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Listed Building record MDR5559 - Elvaston Castle, Elvaston

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

[SK 4077 3300] Elvaston Castle [TI] (1) Part of the original house remains and is dated 1633. It was rebuilt in 1817. (2) Authority 2 confirmed. The south face of the east wing stands to its original height. Unoccupied. See GP AO/66/187/ (3) Elvaston Castle. Country house, now part of country park [see SMR 19723]. 1633 and early 18th cent, with major refashioning in Tudor style by James Wyatt of c.1817, completed after his death by Walker, and east front of c.1830 to 1840, probably designed by L N Cottingham, plus 20th century alterations, including demolition of the north-west wing in 1970. Built for the Earls of Harrington. Grade II*. (4) Grounds dating to c. 1850, house from the 17th to 19th centuries. (5) Elvaston manor came into the hands of Geoffrey Alselin after the Norman Conquest. The estate then passed into the hands of the Bardolph family, who held it until it was forfeited to the crown early in the reign of Henry VI. By the mid-15th century the estate was in the possession of the Blount family, Lords Mountjoy, who appear to have had a substantial, well-furnished manor house. In the first half of the 16th century the house was sold by the 6th Lord Mountjoy to Sir Michael Stanhope. This family then owned and developed the property until its sale in the 1960s. Elvaston Castle today (2002) still displays a few features which suggest the probable presence of a high quality house of Tudor date and these might possibly be associated with the access of the Stanhopes. It appears that the old house was rebuilt, at least in part, in the early 1630s by Sir John Stanhope, and recent assessment of the Castle has demonstrated that considerably more of a 17th century core remains than had previously been thought. For example, 17th century features include the east wing, which is constructed of brick and contains contemporary oak panelling. There is a date stone of 1633 on the south-east corner bay window. Parts of the north range are also 17th century. In 1692 an inventory of the house was made which reveals the number and names of rooms in the manor house, including for example the Great Parlour, Hall, Drawing Room, Dining Room, Gallery, Study, Nursery and a number of 'chambers', often described by colour. In the early 18th century, work was carried out on the church and the gardens and it seems likely that some work was done to the house also. Recent survey shows that there was a considerable amount of refashioning in the 18th century, some of which has survived. For example, early 18th century work is seen externally on the north wing and there may have been some 18th century remodelling of the east wing. 18th century brickwork in many areas suggests considerable new building work beyond the east wing also, but the plan and extent is difficult to determine as so much 19th century plasterwork overlays these areas. The early part of the 19th century saw the greatest changes, which survive today. In 1815 James Wyatt undertook a major remodelling and extension of the house, although he died before the work was begun and it had to be supervised by his student Robert Walker. From the mid 1830s there was further work to the house, probably by Cottingham, including the remodelling of the east wing. There is a considerable degree of uncertainty about the sequence of building works in the 19th century, however. It is usually assumed that there was a simple progression, from Wyatt to Cottingham, but careful analysis has demonstrated that there is no such clarity. The main changes of the 20th century were the demolition of the north-west water tower and link buildings and the rebuilding of the north side of the courtyard in the 1970s. (6) Vernacular east wing dated to 1633, part of the larger 19th century mansion. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1956. OS 6", 1956.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1953. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, 1st edition. p 133.
  • <3> Personal Observation: F1 FDC 05-JAN-67.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: DOE (HHR) Dist of South Derbyshire Derby 11 Mar 1987 13-14.
  • <5> Index: TPAT. 2367. 2367.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Hilary Taylor Landscape Associates Ltd.. 2003. Elvaston Castle and Courtyard Buildings Conservation Plan.
  • <7> Index: Evans, R. 1976. Some dated vernacular buildings in Derbyshire.



Grid reference Centred SK 4078 3300 (47m by 39m) Centre

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR2621
  • EDR813

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Record last edited

Jan 26 2024 11:25PM

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