The Royal George Public House
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- 4 Blind Lane, Cottingham, Market Harborough, LE16 8XE
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Oct-2020 at 10:51:19.
- Statutory Address:
- 4 Blind Lane, Cottingham, Market Harborough, LE16 8XE
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Corby (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
A former open hall house at the Royal George in Cottingham, dated by dendrochronology to 1262, with later alterations and additions, including the insertion of the first floor in the early C17, and a late-C18 conversion and extension as a public house. Not included in the listing is the 1991 extension at the east end of the south range, the former mid-C19 cottage and workshop forming the north range (now living accommodation, kitchen and toilets) and the 1991 link block.
Reasons for Designation
The former open hall house at the Royal George in Cottingham, dated by dendrochronology to 1262, with later alterations and additions, including the insertion of the first floor in the early C17, and a late-C18 conversion and extension as a public house is listed for the following principal reasons:
* Date: it has been dated by dendrochronology to 1262 and is therefore thought to be the oldest cruck-framed building in England;
* Architectural interest: the cruck frame construction is of very high quality for a modest building, while there is evidence in the crucks and ridge piece of a smoke louvre having been part of the original design;
* Rarity: the use of both split tree and whole tree cruck systems in the same C13 building is very rare;
* Historic interest: its evolution, including the early-C17 flooring of the hall and the construction of new external walls using local ironstone, along with its late-C18 extension and conversion to public house use, adds to its interest;
* Legibility: the original open-hall plan is still legible.
The Royal George Public House is comprised of two distinct ranges; a range to the south of the site (the south range) running north-east to south-west and a parallel range to the north of the site (the north range), with the two being linked in 1991. While it was known that the oldest section of the pub was the two-storey block at the south-west end of the south range, it was long assumed to have been built in the C17. However, when it was re-roofed in 2000-1, it was discovered to retain two medieval raised crucks. They were subsequently dated by dendrochronology to have been derived from trees felled in winter of 1261/62 and the summer of 1262, with construction therefore likely to have commenced during the latter part of 1262. Evidence of smoke-blackening further indicates that the building originated as a three-bay, open-hall house. As there is no indication of cruck spurs or tie beams extending into the walls, it is believed that the medieval walling was probably of mud or stone rather than timber-framing. The hall was floored in the early C17, at which time the original walling was replaced with ironstone. In the late C18, probably around 1780, when the Royal George received its licence, a two-storey extension was added against the north-east gable end. In the C19, a further extension was built to the north-east, which itself was replaced in 1920 and heavily rebuilt in 1991. In the mid-C19 a cottage and workshop, also aligned north-east to south-west, were built parallel to the north side of the pub. During the 1850 and 1860s the workshop was used as a slaughterhouse, but by 1871 it had become a shoemaker’s workshop. In around 1870, the C13 block was raised in height and re-roofed above the cruck trusses. Major alterations took place in 1991, with the mid-C19 range being converted to pub use, including the installation of a new kitchen and toilets on the ground floor and bedrooms on the first floor. A link block was also built to connect the north and south ranges under a single roof.
A former open hall house at the Royal George in Cottingham, dated by dendrochronology to 1262, with later alterations and additions, including the insertion of the first floor in the early C17, and a late-C18 conversion and extension as a public house. The former open hall was re-roofed in 2000-1.
MATERIALS: the former open hall has two raised cruck trusses encased in Cottingham ironstone, with a late-C18 ironstone extension adjoining on the north-east side. Roofs are of Welsh slate.
PLAN: the pub is comprised of two parallel ranges, both aligned north-east to south-west. The south range is in three parts and consists of a former C13 open hall house at the south-west end, and a late-C18 addition adjoining to the north-east. To the north-east again is a range added in 1920 and completely rebuilt in 1991 (not of special interest). The north range comprises a former mid-C19 cottage at the south-west end and a former workshop to the north-east, both converted and remodelled for pub use in 1991. It is joined to the south range by a link block added in 1991. Not included in the listing is the 1991 extension at the north-east end of the south range, the former mid-C19 cottage and workshop forming the north range (now living accommodation, kitchen and toilets) and the 1991 block linking the two ranges.
