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Screen, Gate, Gate Piers and Walls at Scraptoft Hall

A Grade II Listed Building in Scraptoft, Leicestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6446 / 52°38'40"N

Longitude: -1.0439 / 1°2'37"W

OS Eastings: 464790

OS Northings: 305636

OS Grid: SK647056

Mapcode National: GBR 9NX.0YK

Mapcode Global: WHFKH.YS3G

Entry Name: Screen, Gate, Gate Piers and Walls at Scraptoft Hall

Listing Date: 21 December 1984

Last Amended: 21 April 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1061725

English Heritage Legacy ID: 190741

Location: Scraptoft, Harborough, Leicestershire, LE7

County: Leicestershire

District: Harborough

Civil Parish: Scraptoft

Built-Up Area: Leicester

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Scraptoft All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Leicester

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Summary

Early C18 screen, gate, gate piers and walls.

Description

Early C18 screen, gate, gate piers and walls.

MATERIALS: wrought iron gates, red brick piers with stone dressings, and red brick walls.

The screen is located on the west side of Scraptoft Hall at the end of a forecourt, the walls of which extend eastwards from the gate piers.

SCREEN: the highly decorative wrought iron screen has a raised central gate embellished with scrolls and foliage which is supported by six verticals that are ramped up to the top rail. The elaborate overthrow has curlicues, waterleaf and Tudor rose motifs, and small baluster finials, although the central finial is missing. In the centre of the cornice is a green man but this may not be original. The gate has an arched top with a circular feature in the upper half which has a Tudor rose at its centre, a scrolled lockrail and a lower section with a dograil. This is flanked by a fixed section with a similar scrolled and curlicue design. On either side of this is a taller section embellished with waterleaves and surmounted by baluster finials.

The RAILINGS flanking the gates are set in a low brick wall with stone capping. They have a dograil, arrowhead finials and three decorative panels with elaborate top sections, all with the same curlicue, waterleaf and scrolled detailing. Some of the fabric on the north side has been replaced, including many of the verticals; whilst on the south side some details are missing, including many of the arrowheads and one of the top sections. The brick PIERS either side are square in section with stone caps; only that on the north side retains its stone urn. The service gates extending from the north pier, which are an integral part of the design, were removed (c.2015), although the northernmost brick pier of the same form as those just described survives.

Brick WALLS with segmental brick coping extend from the main piers eastwards toward the house for c.40m, forming a forecourt. On the south side, the east pier of the intermediate gates survives, together with the elaborate C18 wrought iron flanking supports attached to both piers.

The rebuilt eastern section of the north and south walls, and the rebuilt intermediate gate piers, are not included in the listing.

History

Scraptoft Hall originated as an early C17 manor house. It was enlarged and completely remodelled by Lady Laetitia Wigley whose initials and the date 1723 were included on a rainwater head on the rear elevation. The stables were presumably built around this time. James Wigley, the MP for Leicester, laid out the park which, at the end of the C18, covered about 100 acres and attracted visitors from Leicester. The garden included a lake, a pond, and a mound which concealed a small shell-lined grotto and was originally topped by a Chinese-style pavilion. This latter feature is listed at Grade II. The C18 outbuildings at one time included a bake-house, a laundry, and a small smithy, in addition to the stables. After 1765 the property was held by the Hartopp-Wigley family who lived in Little Dalby and let Scraptoft Hall to tenants. In 1787 it was leased as a furnished hunting-box to Eliab Harvey of Chigwell, Essex. Then in 1790 it was occupied by a retired London businessman named Wilson, and was afterwards the home of Thomas Paget of Ibstock. At the end of the C19 James Burns Hartopp inherited the estate through his wife and came to live at the hall.

After the death of James Burns Hartopp, the hall was bought by Alfred Corah, of a Leicester hosiery firm, whose father had been the tenant in 1850. Corah died in 1924 and the house and grounds were later sold to B. W. Cole. The hall and adjoining land were then bought by Leicester Corporation in 1954 as the site for the new Leicester College of Education. Accommodation and lecture blocks were erected in the paddocks to the east of the hall in order to preserve most of the landscaped grounds; and the hall and stable block were used as classrooms, lecture rooms and offices. In the late 1990s De Montfort University left Scraptoft Hall, and around the turn of the C21 the land to the south and east was developed for housing. In 2014-15 the Hall and stable block were converted into residential units, and the grounds to the north and east were developed for further housing.

The screen and gates were repaired in 2014-15 involving the replacement of some of the railings on the north side. The original list description from 1984 mentions that the gate piers were surmounted by stone pineapple finials, and the main gates had ram’s head cresting, but these elements have not survived. The service gates extending from the north pier of the main gates to provide access to the stables have also been removed. The eastern end of both north and south walls have been rebuilt, along with five out of the six intermediate gate piers. The rebuilt sections are not included in the listing.

Reasons for Listing

The early C18 screen, gate, gate piers and walls at Scraptoft Hall are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Design: it is an elegantly designed example of early C18 wrought iron work;

* Craftsmanship: it has long been notable for its outstanding craftsmanship and is representative of the period when such handcrafted work was becoming a luxury as a result of the new fashion for cast iron products;

* Context: although the setting has been compromised by the modern landscaping of the forecourt and encroachment of the housing development, the screen still has an important spatial and architectural relationship with the stone frontage of Scraptoft Hall.

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