Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Pelton House, Front Street, Pelton, County Durham


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Statutory Address:
Pelton House, Front Street, Pelton, County Durham

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

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


House, early to mid-C18, with early 1980s and later alterations.

Reasons for Designation

Pelton House, of early to mid-C18 with later-C20 alterations, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Date: as an early to mid-C18 dwelling, which falls well within the date range when there is a presumption in favour of listing;

* Architectural interest: a substantial, detached higher status vernacular house, whose scale, composition and quality of materials set it apart from lesser dwellings of a similar date;

* External interest: it retains a number of significant features such as the original configuration of window openings including a round-headed stair window and a handsome entrance with an eared and bolection-style moulded architrave;

* Internal fittings: while the interior interest has been eroded by loss and alteration, the presence of an C18 staircase with panelled newels and a pulvinated frieze and most of the original Queen post roof structure are significant survivals;

* Plan form: the original double-pile plan form is largely retained and readable with a central spinal wall with original round-headed opening separating front and rear ranges;

* Level of survival: while there have been undoubted later-C20 losses, sufficient original fabric remains to confirm the special interest of the building.


This house is considered to date from at least the early to mid-C18. The presence of an eared bolection-style moulding to the S doorcase is a diagnostic feature of this period. Such features can range in date from the mid-C17 to the mid-C18 but are generally not found on buildings post-dating the latter. When it was constructed the house was clearly a significant building within the small rural settlement of Pelton, and while it is essentially a vernacular building it sits at the higher status end of the vernacular tradition incorporating several polite features. The house features in various C19 newspaper reports which confirms the high status nature of its occupants at that time. For example in 1821 it was occupied by George Hudson Esquire, who had acquired a game licence at the property in 1806. Reports of the consecration of Pelton Church in 1842 speak of the arrival of the Bishop of Durham at 'Capt. Croudace's, of Pelton House', and that after the service 'his lordship and the archdeacon and clergy returned to Pelton House, where a very handsome entertainment had been prepared for them by Captain Croudace and Mrs Croudace; a select party of their friends being assembled to meet his lordship'. A letting advert for Pelton House dated to 1845 describes the house as 'an excellent Dwelling-House' and it is described as 'containing Dining, Drawing and Breakfast rooms, five Bedrooms, one Dressing room, Ceiled attics, two kitchens and a Washhouse, with a Garden, Pleasure Ground, Stable, Coach House and a Cottage'. The house, its gardens and outbuildings are depicted on the 1:2,500 Ordnance Survey map published in 1857, approached by a single drive through an entrance in the centre of the N wall of the plot and a document mentions that it was at this time occupied by Thomas Fenwick Esq.

The footprint of the house remained virtually unchanged until 1980 when it was listed at Grade II. In circa 1982 various alterations were made, including the replacement of sash windows to both elevations with casements, the removal of a Tuscan porch to the N elevation and a modern glazed porch to the S elevation and the removal of a lower two-storey range (probably a service range) attached to the W end of the building. Internally, the original stair was modified by the replacement of its balusters and the removal of panelling and a door below the upper flight; other losses included two C18 doors and a possibly contemporary panelled dado to one of the ground floor reception rooms, and a Regency plaster cornice and joinery. New doors, skirting boards and cornices were also inserted. We understand that several internal walls have been replaced and the ceiling to the main S-facing reception room has been lowered. These alterations were taken into account when the Grade II listing was confirmed and the List entry amended at a point between 1982 and 1987. In 1986 or earlier the attic was partitioned, multiple roof lights added to the S pitch and the original stair was extended upwards.


House, early to mid-C18, with early 1980s and later alterations.

MATERIALS: hand-made brick with ashlar dressings, the rear and side elevations are rendered and painted; Welsh slate roof covering.

PLAN: a rectangular detached house of double-pile plan set within large grounds, which were formerly more extensive, with the original garden front facing S. The entrance and drive is from the N off Front Street.

EXTERIOR: the original S-facing garden front has two storeys and six bays with a chamfered rubble plinth and tooled quoins. The brickwork has been heavily pointed. The original entrance lies to the left of the centre in bay two, and has an eared bolection-style moulded stone doorcase beneath a moulded cornice. To either side and also to the first floor there are tall window openings with flush lintels and projecting stone sills, all with replacement 15-pane casements. The pitched roof has multiple modern roof lights and renewed gable copings, with stone end stacks and a corniced ridge stack. The right and left returns are rendered and blind. The rendered N-facing rear elevation has a round-headed stair window, and to the ground floor right an inserted entrance fitted with a six-panel door. There are four first floor and one ground floor window openings with replacement 12-pane casements, a pair of tall long window openings with 15-pane replacement casements, and an inserted C20 bow window. A stone plaque set into the left end of the plinth reads: PELTON HOUSE/Renovated by Frank Tiffen/1982.

INTERIOR: internal doors throughout are late-C20 replacements as are the cornicing, skirting boards and architraves. The original S entrance opens into a full-length room occupying the whole of the S range from which the original room partitions have been removed. This room has a late-C20 plaster cornice and ceiling roses and a later-C19 stone chimney piece to the E end wall, flanked by original alcoves with heads modified to form round arches. An original round-headed opening through the thickness of the central spine wall opens into the stair hall and spinal passage. An original dog-leg staircase of two flights and a landing has a closed string with a pulvinated frieze, panelled newel posts and a moulded handrail ramped upwards at the newels. The balusters are renewed. To the right there is access down to a small basement. To the left a rear room, formerly a kitchen has been stripped of almost all fixtures and fittings. At the right end of the spinal passage is a second rear room with a Frosterley marble C19 chimneypiece flanked by original alcoves with modified round-arched heads. To the first floor the central spinal passage gives access to three first floor principal bedrooms on its S side, each defined by light weight inserted partitions. The N side of the spinal passage has a fourth bedroom to the NE corner and a smaller room to the NW corner (now a bathroom with C20 fittings). The original staircase has been extended upwards into the attic space which retains most of its original Queen post roof structure, slightly modified in places; there are five trusses, the most easterly a replacement and the other four with notched assembly marks and triple purlins. The attic space has been partitioned by the insertion of modern light-weight panels into the interstices of three of the trusses to create a landing and a small kitchen with modern fittings at the W end and a larger room to the E end.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the C20 garage, a pair of lean-to buildings, and the C20 flat-roofed range of outbuildings are not of special architectural or historic interest.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


British Newspaper Archive, accessed 24 October 2016 from


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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 22 May 2000
Reference: IOE01/00649/15
Rights: © Mr Bob Cottrell. Source: Historic England Archive
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