Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

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

Eden (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NY 60794 28260



155/18/85 B6412 27-DEC-67 (West side) Millrigg and dwelling adjoining to nor th west (Formerly listed as: B6412 Millrigg)

II* House, dated 1597 for Henry and Bridget Birbeck in a panel to the gable of the rear wing and 1597 for John Dalston, who bought the house in the same year, on the lintel of the rear wing's east door. Also dated 1669 on the probably reset panel with the Dalston Arms in the hood mould of the same door. The house retains an older core and later additions.

MATERIALS: coursed rubble red sandstone with quoins and a graduated slate roof with stone copings and end stacks.

PLAN: L-shape plan; the north west range was formerly single storey and the north east range was extended to the east by two bays in the C19. The floor plan retains evidence of an earlier core, possibly of longhouse form.

EXTERIOR: Garden (south east) Elevation: the original building has two bays and two storeys with a gabled rear wing and a projecting angle stair turret. There are two modern roof lights and a single original 2-light mullioned ground floor window; the outer bays have French windows with replacement sashes above including a Yorkshire sliding sash; all windows have hood moulds, several of which have been recently restored. The gabled rear wing has an original 2-light mullioned window below a dated panel which reads: `1597 H.B. B.B'. The stair turret has a single small window opening and the main entrance has a 4-centred arch with a dated door lintel which reads: `I D 1597' with a central carved pentagram under a decorated hood mould. Above this is a square panel bearing the Dalton Coat of Arms dated 1669 with a raised and decorated surround. The C19 2 bay, 2 storey extension to the east has a single roof light and a French door to the ground floor.

Left Return: the stone gable end has a 3-light mullioned and a single square 1st floor window with 2 small single light openings to the attic floor. The lower parts of the gable are obscured by a C20 single storey lean-to, which is not of special interest, but which obscures an original external door and ground floor window openings. The rendered north west wing has 4 bays and 2 storeys and the remains of a substantial stone plinth at its south end.

Courtyard (north west) Elevation: the original 2-bay building has a door to the right inserted within an original window opening; there is a 2-light Mullioned window above, a second to the ground floor and a C19 sash has been inserted to the 1st floor left. All openings are under hood moulds, many of which have been restored. The C19 extension has a single sash window on the first floor with a large modern opening beneath.

Right Return: the 4 bay, 2 storey rendered west wing contains sash windows to the ground floor, including one unhorned, and has metal casements to the first floor.

INTERIOR: the ground floor contains two rooms of unequal size, separated by a cross passage with an original segmental headed doorway through the south wall; the west room contains a large inglenook with a 4-centred arch initialled I.D. which is separated from an L-shaped passage by oak-panelled partitions. The north passage has 2 doorways, the left-hand one with a segmental head and the other has a dated lintel of 1597 and the initials I.D. The east passage has two doorways; the left-hand one gives entry to the east room which has a C17 carved shouldered stone fireplace with floral decoration and the other opens into a semi circular stair turret. The latter has an original heavy boarded door with strap hinges and a 4-centred head. The newel stair within the turret rises to the first floor where there is a former dovecot in the rear gable; stone nest boxes are arranged around a square window opening. The first floor of the building has been partitioned; there is an original 2-light mullioned window in the gable end of the original building, visible from the inside of the eastern extension, which also has a contemporary stone chimney piece with a metal grate inset. There are carved stone fireplaces in each of the two original first floor rooms; that in the east room has a central keystone with floral decoration and that to the west room is an elaborate shouldered example with a decorative keystone. A newel stair within the wall rises from the 1st floor west room to the attic, which has queen strut roof trusses, one of which formed an original partition. The former north-west kitchen wing has been enlarged as a separate dwelling and was raised to create a second floor in the 1930s. Internal features in this part of the building include a C19 chimney piece and grate, a stone `inglenook' and a reset cupboard possibly a former spice cupboard.

HISTORY: This building may retain an earlier core. The present house is considered to be dated to 1597 and was constructed for Henry and Bridget Birkbeck; it was bought in the same year by John Dalston who had resided in Westmoreland since 1544 when the family bought nearby Acorn bank from the Crown. The original building was extended to the north east by two bays in the later C18 or early C19 century and the single storey west range was raised in height to provide a second storey in the mid 1930s. A C20 lean-to has been added to the west of the west range and further internal alterations have taken place during the 1990s.

SOURCES: N Pevsner The Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmoreland 115 1967 D Scott Millrigg Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society's Transactions, vol xxvii 1927 178-183.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: This C16 house is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* it is a substantially intact C16 stone built dwelling, which preserves its historic fabric and form

* the simple but evolved floor plan is easily readable and retains evidence of an earlier core, possibly of long house form

* it retains a number of early features of significant interest, including two newel staircases, a gabled tower used as a dovecote, numerous 4-centre arched stone doorways, an original C16 boarded door and oak panelled partitions.

* the house contains a varied collection of early carved stone fire surrounds throughout and these are of particular interest and form an important group

* it carries a date lintel over the doorway of 1597 which also records the initials of John Dalston, the owner

* it retains an intact and original Queen Strut roof structure with original carpentry

* early vernacular buildings in Cumbria are not common and this example contributes to regional distinctiveness


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

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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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Date: 22 Aug 2005
Reference: IOE01/14830/33
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Robert Bewley. Source Historic England Archive
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