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© Mr Bob Cottrell ARPS AFIAP DPAGB

IoE Number: 109907
Photographer: Mr Bob Cottrell ARPS AFIAP DPAGB
Date Photographed: 07 June 2004
Date listed: 10 May 1967
Date of last amendment: 10 May 1967
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

BRANCEPETHNORTH DRIVENZ 2237(South side, off)Brancepeth Park15/26Brancepeth Castle

BRANCEPETH NORTH DRIVE NZ 2237 (South side, off) Brancepeth Park 15/26 Brancepeth Castle 10/5/67 GV I Castle. First mentioned 1216; rebuilt c.1398 for Ralph Neville; extensive rebuilding c:1818-21 by John Patterson for Matthew Russell; internal alterations 1829 and 1864-75 by Anthony Salvin. Dressed medieval masonry and early C19 diagonally-tooled ashlar. Lead-sheathed and felted roofs. Large irregular circular courtyard enclosed by curtain wall and ranges of buildings. Projecting towers and linking ranges described in clockwise direction: gatehouse at north-east;Westmorland tower at east; Constable tower at south-east; L-plan range on south and west including Neville and Bulmer towers near south-west corner; north section of curtain wall, with 2 watch towers, returning to gatehouse. The 4 above-named towers, an un-named tower in angle between Neville and Bulmer towers, and considerable sections of the curtain wall are medieval. The remainder, including gatehouse and ranges on inside of curtain wall, is early C19 in a mix of Norman and Gothic styles. C19 windows, except where noted, are mainly round-arched or of several lights under hoodmoulds. Restored continuous battlements, some sections corbelled out. The 2- and 3- storey, rectangular-plan medieval towers have offset stages and diagonal buttresses surmounted by turrets. Constable and Westmorland towers are lower and were altered in early C19. Late C15 2-light window and C17 cross window on tower in angle between Neville and Bulmer towers. North section of curtain wall has parapet walk and 2 square-plan, battlemented watch towers at angles; north-west tower rebuilt in C19. Massive 3-storey gatehouse has archway flanked by battered round towers. Early C19 tower on south and Hamilton tower on west in similar style to medieval towers. Linking 3- and 4-storey ranges on south, west and inside of curtain wall also similar. Tall narrow Flagstaff tower above porte-cochere, facing gatehouse on inside of courtyard, was heightened c.1870. Low-pitched roofs hidden by battlements. Interior. Neville and Bulmer towers have tunnel-vaulted basements (round- arched and pointed) and groin-vaulted principal chambers above. Early C19 main rooms have Neo-Norman decoration. Entrance Hall has ornate plaster imitation of a medieval timber roof. Huge semi-octagonal staircase hall has cantilevered staircase, starting in one flight and returning in two, and ribbed domed ceiling with central skylight. 6-bay Armour Gallery with quadripartite rib vaults. Chapel in Westmorland Tower was reconstructed in Gothic style in mid C19 (possibly by Salvin) and has vaulted wood roof and elaborate decoration, mosaics, reredos and triforium at west end. Early C19 painted glass in neo-Norman style, in vestibule of Armour Gallery, depicts an Earl of Westmorland and his wife (a similar fragment depicting the Battle of Neville's Cross and now in storage was designed by Charles Muss and probably made by William Collins of the Strand). Tall single-storey mid C20 rendered addition on south outer face of curtain wall, to west of Constable tower, is not of interest. (E.W. Short, The Story of Brancepeth Castle, 1.942). (N. Pevsner rev. E. Williamson, The Buildings of England - County Durham, 2nd edition 1983).

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