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Lulworth Castle

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Lulworth Castle

List entry Number: 1016069

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck

District Type: District Authority

Parish: East Lulworth

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Oct-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Apr-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22963

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Lulworth Castle represents an unusually large post medieval hunting lodge built to a compact plan. Despite later conversion into a residence, much of the structure escaped major modification or re-building. The design of the building reflects a contemporary taste for the use of `castle architecture' within unfortified residences during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. Lulworth Castle is, however, unusual in that it represents one of only five Elizabethan and Jacobean Houses known to possess a compact plan organised around a central core. The setting of Lulworth Castle is typical of early 17th century hunting lodges, which were often isolated within a prominent part of a deerpark. Hunting lodges were generally designed to entertain smaller numbers of people than earlier large houses and, their increasing popularity eventually contributed to a change in the lifestyle of the upper classes during the 17th century. From this time, high status residences were often located in isolation, often within parkland and the size of households generally became smaller. The design of later houses not built as lodges was also influenced by their former popularity. The significance of the traditional great hall diminished, while the presence of a tower or sizable flat roof at a high level became increasingly desirable. Lulworth Castle was originally designed as a high status retreat, and successive owners continued to enhance this status following the residential conversion. Although gutted by fire in 1929, Lulworth Castle survives as an upstanding structure. It has a largely undamaged vaulted basement and remains associated with the historical parkland in which it was set. The fire damage and subsequent weathering has removed much of the joinery and plasterwork from the walls. This has provided an unusual opportunity to study the bare fabric of a building of this type and a detailed archaeological survey has been possible. This has enabled a detailed analysis of the development of the building and has also advanced the techniques of consolidation and repairs conducted to the structure. In addition, considerable historical background is provided by the extensive documentation contained within the archive of records maintained by the Weld family. This includes private correspondance and official documents which provide an insight into life at the house, as well as detailing the expenditure for improvements and modifications to the building from 1641. Lulworth Castle forms a dominant feature of the local landscape and is associated with other historical features including the walled park, the gatehouses, and the adjacent Roman Catholic chapel (the first to be constructed after The Reformation) and the parish church both of which are set within the grounds of the park.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes an early post medieval hunting lodge and later residence known as Lulworth Castle situated on a gentle slope overlooking the South Dorset Ridge and Worbarrow Bay to the south. The building, which is Listed Grade II*, dates from the early 17th century and was designed by Thomas Howard, the third Lord Bindon of Bindon House, as a hunting lodge to serve the associated 1000 acre park which was licensed in 1605. Bindon was a courtier of King James I and it is likely that he would have intended to entertain the Royal court at the new retreat, which may have been deliberately located adjacent to the Royal Forest of Purbeck. The building is square in plan, comprising three storeys with a basement and a round four storey tower at each corner. The centre of the building forms a small rectangular tower and contains flues and chimneys in corner turrets and also provided access via a staircase onto the leaded roof. The outer walls of the building are faced with Purbeck and Portland limestone, the eastern frontage is faced with an ashlar dressing, while the remaining outer walls are faced with limestone rubble, with the core a mixture of chalk and limestone. The exterior of the building is thought to have been completed in 1609 and was always comparatively plain in style. The principal concern was to create a symmetrical effect, a factor reflected in the careful design and location of the windows, most of which include two four-centred arch lights contained within a square head. Additional external decoration such as the small triumphal arch motif and elaborate doorway situated on the eastern side of the house were added around 1700. Despite its appearance and layout, the building was not intended to hold any military significance. It became fashionable during the 17th century for features from archaic and contemporary defensive structures to be incorporated within domestic architecture. In this case, the four corner towers were designed as buttresses rather than to serve a defensive function. The castle proved to be of little strategic significance during the Civil War, although it was extensively pillaged and the lead