Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of GILLING CASTLE
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Statutory Address:

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

North Yorkshire
Ryedale (District Authority)
Gilling East
National Grid Reference:
SE 61133 76794


GILLING EAST MAIN STREET SE 67 NW (west side, off)

6/38 Gilling Castle (previously listed as Gilling Castle and Stable 4.1.55 Block) I

Country house, now school. Tower house of late C14 with late C16 alterations possibly including the addition of wings, and extensive remodelling of west front and wings in C18. Tower house built for Sir Thomas Etton. Alterations of late C16 for Sir William Fairfax. Early C18 alterations by William Wakefield for 5th or 6th Viscount Fairfax. Limestone rubble and ashlar. U-shaped with rectangular central section flanked by wings running to west. East facade: tower house of 3 storeys and 4 bays with canted bay to left and staircase turret in third'bay with plinth and quoins. Blocked basket-arched door in angle of staircase turret which has 2-light square-headed double-chamfered mullion windows. First floor: double-chamfered mullion windows with 2 levels of transom and continuous hoodmoulds, of 9 lights to canted bay and 4 lights to second bay. Similar windows to second floor with single transom. Evidence of blocked fenestration to fourth bay. West front: 2 storeys and basement. 5-bay main range with projecting wings with ends emphasised by canted bays to-west front and return walls. Main range: basement has 6-pane sash to left and 6-fielded-panel door beneath divided overlight to right, flanking double- flight staircase to entrance with pair of keyed oculi beneath entrance. 2 bands, the upper one forming continuous sill to ground floor windows. Ground floor: half-glazed fielded-panel door beneath tall divided overlights in Gibbs surround with attached Ionic columns supporting plain pediment. Unequal 15-pane sashes in Gibbs surrounds. First floor: 6-pane sashes, that to centre in eared and shouldered architrave. Band carrying parapet with blind panels surmounted by 6 urns, articulating the bays. Similar details to wings. Interior: basement retains late C14 plan with central barrel- vaulted corridor and pointed doorways. East door, formerly external, carries 6 shields bearing Etton arms and retains a groove for a portcullis. The Great Chamber above is an impressive example of Elizabethan crafts- manship with marquetry panelling, painted frieze showing the arms of the gentlemen of Yorkshire, imposing carved 3-stage chimney piece bearing Fairfax achievement of arms and elaborate pendant boss ribbed plaster ceiling. Windows contain heraldic stained glass and are signed Bernard Dirickhoff, dated 1585. Other C16 features include a carved wooden chimney piece in the classroom to the right of the main entrance hall, and a massive queen-strut roof in the south wing suggesting an origin earlier than C18 for this part of the building. Of the C18 work the entrance hall and eastern rooms of the north wing probably date from about 1715 while the western rooms are probably about 20 years later. The Hall is Vanbrugian in character and is comparable with Beningborough and Duncombe. It is probably by William Thornton of York. To the centre of each wall are paired: Corinthian columns carrying arches except to the south where there is a chimneypiece. Elaborate plasterwork with swags and shell motifs by Cortese. Stair hall containing open string staircase with elaborately carved balusters. Room to north of Great Chamber has corner chimneypiece characteristic of early C18 and paralleled at Beningborough. The rest of the interior decoration of the north wing is of the later date with fine moulded wainscots, enriched ceiling friezes and carved wooden fireplaces and overdoors. The original interior of the long gallery of the same date was removed and sold in 1929 and the room now contains panelling by Thompson of Kilburn. The south-west drawing room has a fine carved chimneypiece and a western recess frame by an Ionic twin-columned recess. Anon "Gilling Castle" n.d. Guide Book. J. Bilson "Gilling Castle" in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Volume 19. Anon "Gilling Castle" Country Life, Sep 28, 1908. National Trust "Beningborough Hall" 1980 Guide Book. Pevsner N. "Yorkshire: the North Riding" 1966. Tipping and Hussey "Gilling Castle" in English Homes Period IV" Volume II 1928.

Listing NGR: SE6113376794


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

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Books and journals
Beningborough Hall, (1980)
Gilling Castle Guide Book
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: The North Riding, (1966)
'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 19, (1907), 329
'Country Life' in 28 September, (1908)
Tipping, , Hussey, , 'English Homes' in Period 4, , Vol. 2, (1928)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 32 North Yorkshire,


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: 06 Sep 2001
Reference: IOE01/04366/04
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Turner. Source Historic England Archive
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