Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Alberbury with Cardeston
National Grid Reference:
SJ 37894 12739


SJ 3612-3712 ALBERBURY WITH ROWTON CARDESTON C.P. 14/47 Rowton Castle and 29.1.52 attached stable courtyard (formerly listed as Rowton Castle and gateway)


Country house. Circa 1700, for Richard Lyster, on site of medieval castle destroyed in 1482, altered and extended in 1809-12 by George Wyatt (1782-1856) for Col. Richard Lyster and further altered and extended in 1824-28 for Henry Lyster and his wife Lady Charlotte Ashley Cooper. Coursed Alberbury breccia rubble with grey sandstone ashlar dressings; hipped slate roof. 5-bay C17 house, north-west front remodelled and north-east wing added in 1809-12, south-east (entrance) front remodelled and porch added, north-east wing extended to south-east, large circular tower added to south-west and service buildings added 1824-28; remodellings in a Tudor Gothic style. Basement, 2 storeys and attic, and 3 storeys. South-east (entrance)front: chamfered plinth, cornice,and coped parapet; 2 gabled dormers with 4-centred 2-light casements; pairs of brick ridge stacks on rear range off-centre to left and right, each with 5 octagonal brick shafts and external brick end stack to left. Central block of 1:3:1 bays; wooden cross-casements with chamfered reveals and returned hoodmoulds; central 3-storey break (1824-28) with trefoil-headed panelled buttresses, first-floor cill string, cornice to battlemented parapet, and brick end stacks, each with 5 octagonal brick shafts; central second-floor window with 2 four-centred lights, Y-tracery, chamfered reveals, and returned hoodmould; first-floor canted bay window with 1:4:1 four-centred arched lights, frieze with plain shields, string courses, battlemented parapet, and flanking lancets with cinquefoil heads and hoodmoulds with uncarved stops; 3 steps up to deeply recessed 4-centred moulded arch with pair of nail-studded boarded doors, trefoil-panelled spandrels, flanking trefoil-panelled buttresses, moulded cornice, and pierced parapet with plain shields. Octagonal tower to left with chamfered one-light openings, and slit opening in battlemented parapet. Projecting gabled wing (1824-28) to right with plinth, cornice and parapet,and octagonal corner turrets with chamfered offsets, string course, corbelled-out battlemented parapet and slit openings on each floor; 2-light attic casement and first-floor cross-casement, both with returned hoodmoulds, 4-centred arched ground-floor window consisting of 2 four-centred arched lights with glazing bars, cusped panelled tracery, and returned hoodmould. Right-hand return front: 3 bays to left with gabled dormers, first-floor cross-windows, and 4-centred arched ground- floor windows consisting of 2 four-centred arched lights with glazing bars, cusped panelled tracery, and returned hoodmoulds; 3-storey square tower (Wyatt) to right with battlemented parapet, 2 second-floor 2-light casements with hoodmoulds, and 2-storey canted bay with first-floor mullioned windows, those to sides blind, and ground-floor tripartite, glazing bar sash with flanking blind windows (evidence of probable intention to have ground-floor mullioned windows too - see mullion stubs). Rear: 1:3:1 bays, central full-height half-octagonal bay; 3-bay ashlar loggia to left with moulded Tudor-arches,plain shields in spandrels, and pierced battlemented parapet; 3-storey 2-bay square tower to left with first- and second-floor casements and ground-floor glazing bar sashes; large circular tower to right with brick dressings, corbelled-out battlemented parapet and irregularly placed cross-windows and narrow slit openings. 2-storey service block to south-west; red brick dressings; cornice and stepped parapet, and projecting square corner towers with plinths, corbelled-out battlemented parapets and slit openings; 4-bay centre, 4-pane sashes with chamfered reveals; porch to left with chamfered entrance, flanking buttresses, and corbelled-out battlemented parapet. Lead downpipes and rainwater heads throughout. Stable courtyard: coursed Alberbury breccia with red sandstone ashlar dressings and grey sandstone ashlar chamfered coping; 2 sides of a square with gatehouse to south-west; 2 square turrets in south-east range with string courses, battlemented parapets and slit openings flanking blocked former depressed-arched carriageway, now with inserted