Gatehouse to former Caynton Manor

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II*

List Entry Number: 1459113

Date first listed: 22-Oct-2018

Location Description:

Statutory Address: Caynton Manor, Caynton, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NF

Map

Ordnance survey map of Gatehouse to former Caynton Manor
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Location

Statutory Address: Caynton Manor, Caynton, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NF

Location Description:

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

District: Telford and Wrekin (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Edgmond

National Grid Reference: SJ6949021394

Summary

A gatehouse of about 1635, associated with the former Caynton Manor.

Reasons for Designation

The gatehouse to the former Caynton Manor is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* As a notable example of a fashionable early-C17 gatehouse to a country house, which survives well and remains legible as such despite later agricultural use; * For the quality of its construction and architectural detailing; * For the extensive and particularly fine internal plasterwork, which is characteristic of high-status buildings in Shropshire during this period.

Historic interest:

* For its interest as an early-C17 gatehouse to a now-lost country house, later used for agricultural purposes.

History

Caynton was first mentioned in 1198 when it was held by William of Caynton as part of the manor of Bolas. It belonged to the Caynton (or de Caynton) family until the late C14, when it passed by marriage to Thomas Yonge or le Yonge who married Beatrice Caynton. The first detailed documentary record of the manor house is an inventory taken in 1584 after the death of William Yonge. It is his grandson, also William Yonge (baptised 1594, died 1647) who built the gatehouse, and his initials are to be found on the overmantel in the main room on the upper floor. Caynton was sold in 1739 to Lord Gower, passing later in the century to the Briscoe family who owned it until the second half of the C20.

Relatively little is known about the history and original layout of the site, although the Caynton Manor with which the gatehouse was associated appears to have been demolished or destroyed by the end of the C17. It is clear from analysis of the gatehouse that the east elevation was its outer face, suggesting the house was to the west. Early maps only show a small-scale and schematic depiction of the buildings on the site. Rocque's map of 1752 shows a group of buildings at Caynton, located on both sides of the road. Baugh's map of 1808 shows a tree-lined avenue to the east. The first detailed site plan of 1829 shows the gatehouse hemmed in by farm buildings. Two former fishponds to the south may have been a moat, although the distance between them makes this only a remote possibility. According to map evidence, two brick farm buildings, which are still extant, were built against the gatehouse's east and south elevations in the first half of the C19. Further attached buildings to the north and north-west were built in the late-C19 and early-C20 respectively and have since been demolished.

The gatehouse was built in about 1635. The date on the overmantel is confirmed by stylistic features such as the style of the plasterwork and the ovolo-moulded door surrounds. The principal face of the gatehouse appears to have faced east. At ground floor level there were two rooms, one to each side of the passageway. That to the north appears to have been unheated, but an original fireplace survives in the southern room, which may have housed a porter. The stair would almost certainly have been in the north-west corner of the building, accessing the landing at first floor. The upper level's original layout appears to survive. The larger room, with more elaborate plasterwork, was the principal room, with the Yonge family's coat of arms and the date of '1635' in the overmantel.

The eastern arch of the gatehouse was blocked at some time probably in the later-C17 or early-C18, with small handmade bricks and timber window inserted. Further alterations took place in the C19. When the adjoining buildings to the east and south were built in the early-C19, the ground floor windows were bricked up and their mullions removed. The original stair was also removed, probably when the building was converted for farm use. The passageway and adjacent north room were converted to stable use and paved in brick with drainage channels.

Details

A gatehouse of about 1635, associated with the former Caynton Manor.

MATERIALS: red brick laid in English bond with a base and dressings of red sandstone. The roof is tiled.

PLAN: the building is rectangular on plan and is orientated roughly north-south. The principal external elevation was the east side, with the former manor house to the west. The building has a central passageway with rooms to either side, and two rooms to the first floor.

