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Description: Hartlebury Castle
Date Listed: 29 December 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 400766
OS Grid Reference: SO8361171216
OS Grid Coordinates: 383611, 271216
Latitude/Longitude: 52.3388, -2.2420
Explore more of the area around Hartlebury, Worcestershire at Explore Britain.
HARTLEBURY CP HARTLEBURY
SO 87 SW
1/75 Hartlebury Castle
Bishop's palace. C15 with late C17 and mid- to late C18 extensions and
1960s remodelling. C18 work by Henry Keene and James Smith of Shifnal.
Sandstone ashlar and brick, hipped slate roof to front, tile roof to rear.
U-plan, main block aligned north/south, containing C15 hall to north end and
C18 saloon (within C15 walls); to rear (west) of hall a former long gallery
(divided up as private rooms in 1960s) with C18 library above; south range
has C15 chapel projecting forwards (east) with Bishop's study behind;
between this range and saloon is the entrance hall with staircase behind,
above entrance hall is the Prince Regent's Bedroom; north range of late
C17 was the kitchen wing, now Hereford and Worcester County Museum.
East front: symmetrical central block of one storey with crenellated parapet,
central porch and six windows: glazing bar sashes under 2-centred heads with
Gothick glazing, installed c1760 - 1770; porch: c1680 semi-circular pediment
flanked by ball finials, the pediment bearing Bishop Fleetwood's (1675 -
1683) arms; lugged architrave to panelled door; on roof is an octagonal
cupola with open sides in Chinoiserie Gothick style, to front of pedestal
a wind direction indicator connected to the weather vane. The central block
is flanked by two wings which break forward of two storeys with attics lit
by three hipped dormers, and four windows in slight breaks forward (the wall
is of c1680, the sashes c1760 - 1770): 20-pane sashes to first floor, ground
floor windows as central block, but of less height; beyond these two wings
there is the chapel projecting to the left, and balancing wing to the right,
chapel: diagonal buttresses, three stepped lancets (the central one larger)
in a recessed panel with 4-centred head (of c1750); four 2-centred headed
windows with Y-tracery face into the courtyard; the balancing wing has two
windows, that to left a 20-pane sash, to the right.2-light casements of mid-
C20, ground floor: two windows similar to central block. Interior: hall:
retains C15 five-bay roof of arch braced collar trusses, with ceiling
inserted just above collar; the wall posts rest on corbels; fireplace in
centre of west wall has bolection moulded surround and overmantel of late
C17; geometrical staircase at north end with cast iron handrail (late C18)
leads up to an entrance to kitchen range; the entrance at the south end from
the porch is set in a tall recess with 4-centred head and moulded jambs and
arch, reflected by a similar feature in west wall over opposed doors.
Saloon: decorated c1760 with Rococo style papier-maché to walls and ceiling;
ceiling panels represent music scores and wind instruments; to each wall
two large panels framing spaces for portraits. Entrance hall: overmantel
with landscape by Zuccarelli (originally in Saloon whence it had come from
Bishop Hurd's (1781 - 1808) London House). Chapel: by Henry Keene c1750,
plaster fan vault, panelling to walls, stalls, reredos and Bishop's pew
in Gothick style; east window: late C19 glass, remnants of C18 glazing by
J Rowell in heads of windows. Bishop's study: has late C17 bolection moulded
panelling. Prince Regent's Bedroom: very plain room with pelmets of c1807 to
match the bed hangings, and similar pelmet in adjoining dressing room.
Library: 1782 by James Smith of Shifnal, executed by Joseph Bromfield of
Shrewsbury, tripartite plan, with bow window to middle of west wall,
divisions marked by Ionic columns, outer compartments each have three
bays of bookcases; main part has coved ceiling with small central saucer
dome, two bookcases flank central fireplace on east wall, each with scrolled
pediment; columns marbled and bookcases grained. There is a moat around the
house, the east side of which has been filled in, and is still with water to
the west. There has been a Bishop's Palace on this site since at least the
mid-C13. One of the most significant of the early works of the Gothick
Revival (predates Strawberry Hill); partly inspired from Batty Langley's
pattern books eg the screen between the Chapel and the ante-Chapel.
(VCH 3, p 382-3; BoE pp 190-191; E H Pearce, 1926, Hartlebury Castle, with
[some notes on Bishops who lived in it and on others who lived elsewhere,
London; CL 7 Feb 1931; CL 16 & 23 Sept 1971; Colvin, 1978, A Biographical
Dictionary of British Architects 1600 - 1840, London, pp 142, 483, 509, 758-9;
Dr Timothy Mowl: Journal of Garden History Vol III, no 2, pp 134-143 "The
Case for the Enville Museum").
Listing NGR: SO8360471246
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.