reused C13 doorway consisting of moulded arch, hoodmould with carved stops, and nail-studded boarded door with strap hinges possibly introduced from White Abbey (qv) or Alberbury Castle (qv); gatehouse in south-west range with corbelled- out battlemented parapet, central depressed-archway with hoodmould, pair of nail-studded doors with strap hinges, and flanking rectangular windows with chamfered reveals and returned hoodmoulds; flight of 15 stone steps adjoining the south-east range with trefoil-arcaded balustrade, chamfered coping, and trefoil-panelled piers with urns. Interior: mainly late C17 and early C18, and early C19. Hall; early C18 fittings including bolection-moulded panelling with dado rail, fireplace with bolection-moulded surround and panel above with flanking pilasters, doors with 8 raised and fielded panels, panelled window shutters and probably early C19 plaster dentil cornice and wreathed ceiling rose; left-hand ground-floor room with early C18 fittings including bolection- moulded panelling, dado rail, moulded cornice, and bolection-moulded fireplace surround; ground-floor corridor with C18 bolection-moulded panelling too; ground-floor left-hand rear room with C19 panelling and C17 fireplace, heavily carved with foliage trails; pair of dragons in frieze, guilloche-decorated band, carved cornice and triangular pediment with pair of trumpet-blowing figures in the tympanum; ground-floor right-hand rear room: saloon by Wyatt with curved corners, moulded plinth, enriched dado, plaster panels with reeded surrounds, acanthus-enriched cornice, enriched soffit with paterae and Tudor flower, plaster ceiling rose, door architraves with bay-leaf ornament and corner paterae, panelled window architraves, and 3-bay screen to central ground-floor rear room with Ionic columns, entablature and segmental recess above; panelled sliding doors to central ground-floor rear room, also probably decorated by Wyatt with enriched frieze and Tudor flower ornament; staircase hall by Wyatt: acanthus frieze to ground and first floors, 4-flight rectangular- well staircase with partial cantilevering, open string, cast iron square- section balusters, ramped moulded handrail, and wreathed newel post with curtail; reused probably late C16 panelling in lobby with square-in-square motif and carved foliage trails; ground-floor right-hand front room (probably 1824-28) in a Gothic revival style with marble fireplace consisting of depressed moulded arch with trefoil-panelled spandrels, flanking twisted shafts and frieze with shields and Tudor- flower ornament, and Gothic panelled doors, including pair of large doors to saloon with flanking Tudor-arched recesses, heavy Tudor-arched pelments with pendants and battlementing; service wing has C19 C17-style panelling with fluted arches above, and C17-style staircase with alternating turned and twisted balusters, moulded handrail, and carved square newel posts; C19 C17-style back staircase with alternating turned and twisted balusters, moulded handrail, and carved square newel posts; central first-floor room with re-ordered C18 bolection-moulded dado panelling, and C17 fireplace heavily carved with foliage trails, pair of dragons in frieze and guilloche-enriched cornice. Detached service block (qv) to north-west. The castle is an interesting example of how an early C19 architect like George Wyatt (son of Charles) conceived classical interiors for a Gothic building. The designs were exhibited at the R.A. in 1809 "as about to be carried out"and in 1812 as "lately executed". V.C.H., Vol VIII (1968), pp. 201-2; B.O.E., p. 236; Colvin, p. 939; Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses, Vol II, Hereford, Shropshire, Warwicks and Worcester, Ed. Peter Reid, p. 111.

Listing NGR: SJ3789412739


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

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Books and journals
Colvin, H M, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, (1978), 939
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Shropshire, (1908), 201-2
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Shropshire, (1958), 236
Reid, P, 'Burkes and Savills Guide to Country Houses' in Herefordshire Shropshire Warwickshire Worcestershire, (1980), 111


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

End of official listing

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