Description: Archway with Gates and Flanking Walls and Inner, Freestanding Archway to the Old Rectory
Date Listed: 30 March 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 330543
OS Grid Reference: SE3640351101
OS Grid Coordinates: 436403, 451101
Latitude/Longitude: 53.9547, -1.4467
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SPOFFORTH WITH STOCKELD
334/3/75 CHURCH LANE
25-APR-52 (South side)
ARCHWAY WITH GATES AND FLANKING WALLS
AND INNER, FREESTANDING, ARCHWAY TO TH
E OLD RECTORY
(Formerly listed as:
PRECINCT WALL AT RECTORY)
Section of boundary wall and a pair of reused medieval archways forming a carriage entrance to the Old Rectory. Sandstone with wrought iron gates.
The arch in the boundary wall is four centred, formed with voussoirs that are double chamfered externally and single chamfered internally. The inner skin of the wall is supported by a separate, higher arch that is two centred, springing from imposts. The arch is set in a section of boundary wall constructed with mainly large, coursed, squared sandstone blocks. The wall is coped with flagstones and steps up over the arch. There are marked butt joints around 5-6m from the archway to both east and west, with the style of the boundary wall changing slightly. The rest of the boundary wall is not included within this listing but will fall within the curtilage of the Old Rectory. The archway is enclosed by a pair of wrought iron gates with the lower section barred, the upper part infilled with scrollwork. These gates are probably C20 replacements of earlier gates.
The freestanding arch is ungated and spans the same driveway as the arch through the boundary wall. It lies about 5m inside the boundary. It is also four centred, but almost segmental. It is formed from voussoirs that have a very slight, plain chamfer to both faces.
Both archways are medieval, but neither may be in their original locations. The inner, freestanding archway has certainly been moved. This is thought to have taken place in 1928 after its discovery within the structure of a stable undergoing demolition. It is possible that the outer archway is in its original location. There is a local tradition that Spofforth House, The Old Rectory, is built on the site of a medieval hospital dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, and that the wall and archway is part of a precinct boundary. Although mainly C18, the Old Rectory is of medieval origin and includes a blocked, west facing window with C14 plate tracery. However the claim that it was a hospital is unsubstantiated. For instance, Spofforth is not included in Bottomley's 2002 gazetteer of medieval hospitals in Yorkshire. There is an alternative and probably more likely suggestion that the archway was originally part of Spofforth Castle, which has been ruined since the mid-C17 after being slighted during the English Civil War, and was moved to its current location by a former Rector to aggrandise his house, possibly c1700.
Bottomley, F 2002 "Medieval Hospitals of Yorkshire"
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The archway with gates and flanking walls, and the inner freestanding archway is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons
* For their interest as surviving medieval stonework.
* For their contribution to the garden of the mainly C18 Old Rectory that is also Grade II listed.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.