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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1221022



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

County: Cambridgeshire

District: Huntingdonshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Kimbolton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 24-Oct-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 28-Apr-1983

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 394698

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.




Large country house, the present external appearance is substantially due to Sir John Vanbrugh who in 1707-10 remodelled the C16 and C17 home which had been built on a C12 moated site. Vanbrugh was assisted by Nicholas Hawksmoor and the Clerk of Works was William Coleman of Kimbolton. The house retains the plan of four ranges round a courtyard. The walls are ashlar faced in Weldon and Ketton stone and the roofs are of slate, leaded, with chimney stacks also ashlar faced. The elevations are symmetrically designed, each with an embattled parapet, main cornice and rusticated angle pilasters. Lower ground floor forms a plinth or podium with moulded upper edge at principal floor sill height. Corner towers to north and west elevations. Fenestration of hung sashes with glazing bars in segmental heads and raised moulded architraves. West front. Of two storeys and lower ground floor with three storeys to corner towers. Main range of twelve window bays including two slightly projecting centre bays. Two bays each to towers. Late C17 central carriageway entry. Semi-circular headed arch with keyblock carved with Montagu crest. Panelled double doors. Two C18 lead rainwater heads and downpipes to main range. South front. Two storeys and lower ground floor. Of nine bays, including three slightly projecting centre bays. Central entry approached by double staircase enclosed by wrought iron balustrade incorporating monogram in centre between piers on rusticated bases. Semi-circular headed arch in rusticated surround to lower ground floor below staircase. Doorcase of engaged Doric columns with entablature. Half-glazed double doors. Two, fine late C17 rainwater heads, downpipes and straps. East front. Two storeys and lower ground floor. Projecting portico approached by flight of stone steps, segmental in plan, flanked by curving balustrades with moulded rails. Roman Doric portico of three bays divided by giant columns and flanked by two pilastered bays with round headed niches in two tiers. Interior of portico has central, tall round headed recess with similar arch to doorway to principal floor. The portico and steps have been attributed to Alessandro Galilei (1691-1737). North front. Originally of three storeys with projecting corner towers, fourth floor added to main range. Five bays to main range and two bays to each tower. Five bay loggia at ground floor with end bays blocked. Moulded eliptical arches carried on rusticated piers. Courtyard. Late C17 and attributed to Henry Bell (1653-1717). Of fine, gauged and rubbed red brick, repaired, with stone dressings. Modillion eaves cornice with enriched soffit. Ranges of hung sashes with glazing bars in moulded stone architraves with square heads. Keyblocks carved with heraldic devices of Montagu family and flanked by acanthus scroll ornament. East wall in five bays divided by Corinthian pilasters with entry in centre bay approached by stone staircase flanked by fine original wrought iron balustrade. Doorcase of engaged Ionic columns with entablature and segmental pediment with Montagu crest to tympanum. The pediment is surmounted by a full achievement of Montagu coat of arms. Around the courtyard are eight fine late C17 rainwater heads, downpipes and straps. Interior. The plan and decoration of the suites of rooms on the principal and first floors remain substantially intact from the late C17 and early C18. Of particular importance is the panelling in the chapel, main staircase, saloon and Great or White Hall. The wall painting in the Queen's Room or boudoir and on the main stair- case are fine examples of the work of Pellegrini. Other examples of his work are in the chapel and in the Great or White Hall. The over-door paintings in the east range are 1736-38 and by William Jones. There are a number of original fireplace surrounds, with the one in the saloon being particularly outstanding. In the north range, first floor there is a late C18 T-plan library and in the south range also at first floor three early C17 two-light casements with ovolo mullions and leaded lights. In the south range, lower ground floor part of the early C16 rubblestone wall with original window and door openings is visible. Kimbolton Castle was acquired by Sir John Wingfield in c.1525. Queen Katherine of Aragon resided here from 1534 to her death in 1536. In c.1615 it was bought by Sir Henry Montagu, later first Earl of Manchester and it remained a family seat of the Earls and Dukes of Manchester until 1950 when it was sold to Kimbolton School. Huntingdon RO, Manchester Papers. VCH (Hunts) Vol.III, p77. RCHM (Hunts) item 2, p170. Pevsner: Buildings of England, p276. P.R. Burkett: Kimbolton Castle (published by Kimbolton School). M. Archdale: Country Life, Vol.CXL 1966.

Listing NGR: TL1006867603

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Inventory of Huntingdonshire, (1926), 170
Burkett, PH , Kimbolton Castle
Page, W, Proby, G , The Victoria History of the County of Huntingdon, (1936), 77
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Bedfordshire, Huntingdon and Peterborough, (1968), 276
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 140, (1966)

National Grid Reference: TL 10068 67603


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End of official listing