EXTERIOR: the building has a red sandstone base and a cabled fluted frieze above the ground floor which run around the building (much weathered where exposed). The two long elevations to the west and east were originally nearly identical but that to the east is now mostly obscured by the attached buildings (these were not part of this assessment). Both have a central arch to the passageway, two windows each on the ground and first floor and a moulded eaves cornice. The ground floor windows survive on the western elevation and are of three lights; those above are of four, with transoms. All have hollow-chamfered mullions. The western ground-floor windows have been partially blocked with later brickwork.

The two outer arches of the passageway are relatively plain with tall central keystones, voussoirs which may have had a simple chamfer, moulded imposts, jambs with recessed panels and carved, raised lozenges on the bases of the jambs. The arch and most of the windows on the east elevation are now bricked up. The main difference in the decoration of the west and east elevations is a small, truncated pendant to the keystone of the east arch. This, together with the absence of a moulded impost on the west side of the internal arch suggests strongly that the east elevation was the outer face and that the doors were hung on the west side of the internal arch. Furthermore, the doors from the passageway into the internal rooms must be on the inner side of the gatehouse. The short elevations originally had no openings; the upper gable ends have been completely rebuilt in later brickwork. They have various scars and holes relating to formerly attached buildings.

INTERIOR: like the exterior, the central passageway has a base of red sandstone blocks. At its centre is a transverse arch with imposts moulded on their eastern and central faces but not to the west, where an historic pintle indicates the former location of the doors. The north room was probably originally subdivided into a stair enclosure and a room, possibly with separate doors from the passageway which have since been replaced by a wider door opening. The original staircase has been lost and access to the first floor is now via a ladder in the north room. The south room was probably the porter's room. It has a Tudor-style arch into the passageway; its fireplace is original although remodelled with a C19 grate.

On the first floor, the north-east and south rooms have decorated plasterwork friezes and overmantels. The north-east room has a strapwork frieze of S-shapes, combined with an overmantel of a strapwork cartouche flanked by pilasters. The original ceiling does not survive but the pattern of nails on the underside of the joists suggests it was a plaster ceiling suspended on laths like that in the south room. The partition which divides this room from the north-west room runs very close up against the fireplace and overmantel but appears to be in its original position.

The south room has a more elaborate pattern of strapwork, including S-shapes, some of which have human faces or dragons heads, flying birds, and pairs of birds holding swags. The latter motif in particular is similar to that on early-C17 friezes at Benthall Hall and Abcott Manor, also in Shropshire. The frieze continues on the window reveals. The overmantel is decorated with the Yonge family's coat of arms and the inscription 'WY 1635', flanked by two terms or terminal figures. The family coat with its six combined arms is that recorded by the College of Heralds during their visitation of Shropshire in 1623. The plain plaster ceiling appears to be original. Both of the first floor fireplaces are corbelled with a cyma recta cornice at the top; that in the south room also has a Tudor-style arch and a roll moulding to the opening.

The two first floor doors are of plank and batten construction and have wrought iron strap hinges, which are consistent with a date of about 1635. The hinges of the north east door are of a round end design; those of the south door have spearhead-shaped ends. The doorframes are both moulded on their outer faces, although of subtly different designs, and are pegged into their respective partitions.

The attic was not accessible at the time of visiting but the visible parts of the roof suggest that the trusses and rafters have been replaced but the purlins might be older and re-used. A former tie-beam may also survive in truncated form against the north elevation.

Sources

Websites
Cox, DC (ed.), 'A History of Shropshire (Victoria County History), vol. XII: Newport and the Weald Moors, part 1, the parishes of Chetwynd, Edgmond, Longford, Newport and Sheriffhales', Unpublished draft, pp.14-15, accessed 25.5.2018 from http://www.vchshropshire.org/VCH%20XII_i.pdf
Other
Auden, HM, 'Edgmond Registers, Shropshire Parish Registers, Lichfield Diocese, vol. XIII', 1913
Roethe, J, 'The Gatehouse, Caynton Manor, Edgmond, Shropshire: Building Investigation', internal Historic England report, 2018
Tithe map for the township of Caynton in the parish of Edgmond. The National Archives, IR 30/29/120
Yonge, E, 'The Yonges of Caynton, Edgmond, Shropshire', privately published 1969. Shropshire Archives ref. BY 59

End of official listing