removed from the roof. Completion of the interior of the building may have been hindered by a lack of finance throughout the earlier 17th century. Following Bindon's death in 1611, the site passed to the Earl of Suffolk, a favourite of the King. Suffolk was made the High Treasurer of England in 1614 and is known to have entertained James I at Lulworth Castle in 1615, although accusations of embezzlement in 1618 led to eventual loss of Royal favour. The first floor of the building is likely to have held greatest significance at this time, and historical sources suggest that the great chamber was dominated by a canopy for the chair of state. However, the upkeep of the house proved beyond the means of the Suffolk family and the second Earl of Suffolk died in 1640 leaving debts of 26,000 pounds. The estate was sold to Humphrey Weld the following year and, after Bindon House was destroyed by fire during the Civil War, Lulworth Castle became the principal seat of the estate. It is unlikely that the building had been occupied on a permanent basis previous to this time, as much of the interior had remained unfinished. A re-modelling of the interior was initiated under Edward Weld from the mid-18th century. Records and accounts suggest that this work continued under Edward Weld (junior) and Thomas Weld (senior) well into the later part of the century. The ground underlying the castle slopes towards the east, from where the main approach to the house was made. A wide terrace incorporating a podium was constructed in order to shield the kitchens and servants quarters housed within the basement from the view of visitors. The terrace was extended along the southern and northern sides by 1765 following the plan of the castle; it is enclosed by a stone balustrade which is carried on brick vaulting along the eastern side. The parkland surrounding the house was replaced by gardens following occupation by the Weld family; a plan of 1726 provides an indication of the intended form of these gardens. During 1773 the gardens were once again replaced by parkland and enclosed by a brick wall. This work involved the demolition of part of the adjacent village of East Lulworth. The boundary wall incorporated four gatehouses which regulated access into the park. These include the 17th century Park and Wareham Gate Lodges and the 18th century North Lodge and Clare Towers. The parkland surrounding the house is on the Register of parks and gardens, at Grade II. Lulworth Castle was gutted by fire in 1929: the interior was destroyed and, for some 50 years, the building remained completely un-roofed. The site passed into state care in 1983 from which time a programme of consolidation and repair work was undertaken by English Heritage. This included extensive survey and photographic recording prior to restoration work. Excluded from the scheduling are all modern fixtures and fittings, fence posts relating to modern boundaries, gates and notice boards, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 146
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 146
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 146
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 148
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 148
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 146
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 146
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 148
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 146
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 146
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 146
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 146
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 146
Jaggard, A, 'Archaeological Journal' in Lulworth Castle, , Vol. Vol 140, (1983), 46
Manco, J, Greenhalf, D, Girouard, M, 'Journal of Society of Architectural Historians' in Lulworth Castle in the seventeenth century, , Vol. Vol 33, (1991), 30
Manco, J, Greenhalf, D, Girouard, M, 'Journal of Society of Architectural Historians' in Lulworth Castle in the seventeenth century, , Vol. Vol 33, (1991), 30
Manco, J, Greenhalf, D, Girouard, M, 'Journal of Society of Architectural Historians' in Lulworth Castle in the seventeenth century, , Vol. Vol 33, (1991), 29
Manco, J, Greenhalf, D, Girouard, M, 'Journal of Society of Architectural Historians' in Lulworth Castle in the seventeenth century, , Vol. Vol 33, (1991), 29
Manco, J, Greenhalf, D, Girouard, M, 'Journal of Society of Architectural Historians' in Lulworth Castle in the seventeenth century, , Vol. Vol 33, (1991), 33-4
Manco, J, Greenhalf, D, Girouard, M, 'Journal of Society of Architectural Historians' in Lulworth Castle in the seventeenth century, , Vol. Vol 33, (1991), 30
Manco, J, Greenhalf, D, Girouard, M, 'Journal of Society of Architectural Historians' in Lulworth Castle in the seventeenth century, , Vol. Vol 33, (1991), 48
Manco, J, Greenhalf, D, Girouard, M, 'Journal of Society of Architectural Historians' in Lulworth Castle in the seventeenth century, , Vol. Vol 33, (1991), 32
Manco, J, Greenhalf, D, Girouard, M, 'Journal of Society of Architectural Historians' in Lulworth Castle in the seventeenth century, , Vol. Vol 33, (1991), 32
Manco, J, Greenhalf, D, Girouard, M, 'Journal of Society of Architectural Historians' in Lulworth Castle in the seventeenth century, , Vol. Vol 33, (1991), 47

National Grid Reference: SY 85333 82180

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2017 at 10:51:44.

End of official listing