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Latitude: 52.5006 / 52°30'2"N
Longitude: -1.0781 / 1°4'41"W
OS Eastings: 462676
OS Northings: 289588
OS Grid: SP626895
Mapcode National: GBR 9QL.B6N
Mapcode Global: VHCT8.8DDW
Entry Name: Remains of Knaptoft Hall
Listing Date: 28 October 2014
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1409561
Location: Knaptoft, Harborough, Leicestershire, LE17
Civil Parish: Knaptoft
Traditional County: Leicestershire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire
Church of England Parish: Mowsley
Church of England Diocese: Leicester
Remains of Knaptoft Hall, an early C16 manor house built for the Turpin family who acquired the manor in the late C15. The remains were incorporated into a farmhouse and range of farm storage buildings c1843.
Knaptoft Hall is a C16 manor house built for the Turpin family who acquired the manor in the late C15. The remains of the hall were incorporated into a farmhouse and range of farm storage buildings c.1843.
Materials and plan: the hall is built of red brick, with stone quoins and mullions and a slate roof. The T-plan farm storage buildings which incorporate the remains of the hall comprise a two-storey building running north to south with a single storey to the north, and an east to west range incorporating the porch of the C16 manor house. The latter is two-storey and abuts the east elevation of the north to south wing approximately half way along its length.
East /West wing:
The east to west wing is divided into three discrete areas none of which are accessible from the others. The northern elevation of the wing is dominated by the former porch of the Tudor manor house with its moulded stone arch, lugged architrave and a wooden lintel above. A mono-pitch slate roof rises from a single storey on the northern elevation to two storeys on the southern elevation so as to accommodate a doorway (boarded-up) with stone sill at first-floor level, potentially an original internal opening. The eastern elevation contains a three-light hopper window with a concrete lintel and sill.
Beyond the porch to the west, on the north elevation, a single, square hopper window cuts through the brick coping and sits adjacent to an entrance set back from the face of the wall, forming a small covered lobby with an access into the adjacent north to south aligned wing. This section supports a double-pitched, although asymmetrical, slate roof which again rises from a single storey on the north elevation to two storeys on the south elevation.
The southern elevation of the wing consists mainly of bricks laid in English bond, with two vertical, dressed, stone blocks representing the quoins either side of an original window opening, now blocked externally with reused Tudor brickwork. The details of the fenestration are still visible internally when accessed through the wooden door on the southern elevation. This wall is primarily of C16 date.
The north/south wing is also divided into three discrete blocks, none of which are accessible from another. The southern and central block are of two storeys but the later, northern extension, is a single storey. The southern end of the eastern elevation is laid in English garden wall bond and appears to have been rendered at some point but little remains now. Access to the ground floor is through a double, wooden door opening with a wooden lintel above, whilst another wooden door, at first floor level, served by an external brick stairway, gives access to the first floor. The south face of the stairs has a decorative brick quarter arch over a small rectangular opening covered with wooden slats. At the southern end of this elevation two circular bosses suggest steel tie rods run through the building.
North of the east/west range, the eastern elevation is laid primarily in Flemish-bond brickwork, with stretcher-bond patches where repaired and rebuilt. There is a single doorway on the ground floor with a wooden stable door and a brick segmental arch. At first-floor level there are two windows both with wooden frames and glazing bars.
Attached to the north is a single-storey extension built of similar brickwork with brick coping along the eaves. The east elevation has two square window openings with vertical wooden slats and a central stable door with a brick segmental arch. The north elevation displays a horizontal tie beam with a wooden lintel directly below, over a probable blocked opening.
The west facing elevation of the north-south wing incorporates a single, small square window below a segmental arch adjacent to which is the vertical joint between the southern and central block of this wing. Stone mouldings above a brick plinth are evident along the southern section of the west elevation and around the southern elevation of this wing, and large rusticated stone quoins survive on the south-west corner. There is a large, partially bricked-up two-light window with large, moulded stone mullions and transoms in the west elevation. This has a single hung casement in the top left-hand corner of the window. The two small openings to the upper right have iron bars fitted, which may be original features as the other openings exhibit evidence of bars that have been removed. Much of this elevation is C16 in date.
The southern gable has a largely bricked-up window opening with stone mullions and transoms; only a small single pane in the top left corner remains glazed. A vertical join is visible immediately to the east of the window, from roof to ground level, east of which there is no plinth. This defines the extent of the surviving Tudor fabric, with the remainder of this elevation and the east elevation being a later addition. Archaeological investigations in advance of a planning application have revealed the continuation of the Tudor wall footings beneath the farmyard and provide supporting evidence of the original plan form of the Tudor hall.
