Gateway at Stukeley House


Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1447156

Date first listed: 21-Sep-2017

Statutory Address: Stukeley House, 9 Barn Hill, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2YN


Ordnance survey map of Gateway at Stukeley House
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Statutory Address: Stukeley House, 9 Barn Hill, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2YN

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

County: Lincolnshire

District: South Kesteven (District Authority)

Parish: Stamford

National Grid Reference: TF0277307294


Gateway probably dating to the first half of the C17, altered by William Stukeley in 1744.

Reasons for Designation

The gateway at Stukeley House, probably dating to the first half of the C17, and altered by William Stukeley in 1744, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* The gateway is a distinctive design of strong architectural character, defined by its pronounced voussoirs and castellated parapet;

Historic interest:

* Charles I is said to have passed through it on his last night as a free man, and it was later altered by the famous antiquarian William Stukeley. Although the house Stukeley lived in was later rebuilt, the association with him is manifested in the stone tablet above the gateway that he had inscribed with a Latin quote and the date 1737;

Group value:

* With the Grade II* listed Stukeley House and the Grade II listed summerhouse.


Barn Hill appears to have had relatively distinguished occupants since the later Middle Ages and there has been a house on the site of the Grade II* listed Stukeley House since this period. From 1630 it was occupied by Alderman Richard Wolph, a wealthy grocer and Royalist sympathiser who is said to have befriended Charles I. It is thought that the King stayed at the house in May 1646 just before he surrendered to the Scottish Army. The C17 gate through which Charles I is said to have passed was located in the old town wall that bounded the garden on the northern side and was possibly constructed by Wolph. The gate was later moved by the Revd William Stukeley, the renowned antiquarian, who bought the house from the Butlers in 1738. He said that ‘though old, it will be comfortable and not inelegant’. Stukeley lived there for eighteen years and ‘was pre-occupied with its beatification.’ He laid out a Baroque garden which had temples, an obelisk, a prospect mound and ‘Rosamund’s Bower’. This refers to a legendary maze created by Henry II in Woodstock Park, Oxfordshire, in order to conceal his mistress Rosamund Clifford from the jealous Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Set in the north wall which follows the line of the medieval town wall are fragments, presumably from Stukeley's collection, which include a capital and a corbel of the C13 and medieval responds. Little of Stukeley’s garden now remains.

The great gate in the town wall had provided access for wagons loaded with corn but once Stukeley had converted the farmyard into a garden, it was no longer needed for large carts, so he filled in the opening in 1744. He retained a small doorway in a coved recess within the arch and placed niches to each side. Above this he set an inscribed stone tablet from his previous house in Austin Street, Stamford, and planned to surmount it with a large heavy pediment. Instead he crenellated the upper stonework and placed there his arms between those of his two wives, although these do not appear to have survived. A commemorative inscription celebrating the Duke of Cumberland’s victory over the Jacobite rebels was added by Stukeley in 1746.

In 1796 the house was bought by Henry Tatam, alderman and cabinet maker, who set about rebuilding it, presumably to his own design, between this date and 1802 when it was described as newly built. In 1840 Stukeley House was bought by James Atter who probably rebuilt the rear wing. He may also have been responsible for the construction of the summerhouse (listed Grade II) which carries a weather vane with the date 1849.


Gateway probably dating to the first half of the C17, altered by William Stukeley in 1744.

MATERIALS: roughly squared and coursed limestone with ashlar dressings.

PLAN: the gateway is located at the east end of the north garden wall. This follows the line of the medieval town defences but does not retain any medieval masonry. Parts of it probably date to the C18 or earlier whilst the central section was rebuilt in the mid-C19.

EXTERIOR: the south elevation of the gateway, which faces onto the garden, consists of a massive round-headed arch with pronounced rusticated voussoirs and jambs. It has a heavy dentilled cornice above a plain frieze with a central stone tablet inscribed ‘Beatae Tranquillitati P Wilh Stukeley MDCCXXXVII’. Above is a castellated parapet with a central panel carved with a shield in a circular band and inscribed ‘Anno Victoriae Cullodonianae 1746’. Behind the arch is a half-domed recess with a wide doorway of diagonal planks which has a HL hinge at the top and a H hinge at the bottom, flanked by niches. On the north elevation of the gateway, which faces onto West Street, the door has vertical planks and a cambered stone arch set within a wide, shallow projection.


'Barn Hill', An Inventory of Historical Monuments in the Town of Stamford (1977), pp. 60-68. URL: Date accessed 10 April 2017.
John F. H. Smith, FSA, ‘William Stukeley in Stamford: His House, Gardens and a Project for a Palladian Triumphal Arch Over Barn Hill’, Antiquaries Journal, 93, 2013, pp. 353-400

End of official listing