SO83SE A38, The Mythe
859-1/2/384 (West side (off))
04/03/52 King John's Castle
Detached house. Medieval and mid C16. Coursed lias stone, tile
PLAN: a former staircase tower, from the medieval building, to
which abuts, on the W side, a cross-gabled Tudor house; the
full width of the back has late C20 single storey additions.
The title of 'Castle' seems to be a misnomer, as no firm
evidence for a castle here. In 2 parts; to left a broad gabled
front, and to right the tower. Windows generally are set
flush, with stone recessed hollow-mould mullions and transoms,
under drip moulds, and with diagonal leading.
The gabled block, in 3 storeys with attic, has a small square
light above a 3-light casement to the gable, and two 3-light
casements, off-centre left, to the first and ground floors,
paired under the drip-courses. To the right a C20 part-glazed
door in a wide wood frame. A string runs full width at the
base of the gables, which are not coped.
EXTERIOR: the tower, in the same front plane, is in 3 slightly
recessed stages with string courses. Ground floor has a lofty
2-light casement with transom, the string course slightly
lifted over, and, at second floor left a blocked former
doorway to a 4-centred head. A decorative cast-iron rainwater
hopper and downpipe runs down this front.
Return, left has a small square light to the gable, at first
floor left a 12-pane sash in flush rough-worked stone
surround, and a late C20 two-light casement ground floor,
right, to concrete lintel and cill. To the left a single
storey crenellated addition of 1991.
The back has a decorative Tudor brick twin stack, joined at
the cappings, on a stone base externally central to the gable,
and a 2-light casement, left, to the staircase. The right
return has a brick and tile C20 gabled extension to the right
of the tower, which has various 2-light casements, disposed to
correspond with stair or landing levels within. 3 casements to
the top stage, 2 of these blocked, and 2 at the middle stage.
The ground stage has a blocked door to 4-centred head to the
left, and a small slit to dressed stone surround to the right.
Beyond the tower a part of the E gable to the Tudor wing
projects, and contains one small square light.
INTERIOR: a narrow entrance hall, with a straight-flight stair
to winders at the landings, has a principal room to each side.
That to the left, formerly a kitchen, has a wide fire opening
to heavy unmoulded lintel and surround, and an inserted
partition set to a window mullion.
To right the tower has a plain square room; no internal
evidence for the supposed original staircase. At first floor
the tower room has blocked doorway to 4-centred chamfered head
on plain jambs, and door from staircase is similar, but has
one jamb marked out to form a chamfer which was not cut. At
the second floor to left of staircase is a heavy square-panel
timber-framed partition containing 2 door openings, one, now
filled, with a peaked head. The partition lies under one of
the A-frame roof trusses. Room to left has a projecting plain
stone fire surround with very deep overmantel with moulded
cornice, and on brackets to the flat square jambs; to left, a
deep square candle recess. The tower room has a blocked
doorway similar to that on floor below.
HISTORICAL NOTE: the Castle, probably the seat of the Manor of
Mythe, belonged to the Abbey, and formerly also had a
free-standing chapel. The extent of the earlier house is not
known; reported that when additions were made to the N side,
no remains of any kind were located during excavations. The
tower had a fourth stage, removed in the early C19, when the
remaining stages were also stepped back. In the mid C18 the
Castle was replaced as the chief house of the estate by Mythe
Court (qv), built just to the S.
(Victoria County History: Gloucestershire: London: 1968-: 135;
The Gentleman's Magazine: London: 1818-1820).
Listing NGR: SO8890634119