East /West wing:
The former porch has a brick floor, which judging from the bricks is not original. A wooden bench runs along both the east and west walls. Iron hinge pins and an iron latch survive on the south elevation suggesting a door was fitted to the exterior of the stone arch.
The interior of the remainder of the wing is divided into two discrete areas; the wooden door on the southern elevation leads into a small room which now houses a boiler or water tank. At first-floor level a blocked mullioned and transom window survives in its entirety, all but the glazing. This window is evident on Nichols illustration of 1792, and what is now inside the farm storage building would have been part of the northern external elevation of the Tudor hall.
In the western end of this wing a doorway in the northern elevation leads to a small lobby containing an electric engine with a drive shaft extending through an opening in the north elevation. Brickwork directly below the window suggests that it was originally an open bay to the north that has since been blocked.
On the ground floor of the southern end of this wing, two large beams run east to west supporting the exposed joists of the first floor; both beams display numerous notches indicating they have been reused. In the north-west corner of the room is a small brick fireplace with a square flue extending to the first floor, here it is replaced with a circular brick flue, which appears to terminate at the roof line as no stack is visible above. This is a later addition to the original Tudor structure. Adjacent to the fireplace, in the north elevation, is a slightly recessed blocked opening; this is partially rendered and obscured but appears to have a moulded stone frame and probably represents an in-situ blocked doorway. Another bricked-up window with a wooden lintel is situated directly north of the current doorway. There is a stone mullion visible beneath the render on the left side of the window, and this again may represent an original feature.
On the first floor a wooden tie beam runs east to west, with two supporting vertical posts. Notches in these posts and beams suggest they have been reused. These together with a surviving partition wall that extends north along the east side of the building probably form the frame of a former partition wall, enclosing the north-west portion of the room. Over the south window an ornamental segmental arch is visible beneath the render. This is not visible externally and is probably a later addition. Much of the roof structure is concealed beneath a ceiling of rendered wooden laths, although the visible elements indicate that the roof structure does not relate to the Tudor phases of the building.
In the central block of the north to south wing a brick buttress with bullnose bricks on the west elevation provides support for the main beam on which the floor joists of the first floor rest. Brick partitions divide the ground floor space to form an access lobby to the first floor and another room to the south of the staircase. There is a wooden lintel in the south elevation that corresponds to the bricked-up opening visible in the opposing wall. On the first floor there is a chimney breast in the north wall with an off-centre fireplace, cast iron grate, wooden surround and mantel piece.
The single-storey stable on the northern end of this wing has an original brick floor, with a feeding trough and hay rack on the southern elevation.
A settlement at Knaptoft was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The parish church was first documented in 1143 and a survey of 1301 records a manor house with gardens and fish ponds although this may not have been on the current site. The Turpin family acquired the manor in the late C15 and it was enclosed by 1507; by 1524 there was only the lord of the manor and five agricultural labourers resident in the village. It is believed the hall was built between 1525 and 1530.
At least parts of the Tudor hall appear to have remained in occupation well into the C19 although elements were converted to farm buildings during this time. A new farmhouse and a three-sided range of farm buildings were built on the site in 1843, and probably resulted in the demolition of much of the Tudor hall, with some brickwork being reused. The current farmhouse, built in 1931, replaced that built in 1843, and in 1967 further farm buildings were demolished. That left an east-west range connected to the former Tudor porch and a two-storey barn with hit-and-miss brick ventilators which were later blocked.
Tradition suggests that the Tudor manor and the church were destroyed by Cromwell's troops in 1645 following the battle of Naseby. However, an illustration by John Nichols in 1792 shows the manor house as largely complete and depicts elements which survive today.
The remains of Knaptoft Hall, a C16 Country House incorporated into a farmhouse and range of farm storage buildings in c1843, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as a significant proportion of a C16 country house which displays craftsmanship of a high order;
* Historic interest: in the contribution the hall makes to the understanding of the continuity and change in the evolution of Knaptoft, as a medieval settlement, manorial complex and subsequently as a country house later integrated into farm buildings;
* Group value: the remains of Knaptoft Hall hold a very strong group value with the ruins of the C13 parish church, listed at Grade II (NHLE 1061481) and the garden earthworks, fishponds and medieval settlement remains which surround the hall to the south and east and are currently scheduled (NHLE 1008817).
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