DURHAM AND FRAMWELLGATE PALACE GREEN
NZ 2742 SW (North side)
14/355 The Castle: west range
Castle kitchen and hall, with garden staircase and grand staircase. Now
college. C11 hall undercroft; late C13 hall for Bishop Bek, extended
southwards c.1350 for Bishop Hatfield. Kitchen and buttery remodelled for
Bishop Fox; hatch dated 1499; garden staircase in front of kitchen C13, with
later link to hall. Grand staircase wing at right added 1662 for Bishop
Cosin, who also added porch to hall. C19 restoration and alterations.
Coursed squared sandstone with ashlar dressings. Roofs not visible. Left
staircase block 3 storeys, 2 bays, with link of 2 low storeys and 2 bays in
hall. Hall has basement and one high storey (except in first bay which has
windows on 4 levels), 4 bays. Right staircase block, 4 storeys, 2 windows,
encloses north gallery, linking north and west ranges.
Garden staircase wing has chamfered Tudor-arched surround to central door,
and 2 segmental-headed lights in square-headed window, with label moulds.
Flat Tudor-arched door in set-back link under 2-light window and low gable.
Hall has 8 wide octagonal steps up to second-bay Ionic porch with paired
columns, dentil cornice and open segmental pediment; arms of Bishop Cosin
within. Leaf-carved tympanum on panelled pilasters. Hall bays defined by
4 octagonal turrets with ogee domes; central fleur-de-lis finials and outer
ball finials. Small round-headed windows in undercroft, with square-headed
door at left and shouldered-arched door at right. First bay 3-light window
below 2-storey oriel; single window above flanked by square-headed 2-light
windows, all with label moulds. Blank bay above porch contains arms of
Bishops Cosin and Hatfield, Archdeacon Westle and Dr. Robert Grey; 2 right
bays have tall Decorated 3-light windows; floor string. Battlemented parapet
on string. Extruded stair wing has square-headed windows with 2 segmental-
headed lights and label moulds. Canted corner has 2 panels with Cosin's arms,
Rainwater head dated 1662 on pipe with lugged fixings.
Interior: kitchen has wide fires with segmental moulded stone arches in
battlemented brick wall; pointed relieving arches of crossed soldier courses.
Rendered firehood has central brick buttress and stone corbelled shaft; imp
carved on corbel. Panelled wood ceiling. Norman arch in rear of one fire.
Studded buttery screen, with carved spandrels, dated and inscribed Est Deo
Gracia. Much original ironwork still in use. First bay of hall, containing
servants' hall, has one flight of closed-string stairs with moulded string and
grip handrail, chamfered square newels with ball finials, and balustrade of
flowing foliage on wavy rail carved to resemble a branch. 2-centred-arched
door in hall leads to original screens passage (now enclosed in porch): 2
deeply-moulded orders on detached shafts. Great hall has 2 round balconies
at south end on east and west walls; 2 C14 windows and C14 roof; C19 windows
otherwise, the northernmost with glass by Kempe. C19 wainscoting, south screen
and gallery. Right wing contains 'Black Staircase': of majestic proportions,
through 3 floors in square open well. It has moulded closed string and wide
grip handrail; richly-carved fruit and foliage swirls along the balustrade,
the well face with wreath-carved pulvinated frieze below the handrail. Well
face of string also enriched, as are the square newels, some with fruit-bowl
finials,straps and pendants gathered to a blackberry drop. Probably later
round wood columns support most newels. Similarly-carved dado; and doorcase
to Bishop's rooms on north landing, which has strap-bracketed beam.
Sources: V.C.H. 1928, reprint 1968; III, 64-91. Pevsner, revised Williamson,
Buildings of England: Durham 1983, 212-218.
Listing NGR: NZ2732042359