panelled doors to the left and a shelved alcove with a basket arch to the right. The ceiling has three exposed axial beams which are chamfered. These chamfers are stopped immediately before the south-west wall, but continue into the north-east wall.
The south-east room (parlour) has two exposed axial beams that are more roughly finished than those of the centre room. The windows retain internal shutters. The north-west wall has a wide alcove with a 4 centred arch and a moulded timber architrave. This is thought to have been an opening through to a morning room or earlier stair hall. At the time of inspection, most of the gable wall was of exposed stonework showing that the fireplace was a later addition (possibly C18). The fireplace lacks any ornamental surround, but includes a large, deep, flat, stone lintel.
A short, curved corridor links the hall to the stair hall, taking a corner out of the north-east room (gallery/drawingroom), this corridor has a basket arch at either end, both with panelled soffits, but the ceiling of the corridor itself is not coved. The drawingroom is fitted with a complete set of brass rods close to the ceiling, interpreted as circa 1800 picture rails. The fire place has a late C19 white and black marble surround and mantle piece. The door (set in the curved wall to the corridor) is four panelled. Windows retain shutters. The ceiling has a single unchamfered cross beam and has no coving. Below this room is the only part of the house that is cellared.
Ground-floor rear range: The stair hall has an open string, dog legged stair with stick balusters supporting a mahogany handrail that, apart from the bottom newel post, is wreathed. The newel post is also mahogany and has a distinctive vase base in the form of an open bud. The ceiling is coved.
The centre, rear room (originally a kitchen) retains two reused hewn roof timbers reputed to have originated from the house. One is set to simulate a ceiling beam, one (a curved brace or saddle) used as a fireplace (now alcove) lintel. The original window opening retains shutters.
The current kitchen (south-west room) is interpreted as a former morning room or possible stair hall (there is reported to be surviving evidence for a staircase in the ceiling void). The former fireplace has been converted into a cupboard. This room was extended to the south-west by a single bay in the C19.
First-floor: There is a basket arch from the stair hall to a corniced corridor extending to the current master bedroom at the south end of the house. The first-floor is reported to retain sections of hand painted Sienna Marbling to the walls preserved beneath the modern wallpaper, although this is incomplete because of later replastering. The master bedroom is richly corniced and may have been a first-floor reception room, although it now has a small Edwardian cast iron fireplace. Windows have no shutters but have built in window seats. The door is six panelled.
The current bathroom retains a C19 cast iron grate set in a simple stone surround and has a planked door with applied mouldings to the outer face to simulate a 6 panelled door. Other first-floor doors are 4 panelled. The current attic staircase is a late C20 alteration, replacing a Victorian stairwell now converted into en suites serving the other two front bedrooms.
Attic: The two attic rooms are thought to be a Victorian alteration. The southern bay (above the master bedroom) is unfloored, with the lath and plaster ceiling higher than the rest of the attic floor. The roof structure retains some older timbers but is mainly C19. Large roof light inserted to the rear 2009.
The store room attached to the rear porch (interpreted as a servants' workroom) retains an early C19 cast iron hob grate and pulley wheels in the ceiling.
The coach house and stables (to the south) are now in separate ownership and have been converted into cottages. They are not included in the listing.
Cromwell House was the principal residence for the Maerbeck Estate up into the C20. It is identified as one of the seven houses noted in Long Preston in 1592. The 1685 door surround is too large to have been relocated from the original lobby entrance, and instead is thought to date a remodelling of the house, probably including the enlargement of the inglenook fireplace and the lengthening of the house northwards. The spiral motifs on the entrance lintel may be apotropaic marks intended to ward of witches - further similar marks may survive associated with other C17 openings. Around this time, following the Restoration of Charles II, the house was known as "Crumble House". The house is thought to have originally had an external stair to the rear, with the upper floor used for weaving until the C18. The house is thought to have been made double pile in the C18, probably with an internal staircase in the added rear section rising into the current bathroom. Further remodelling in the early or mid C19, saw the creation of a new dogleg stair (the joinery of this stair being very similar to that of another house locally that is dated to circa 1840, the joiner identified as John Beechwood), the steepening of the front roof slope to accommodate blue slates and the enlargement of windows with sawn stone surrounds. Various changes in the treatment of openings and decorative features, such as plasterwork and joinery, suggest that there were several episodes of partial refurbishment.
REASON FOR DESIGNATION
Cromwell House is designated at grade II for the following principal reasons:
* As a pre-1700 house retaining evidence of its original plan form together with high quality stonework, particularly the front entrance surround with its possible apotropaic marks.
* For the evidence of the way that the house has evolved over the centuries, for the survival of a range of late C18 and early C19 internal features.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.