Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Ordnance survey map of DRAYTON HOUSE
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Statutory Address:

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

East Northamptonshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 96299 80019


SP97NE, SP9680 6/63, 12/63 23/05/67



Country house. Late C13, early C14, mid/late C15, late C16, mid/late C17, early and late C18, late C19 and early C20. Works recorded by Isaac Rowe, John Webb, William Talman, Gerard Lanscroon, William Rhodes, Alexander Roos, George Devey and J.A. Gotch. Squared coursed limestone and limestone ashlar with lead and Collyweston slate roofs. Courtyard plan with additions. 2 and 3 storeys, parts with attics, and two 3-storey towers. South front, or entrance front, of 5 bays with square buttressed turrets, between bays. Centre bay breaks forward forming late C17 gatehouse probably by Isaac Rowe. Central arch-head doorway has rusticated surround and rectangular panel above. 2 bays flanking gatehouse are early C14 curtain walls. Second bay to right has one-window range to far right of stone mullion windows. Wall, gatehouse and turrets all have castellated parapets. Bays attached to far left and right are late Cl6, each of one-window range of 4-light stone mullion windows with transoms. Left bay has castellated parapet and right bay has gable. Shallow gabled lead roof of centre bays is not visible. East front to right of south front of 11 irregular bays with buttresses between centre and left bays and lateral stacks between bays to right. 4 bays to left are late C16 remodelled C18. 2 storeys, with a 7-window range of irregularly spaced sash windows, at first floor. All with glazing bars and moulded stone architraves; 2 windows to far left are blind. Stone mullion windows at ground floor. Adjacent 2 bays are probably C15 remodelled C18, 3 storeys with a 4-window range similar to the previous 4 bays. C16 centre tower of 3 storeys. 4 corner turrets, castellated parapet and early C18 cupola at north-west corner. Remaining 4 bays to right form north-east wing c.1584, probably by Thomas Thorpe. 3 storeys; 5-window range of stone mullion windows and large casement windows to second floor library. Bay to far right breaks forward with a small gablet over. Castellated parapet throughout range. Early C18 doorcase to right of centre tower is by Talman. Rusticated surround with keyblock, pulvinated frieze, segmental pediment and heraldic devices of the Duchess of Norfolk and Sir John Germain. Attached flight of steps with wrought-iron handrail, probably by J. Tijou. North front to right of east front, mid.C15, extended late Cl6 and remodelled C18. 9 bays including towers to far left and right. Centre range is 2 storeys; 3 bays of 3- and 4-light stone mullion windows with transoms. Central moulded stone doorcase by Talman. 2 bays to left and right are 3 storeys; 3-window range of sash windows similar to those on the east front. Castellated parapets throughout. Polygonal centre turret originally formed part of C15 porch to screens passage. Flanking tower to left is also centre tower of east front has has north-east wing breaking forward at right angles. Flanking tower to right is similar, rebuilt early C18 by Talman, with a blank elevation to the north front. Gable end of north-east wing has second-floor early C20 arch-head window by J.A. Gotch. Return wall of this wing is of 3 storeys; 6 irregular bays, with centre and left hand bays breaking forward. 2-, 3- and 4-light stone mullion windows with transoms. West front to right of north front of 7-window range with 5 tall sash windows and 2- and 3-light stone mullion windows. North-west tower, to right, has one cross casement to each floor. 3-window range, attached at right angles to right, of cross casements under gauged stone heads. North elevation of courtyard to rear of gatehouse of 5 bays. Gatehouse breaks forward to centre, similar to south front. Flanking 3-window ranges of tall casements with glazing bars at ground floor with square windows above; all with segmental heads and ashlar surrounds. South elevation of courtyard, to Great Hall and Dining room, was remodelled by Talman, and executed by Benjamin Jackson. c.1702. 7 bays. Central square-head doorway with French doors has moulded stone architraves, flanking ribbed Corinthian columns support cornice with entablature breaking forward above columns. Moulded keystone with flanking drapes. Trophy, of military devices, with recumbent lions, above cornice. Flanking 3-window ranges of tall sash windows, with glazing bars, moulded and eared architraves and low cills. Windows immediately to left and right of doorway have keyblocks and scroll pediments. Windows to centre of each range have triangular pediments and those to far left and right have segmental peidments; all have stepped keyblocks. Rectangular fielded panels above each window have central brackets with busts. Moulded cornice with fielded panelled parapet above. Gadrooned urns mounted on parapet between bays. Parapet of centre bay rises to form triangular pediment supported on pilasters with caryatids, central heraldic device representing Sir John Germain and the Duchess of Norfolk. Medieval gabled roof of hall is not visible. Central flight of steps has wrought iron handrail, probably by J. Tijou. Elevations of courtyard to left and right were also remodelled by Talman. 