Building record MDR4207 - North Lees Hall, Birley Lane, Outseats

Type and Period (2)

  • (Elizabethan - 1560 AD to 1599 AD)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1800 AD to 1899 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The Hall, which is in fair condition and unoccupied, is structurally consistent with a late 16th century date. The adjoining farmhouse is 19th century. See ground photographs. (1) North Lees Hall is an interesting example of a tower house, uncommon in these parts. Mainly 16th century with later alterations it is possible that the core is earlier. A three-storey stone building on a basement with stone-mullioned windows and embattled parapet. Remains of elaborate plaster decoration (restored in the 1960's) and panelling in various rooms. Moulded string courses, stone stacks and transomed windows. A two-storey wing on the right is of ordinary domestic character. Listed building, Grade I. Associated with probable 17th century two-storey stone barns with stone slates and coped gables to the north of North Lees Hall (see SMR 11366). (2) This building is now in good condition and in use as a hostel. See ground photographs. (3) North Lees is an impressive, small, towering manor-house. The front belongs to the late 16th century but the four-storey tower to the rear is probably older. The elaborate plaster work in the main rooms was restored in 1965 and one room contains the date 1594. The house was occupied by Richard Fenton, a recusant, in 1580. The attached two-storey wing is later. North Lees was the "Marsh End" of "Moor House" mentioned in Jane Eyre. (4) This building is a tower house with a lower attached domestic range. It is late 16th century in date, with some 19th century refashioning, and restored in 1965. It is built of coursed rubble gritstone, rising from a chamfered plinth, with quoins, embattled ashlar parapet with moulded merlons, and formerly with a lead roof, now with an asphalt covering. The tower house incorporates a taller stair tower to northeast corner, to which is attached a domestic two-storey range to the northeast. The southeast elevation of the tower house is of three storeys and parapet above a basement. It has stacked six-light recessed hollow chamfer mullioned and transomed windows, the one to the first floor beneath a hoodmould with stops, and those to the ground and second floors beneath continuous dripmoulds. There are 20th century casements, with those to ground floor openings with diamond leaded lights to upper parts. The taller stair tower projects slightly to the rear of the main tower, with single lights within chamfered surrounds to light the staircase half landings. The northwest elevation has a projecting stack carried on corbels at the height of the first floor window heads, and a wide doorway to the ground floor with deep chamfers to jambs and lintel. The southwest elevation has four four-light hollow chamfer mullioned openings to north west end, and three three-light hollow chamfer mullioned and transomed windows to southeast, indicating a change in floor levels in the rear part of the tower. A full height stack projects between the windows, now truncated at parapet level, but with a base for diagonal stone chimneys. A domestic range adjoins the stair tower, and is possibly a later and lower rebuilding of an earlier range. This range has a stone-slated roof with intermediate and end stacks, and coped gables with moulded kneelers. It is two storeys high, and is of three bays, with an advanced gabled range off-centre, to the northeast of the doorway, which has a moulded surround with a plain planked door. There are three-light chamfer mullioned windows above the doorways with casements. A former 19th century three-light mullioned and transomed window is situated in the gabled range, now with the lower part replaced by 20th century joinery. There is a 20th century casement to the opening with a heavy lintel to northeast end. Inside, the tower is served by an oak newel stair, and has moulded stone doorcases leading into the principal rooms. The ground and first floor rooms have moulded plaster ceilings which, together with the rest of the interior, were extensively restored in 1965. The ground floor plaster work is dated 1594, with a moulded frieze and a moulded soffit to the main spine beam. The first floor plaster work is more elaborate, with moulded ceiling panels, as well as a frieze, and spine beam soffit. Both ground and first floor rooms have moulded stone surrounds to the hearths and Tudor arched heads, and carved chamfer stops to the jambs. (5) Photographic record. (10)

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: F1 RWE 06-FEB-62.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: DOE (HHR) Bakewell RD July 1963 44.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: F2 JB 29-SEP-65.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. p 291.
  • <5> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. List entry number 1247837, UID: 81224.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Bunter, B. 1970. Cruck Buildings. p 40.
  • <7> Article in serial: Bemrose, W. 1868-1869. 'North Lees Hall, Derbyshire, and the family of Eyre, to whom it belonged', The Reliquary. Volume 9, pp 201-206.
  • <8> Article in serial: HAS. 1914-18. Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society 1914. Volume 1. p 263.
  • <9> Index: NDAT. 1655. 1655.
  • <10> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 11318.1.



Grid reference Centred SK 2353 8344 (18m by 21m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR838
  • EDR1495
  • EDR3823

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Record last edited

Jan 29 2018 2:59PM

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