EXTERIOR: the former open hall house at the south-west end of the south range is of two storeys, with coursed Cottingham ironstone walls and an early-C21 gabled roof with an limestone-coped parapet at the south-west gable end. The ground floor of the north-west elevation is lit through two, two-light casements to the right of a glazed door, all under timber lintels. The first floor has two, two-light casements, with timber lintels crossing a line of coursed ironstone representing the original height of the building before it was raised c1870. The south-west corner of the building is chamfered and has several courses of lower Lincolnshire limestone to the first floor. The south-west gable end is obscured at ground-floor level by an early-C21 timber lean-to shed, but above there is a two-light casement and a central blind limestone plaque. A pebble-dashed gable-end stack, added c1870, rises through the apex of the gable. The south-east elevation has a three-light casement window to the ground floor and two blocked two-light window openings to the right of it. The left-hand blocked window has been completely filled with ironstone masonry, probably c1870, but the other retains its early-C17, chamfered, central mullion and frame, which is replicated on the first floor, where it is blocked with ironstone.
The central section of the south range comprises a late-C18 addition of coursed Cottingham ironstone. It is of two storeys with a higher ridge line than the adjoining C13 block due to a rise in ground level from south to north. Of two bays, the ground floor has a two-light casement to the right-hand side, while the left-hand bay has been removed and replaced by a single-storey lean-to which was added in 1991. To the first floor there are two three-light casements. The gabled roof has lost its stack which was formerly at the south-west end. There is no south-east elevation to this block as a row of C19 houses has been butted up against it on that side, and no north-east gable wall because of the later addition of the north-east block.
INTERIOR: the former open hall has a single room on each floor. The ground floor room has a centrally placed north-east to south-west spine beam, and two north-west to south-east bridging beams connecting with it, all of early-C17 date; the square post supporting the spine beam along with the joists are all C20 replacements. At the centre of the south-west wall there is a plain chimneypiece with a tiled and cast-iron fire insert. To its right-hand side is a two-tier pine cupboard of c1870. In the north-east corner, now partitioned off from the rest of the room, is a winder stair which rises to a small landing with turned-balusters and a moulded handrail. The first-floor room has two cruck trusses, now divided by an early-C21 ceiling*. Running north-east to south-west, both trusses have collars, saddles under a ridge piece, and outer trenches for one pair of through purlins; the purlins have now been removed with rolled steel joists encased in wood subsequently added for strengthening purposes. The north-east truss is made from two trees, squared off on one side, while the south-west truss is one tree split down the middle, both with notched lap joints with square pegs to the collars. The saddles are curved on the lower surfaces and are also pegged into the ridge piece running on top of them, and in addition they are chamfered on their lower surfaces, as are the cruck blades, with setting out lines visible. The collar of the south-west truss was renewed in the C20. The ridge piece has mortices for the C13 secondary rafters, all of which were removed during the c1870 renewal of the roof, and an edge-halved scarf joint; the latter is broken off at the tip, and the adjoining small section of ridge is missing, with a later replacement now lodged on top of it. All the C13 timbers are smoke-blackened above the ceiling and there is some evidence of a smoke louvre having originally been fitted. Over the cruck trusses is a softwood roof of 2000-1 date.
The late-C18 centre block in the south range is accessed via four steps and has a fire surround* in the south-east wall of 1991; the same date also applies to the bar counter* and bench seating*. An opening under a 1991 rolled steel joist leads out to the west into the link block (not of special interest), from where the L-shaped north-east block is reached (not of special interest).
* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.
Books and journals
Bailey, Bruce, Pevsner, Nikolaus, Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, (2013), 200
Hill, N, Miles, D, 'The Royal George, Cottingham, Northamptonshire: An Early Cruck Building' in Vernacular Architecture, , Vol. 32, (2001), 62-67
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building (save those coloured blue on the map) are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act.
End of official listing