7-bay open loggias with Doric columns. Plain ashlar parapets above with urns mounted between bays. Central armorial devices. Rear walls of loggias have plain pilasters between bays, fielded panelling and arch-head niches flanking central doorways. C16 first floor, 4-window ranges, behind loggias of 3- and 4-light stone mullion windows with transoms. 3-storey, 2-window, ranges flanking south elevation, above loggias, are late C14 remodelled C18 with sash windows. Castellated parapets and polygonal turrets at corners. Interior: undercroft entered from north corner of east loggia is double aisled, with 4 bays of chamfered rib vaults, octagonal piers and polygonal responds. Originally late C13 solar undercroft. Great Hall to left of undercroft is medieval structure remodelled early C18 by Talman and decorated by Alexander Roos c.1850 to simulate marble. Ribbed Ionic pilasters, moulded cornice and coved ceiling. Marble fireplace. Dining room to left of Great Hall was originally medieval buttery and pantry. Remodelled c.1771/74 by William Rhodes possibly to design by William Chambers. Plasterwork wall panels, coved cornice with interlaced vine leaves and similar decoration to ceiling. Mid C19 centrepiece. Marble fireplace with ribbed columns. Range of 3 rooms facing north front were probably added late C16. The oak staircase to left of this range is probably late C16, rising around on square well. The stone staircase to the right of this range is early C18 by Talman, rising around a square well with a wrought-iron handrail, probably by J. Tijou. Walls painted c.1712 by G. Lanscroon in Baroque style. The walnut stair in the north-east tower is late C17 with cantilevered oak treads, rising around a circular well, with a turned walnut balustrade. The Green Drawing Room in the north-east wing remodelled c.1773 by W. Rhodes has ceiling with hexagonal coffering and moulded wood doorcases. Marble fireplace. The Blue Drawing Room, adjacent, has a bolection moulded fireplace with overmantle by John Webb. The State Bedroom, adjacent, was remodelled c.1653 by J. Webb. Bolection moulded fireplace has overmantle with scroll pediment and swags. Above this room is a priest's hole. Lacquer closet off State Bedroom has panels of Chinese Coromandel screen let into wall. The chapel to the south-east of the courtyard is said to have remains of a C18 interior. The Kings Dining Room, at first floor, was originally the medieval solar, remodelled late C17 with fielded pine panelling grained to represent chestnut. Ceiling with central wreath probably by Edward Goudge. Bolection moulded fireplace. Some first floor rooms of north-east wing have marble fireplaces and one first-floor room in the south-east wing is said to have C17 panelling. The library, originally the long gallery occupies the second floor of the north-east wing. Panelled walls and sloping ceilings with fitted bookcases, restored early C20. This wing has a vaulted cellar. The principal owners of Drayton responsible for building works were Sir Simon de Drayton who was licensed to crenellate in 1328; Sir Henry Greene, mid/late C15 ranges flanking the Great Hall range which included the Solar; The third Lord Mordaunt, late C16 work including the towers and north-east wing; the second Earl of Peterborough, mid/late C17 work including the gatehouse; the Duchess of Norfolk and Sir John Germain, early C18 work by Talman; Lord George Germain, late C18 internal remodelling; Stopford- Sackville family, C19 and early C20 work. (Gardens included in HBMCE Register of Parks and Gardens at grade I. Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, p.189; V.C.H.: Northamptonshire, Vol.3, p.231; Jackson-Stops, G, Drayton House, 1978; Cornforth, J, Country Life, 13th May 1965, p.1146-1150, 20th May 1965, p.1216-1229, 27th May 1965, p.1286-1289, 3rd June 1965, p.1346-1350).

Listing NGR: SP9629980019


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

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Books and journals
Jackson Stops, G, Drayton House, (1978)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, (1961), 189
Ryland, W, Adkins, D, Sejeantson, R, The Victoria History of the County of Northampton, (1930), 231
'Country Life' in 3 June, (1965), 1346-1350
'Country Life' in 13 May, (1965), 1146-1150
'Country Life' in 20 May, (1965), 1216-1229
'Country Life' in 27 May, (1965), 1286-1289
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 30 Northamptonshire,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

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