Reasons for Designation
A medieval rectory was the official residence of a clergyman or rector who was
the cleric in charge of a parish, college, religious house or congregation.
The main components of a medieval rectory provided facilities for dwelling and
would have included domestic ranges, some of which may have been grouped
around a courtyard and may have contained offices and guest rooms, ancillary
outbuildings for agricultural use and storage, a precinct wall and a
gatehouse. Foundation dates and sequences of occupation are usually
established through documentary sources, stylistic dating of worked stone or
other archaeological techniques. Medieval rectories contribute to our
understanding of the organisation of the medieval church. Their buildings
often include decoration and details which assist analysis and study of
changes in church architecture. All surviving examples retaining significant
medieval remains will be identified as nationally important.
Warton Old Rectory remains largely unencumbered by modern development and
contains upstanding 13th/14th century masonry. Further buried remains of the
back court, outer kitchen and well will exist to the north of the upstanding
The monument is Warton Old Rectory, located 60m east of St Oswald's Church,
Warton. It includes well preserved upstanding ruins of the late
13th/early 14th century great hall, with service rooms and a first
floor at the north end, together with foundations of buildings and a porch to
the east of the main building, and buried remains of a back court to the north
of the main building.
The Old Rectory is constructed of limestone rubble with sandstone dressings.
The main building has gable ends surviving to full height and other walls
surviving to roughly first floor level. The focus of the rectory was the great
hall which lay at the south end of the complex. It measures c.13.5m by 7.9m
internally. It was a large room open to the roof, probably with a central
hearth and smoke escaping through a louvred vent in the ceiling. It was lit by
an oval decorated window in the end gable. It had a raised platform or dias
at the south end and could be entered directly through an external door near
the south western corner. At the northern end of the great hall was a cross
passage which could be entered at either end through external doorways. The
eastern door of the cross passage originally had an attached porch and is
thought to have been the major doorway providing access into the rectory.
Originally the cross passage would have been separated from the great hall by
wooden screens; these no longer survive.
North of the cross passage is a stone wall with three pointed arched doorways.
That to the west led to a buttery, which was lit by a narrow window in the
north gable wall, and that to the east led to a pantry, which was similarly
lit but also has a square window in the east wall. The central doorway led to
another passageway which provided access out of the main building at the north
end. Timber partitions, which no longer survive, would have separated the
central passageway from the rooms on either side. This northern end of the
building was two-storey; access to the upper storey is thought to have been
provided by a stairway located adjacent to the cross passage. There is
evidence that the upper room, which was a solar or drawing room, had an inner
chamber with a garderobe opening off it. The fireplace which warmed this room
survives in the north gable wall.
To the north of the pantry and buttery lay a back courtyard which is thought
to have contained a well and an external kitchen. Access to this back
courtyard was through a pointed arched doorway in the north gable wall. To the
east of the pantry, adjoining the rectory, are wall foundations indicating
that additional buildings and rooms were originally located here; at present
their function is uncertain.
The monument is in the guardianship of the Secretary of State and is a Listed
Building grade I.
All walls, fences and paths are excluded from the scheduling but the ground
beneath these features is included.
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.