Warton Old Rectory


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Lancaster (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 49910 72327

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 remains.


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.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Farrer, W, Brownbill, J, The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire, (1914), 155-8
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
SMR No. 2718, Lancs SMR, Warton Rectory, (1993)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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