Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: I

List Entry Number: 1062823

Date first listed: 06-May-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Dec-1986



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

County: Lincolnshire

District: South Kesteven (District Authority)

Parish: Edenham

National Grid Reference: TF 04456 22778


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

Reasons for Designation

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


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


TF 02 SW, 6/115

EDENHAM, GRIMSTHORPE PARK, Grimsthorpe Castle and North Court

(formerly listed as 30,10.68 2 items)




Country house, incorporating remains of medieval castle. C13, possibly C14, largely rebuilt c.1541 by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, late C17 alterations by Second Earl of LIndsey, c.1723, north front by Sir John Vanbrugh for First Duke of Ancaster, alterations of 1756, 1811 alterations to west front by Page and Garling, C19, c.1900 alterations by Detmar Blow, C20 alterations and additions. Limestone ashlar, Collyweston and Welsh slate roofs. Quadrangular plan with angle towers. Numerous wall, gable and ridge ashlar stacks. 2 storey, 11 bay north front with 3 storey single bay flanking projecting angle towers. Plinth, first floor band. To either side of the centrepiece are rusticated paired Doric pillars supporting a triglyph frieze containing the Ancaster cannon, surmounted by a balustraded parapet with urns, having at the centre the Ancaster arms with life sized supporters, flanked by groups of classical statues on panelled bases. The towers have rusticated quoins, modillioned cornices surmounted by balustrades with urns at the corners. Central 8 panelled double doors having moulded stone surround with pediment and triglyph frieze flanked by triple windows. Beyond are single windows and in the flanking towers are further single windows, having rusticated surrounds with stepped keyblocks. To the first floor are 7 windows to the centre with single windows beyond and to the towers single Venetian windows with pulvinated frieze and dentillated cornice. The windows to the centre all have semi-circular heads and fixed glazing bar sashes with eared and shouldered pedimented stone architraves. The west front has at its south end the projecting early C13 King John's Tower, and at the north end are the 3 side bays of Vanburgh's north front corner tower, to the left of this is one of the C16 Charles Brandon lower 3 storey towers. Between the 2 towers are 5 C16 canted bay windows, rising through 2 storeys with embattled tops. The plain parapet and central elevated stack were added c,1900. The south front has to the left the 4 storey C16 tower, bearing a sundial and cartouche dated 1756. At the right hand end is King John's tower, and between the 2 are 8 gabled C16 bays, refenestrated mid C18 with glazing bar sashes, 3 stepped chimney stacks and much evidence of the original pattern of fenestration. The west front was largely remodelled c.1811 and incorporates at the left hand end the side of Vanburgh's north front and at the right hand end the Charles Brandon tower. Between the towers is a 3 storey 9 bay range, punctuated by 3 projecting C16 chimney stacks, the windows between are of 2 lights, glazing bar sashes, with 4 centred arched heads with drip moulds, in Neo Gothic style. North courtyard of flanking walls, corner towers, screen and pair of gates. c.1723, also by Sir John Vanbrugh. Ashlar and wrought iron. Coped side walls, each having 18 blank niches, with rusticated semi-circular arches, moulded imposts and stone seats. These are linked to square 2 storey angle towers, having plinth, rusticated quoins, moulded first floor band, balustraded parpaet with large circular finials. To the ground floor are single square windows with rusticated quoins and stepped keyblocks. To the first floor are single square fixed lights in eared and shouldered surrounds. These are linked by low ashlar walls with panelled piers supporting handsome wrought iron side screens to the central gate which is by Edward Nutt, consisting of 2 gates with scrolled mid rails and fleur de lys. To either side are pierced panels with scrolls and leaves, supporting single acanthus and an overthrow comprising the 3 cannons badge, with gilded supporters, a Ducal crown, all set in a gilded frieze. Interior. The 2 storey Great Hall, by Vanbrugh, has arcaded side walls, on the south wall the upper arches are painted in grisaille with 7 Kings of England by Sir James Thornhill. At each end are triple arched openings dividing the hall from the staircases at each end. The ceiling has oval recess, slightly domed with floriate centrepiece. The black and white marble floor reflects the pattern. The inner doorcase has fluted Doric piers with triglyph frieze and Willoughby head. The massive chimney piece has a square surround with blank panel over, flanked by Willoughby heads on ornate fluted bases and surmounted by a ducal coronet. The double stairs at each end have delicate wrought iron balustrades by Bell of Sheffield. The ceilings over the staircases are painted, on the west side by Sir James Thornhill and on the east by Franscesco Sleter. The east entrance hall is a tripartite vaulted space, by Vanbrugh, like an undercroft. To the east of the Hall, on the first floor, is the State Dining Room with fine painted ceiling, probably also by Francesco Sleter, and a beautiful fireplace, possibly by Sir Henry Cheere. The King James Dining Room has a complex scheme of decoration with fluted pilasters, semi-circular headed doorways with delicate plasterwork to walls and ceilings. The State Drawing Room has similar decoration, evidently the embellishment is drawn from different periods, with oval ceiling panel, ornate bay windows, and a further fireplace also be Cheere. The Tapestry Drawing Room, narrower and lower than the others, is possibly of C14 origin although the decorations are all C18 and C19. In King John's Tower is the Birdcage dressing room with paintings on the vault by Clement and Chinese wall paper. On the west side of the Hall is the Chapel, by Vanbrugh, with the lower part by Detmar Blow. In each wall are 3 shell headed niches, the windows have broken pediments with cartouches and fluted Corinthian pilasters to the upper stage. The elaborate pulpit is on a pedestal with panels and acanthus flourishes to the corners. The steps up have an ornate plaster balustrade. The fine ceiling with quatrefoil centre and decorated beams is featured in a book of William Kent designs. The Chinese Drawing Room has a coved ceiling with octagonal coffering and painting by Clermont. The woodwork is of black and gold fretwork with inset lacquer panels. The more domestic rooms of the south range include library and yellow drawing room, with full height C18 panelling and marble bolection moulded angle fireplaces. The doors along the long corridor are all panelled with semi-circular heads and keyblocks. History. The first castle was probably built by Gilbert de Gant, in early C13 and King John's Tower survives from this period. The Tenth Lord Willougby was granted the Castle in 1516. His daughter, Baroness Willoughby de Eresby inherited the estate and married her guardian, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. He pulled down the adjacent Vaudey Abbey after the Reformation, and used the materials to build, very rapidly, a courtyard house in 1540 in time for a visit by King Henry VIII in 1541. The next major phase of development was after the Restoration when Montagu, the Fourteenth Lord Willougby d'Eresby rebuilt the north front. Blocked cross mullioned windows on the south side of Vanbrugh's north front are all that remain of this phase. The early C18 redevelopment was commissioned by the First Duke of Ancaster in 1715 when Sir John Vanbrugh was asked to redesign the castle. Vanbrugh died before the work has completed and it is thought that Hawksmoor may have finished the work to the north front.

Listing NGR: TF0445622778


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

Legacy System number: 194089

Legacy System: LBS


Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 27 Lincolnshire,

End of official listing