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© Mr Bob Cottrell ARPS AFIAP DPAGB

IoE Number: 110020
Location: ELEMORE HALL SCHOOL AND DOORWAY AND ARCHWAY ATTACHED, ELEMORE LANE (south side)
  PITTINGTON, DURHAM, DURHAM
Photographer: Mr Bob Cottrell ARPS AFIAP DPAGB
Date Photographed: 03 April 2005
Date listed: 28 February 1952
Date of last amendment: 28 February 1952
Grade I

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PITTINGTONELEMORE LANENZ 34 SE(South side)8/29Elemore Hall28/2/52School and doorway

PITTINGTON ELEMORE LANE NZ 34 SE (South side) 8/29 Elemore Hall 28/2/52 School and doorway and archway attached GV I House, now local authority residential school, with doorway attached to north, and archway to north-east. 1749-1753 rebuilding (dated .. 50 on pediment) by Robert Shout of Helmsley (1734-97), with his brother John, for George Baker; on basement of C16 house built for Bertram Anderson, mayor and M.P. of Newcastle upon Tyne. Interior 1752 stucco by Jos. Cortese and P. Robinson. C16 rusticated ashlar basement; C18 tuck-pointed Flemish bond brick (some C20 patching on pointing) with Penshaw sandstone ashlar dressings and alternately-projecting quoins. Roof of graduated Lakeland slates with stone gable copings. E plan. Basement and 3 storeys of diminishing height; 7 bays, the 3-bay central projection and the wings (with 2-bay inner returns) all pedimented. 2-storey, 3-bay left extension links with doorway to former stable yard. Long central stone steps in 2 flights, the lower wider, have stone balustrades and scroll-buttressed panelled piers, the lowest pair with large acorn finials. Half-glazed double doors in lugged architrave with stepped key and pedimented Ionic Order with rusticated pilasters. Ground floor of each wing has front Venetian window opening onto balustraded stone balcony supported on 4 large scrolled brackets. Architraves to all windows, those over door and over Venetian windows lugged and keyed; all sashes, most with vertical glazing bars. Floor bands. Central top pediment of soft sandstone has eroded richly-carved coat of arms (Baker and Routh) with lion regardant supporters and lion rampant crest; of date 17..50 in lower angles only '50'survives. Roof has tall corniced stacks above eaves on returns and rear. Floor bands continue on inner returns of wings and on right return to garden, with addition of first-floor sill band; windows in similar style to those of front. Right return 5 bays, the outer 2 wider, has long flight of stone steps, with flat-coped dwarf walls swept out to square piers, in front of half-glazed door in pedimented rusticated surround; bracketed stone balconies to all ground-floor windows. Small central pediment above eaves cornice. Left extension of main elevation has blank ground floor, and 3 first-floor sashes under roof hipped at left; stable doorway adjoining has pedimented, keyed, rusticated surround. Left return of main building, within former stable yard, has chamfered stone surround to blocked Tudor-arched door at basement level, with 3 and 2 transom lights of 2 wholly-blocked stone-mullioned windows above; sashes with glazing bars inserted below these; similar sashes on upper floors, all in plain stone surrounds. Some small C20 additions. Rear stable yard entrance attached at right-angles to rear elevation of house, has high keyed round arch with alternately-projecting quoins and voussoirs. Interior: includes stucco roses and modillions by Peter Robinson; and ceiling decoration by Jos. Cortese (signatures). Front hall has part dado rail, stucco panelled ceiling and modillioned cornice; 6-panel door in pedimented lugged surround to large central room, now dining room. This has stucco dentilled cornice; fireplace removed from rear wall. Widened arch at right leads to smaller room whose rich stucco frieze has panels of thunderbolts, arrows, oak and laurel foliage, lyre and Pan pipes, crown and scroll, shield and spear, many of these symbols of Jupiter. Paired modillions over frieze support ceiling with central Cupid and Psyche among delicate floral trails. Panelled window shutters and soffits with Greek fret. Door at front wall of this room, now blocked, led to stair hall in right wing, which has open-well cantilevered stone stair to first floor, with narrow moulded handrail on iron balustrade of square-section rods, with corner and central panels of tied scrolls and water-leaves. Dado rail; 6-panel doors with ovolo surrounds to fielded panels; stucco ceiling decoration of central panel showing Jupiter in clouds, holding thunderbolt and wearing crown, with eagle. This has been said to be Neptune but has the characteristics of Jupiter, and given the association of Jupiter with the oak, and with hospitality, it is likely that these rooms in the grandest suite of the house are decorated with Jupiter in mind; Finely-moulded heads fill 4 corner panels of ceiling; delicate floral trails define spaces. Ground-floor room at front of right wing, entered from stair hall, has ceiling decorations of similar quality with vine trails; some accounts refer to this as 'dining room', which seems most likely; 'drawing room' may have been a change of function. Other rooms plainer, many with stucco cornices; many 6-panelled doors in architraves. Top floor has 2-panel doors with L hinges. Basement has 3 C16 chamfered-arched door surrounds; king-post roof with diagonal struts. Sources: Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic, University of Durham, Baker-Baker papers; John Gosden, 'Elemore Hall Transformed 1749-1753', in Transactions of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, new series 6, 1982, pp.31-35. C.H. Hunter Blair, 'The renaissance heraldry of the county palantine of Durham' in Archaeologia Aeliana, fourth series, XII, for 1935, pp.xvii-81. J. Lemprière, Classical Dictionary, 1788; 1984 facsimile of 1865 edition, p.340.

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