Stokesay Castle, Stokesay, Shropshire


Upper room in priest’s tower, Stokesay Castle
1950s (earlier photo)
Publisher: Walter Scott

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Stokesay is one of the first fortified manor houses in England: almost all the surviving house was completed by 1291. Its walls and moat (the former demolished in the 1640s) outside, and strongrooms within, provided a degree of security, though in reality its military appearance was superficial: it could never have withstood a serious siege, as the expansive windows on both sides of the hall make clear. Meanwhile the symmetry of Stokesay’s layout – with a tower at each end of the residential complex and a regular sequence of gables and windows in the hall between them – bears witness to the taste, wealth and importance of its owner.
English Heritage

Stokesay Castle is a remarkable survival, a fortified manor house which has hardly altered since the late 13th century. The house was built by Lawrence Ludlow, a leading wool merchant of his day, who created a comfortable residence combining an aesthetically pleasing design with some defensive capabilities. In doing so, he took advantage of the newly established peace on the Welsh border following Edward I’s defeat of the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Last. This enabled him to build a large hall, comfortable solar, or private apartment, with windows on the outside world, without fear of attack.
Castles of Wales


Plan of Stokesay Castle (from Wikimedia Commons).

The three-storey north tower is reached by a 13th-century staircase in the hall, which leads onto the first floor. The first floor was divided into two separate rooms shortly after the construction of the tower, and contain various decorative tiles, probably from Laurence’s house in Ludlow. The walls of the second floor are mostly half-timbered, jettying out above the stone walls beneath them; the tower has its original 13th-century fireplace, although the wooden roof is 19th-century, modeled on the 13th-century original, and the windows are 17th-century insertions.
Wikipedia.

Prittlewell Priory, Southend-on-Sea, England


Prittlewell Priory: Prior’s Chamber
1930s
Publisher/Photo: Trade Studio

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Houses of Cluniac monks: Priory of Prittlewell

Prittlewell Priory was founded by the Cluniac Order in the early 12th century as a cell to the Priory of St Pancras at Lewes, Sussex. It was one of the lesser monasteries housing not more than 18 monks. In 1536 much of the building was destroyed and what remained was much altered during the 18th Century. Alterations were made again in the early 20th Century, when the Refectory was restored and partly rebuilt. A number of original features do survive, including a 12th Century doorway with chevron and dog tooth ornamentation.

After the Dissolution the Priory was a private residence and it was granted to Lord Chancellor Audley, who conveyed it to Robert, son of Lord Rich. It afterwards passed with the manor to various families. The last family to live there, the 19th Century Scrattons, are explored in an exhibition inside the house. In 1917 the building was purchased by Robert Jones, and in May 1922 it opened as Southend’s first museum.
Southend Museums

Southends on sea is a rather built up area today and as far as history goes it is not that old. However not far from Southends town centre lies a park which has been around for 900 years and is the oldest building in Southend which has been continually occupied. Prittlewell Priory has existed since the 12th Century and the land, which now makes up the park, was once all owned and managed by the Clunic monk s who resided there, mainly, in silence. Only parts of the original priory exist today in the form of a very small but informative museum. The Priory grounds are still accessible to all members of the public including the ponds which the Monks used to fish themselves, the refectory, priory chamber, cellar, a 12th century doorway with chevron and dog tooth ornamentation and parts of the wall.
For The Love Of History

The first religious building at Prittlewell, a small wooden oratory, was replaced by a stone church around 1150. This was partly excavated in the 1920s and its outline, 50m-60m in length with an apsidal chancel and side chapels to the south, can still be traced from exposed sections of the foundations which remain on display within the lawns to the north east of the museum. The priory range was enlarged from 1180 onwards with the refectory, chapter house, dorter (monks’ dormitory) and other buildings arranged around the cloister garth at this time. The Priory Museum (a Grade I Listed Building which is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included) retains substantial elements of the priory range – principally the 12th century refectory and 14th century prior’s chambers which, respectively, formed parts of the southern and western arms of the claustral range. The 14th century prior’s chamber, built from local septaria and chalk rubble (mostly refaced with brick in the 19th century) retains an original crown post roof and overlies earlier cellars.
Historic England

Chatsworth House, England


The Painted Hall, Chatsworth House.
1900s
Publisher: A.P. Co (Artistic Publishing Co?), 9 Bury Court, Mary Axe, London

Chatsworth House is a stately home in Derbyshire, England, in the Derbyshire Dales, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north-east of Bakewell and 9 miles (14 km) west of Chesterfield. The seat of the Duke of Devonshire, it has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549, standing on the east bank of the River Derwent, across from low hills between the Derwent and Wye valleys. The house is set in expansive parkland backed by wooded, rocky hills that rise to heather moorland.

The 4th Earl of Devonshire, who would become the 1st Duke in 1694 for helping to put William of Orange on the English throne, was an advanced Whig and forced to retire to Chatsworth during the reign of King James II. This called for a rebuilding of the house, which began in 1687. Cavendish aimed initially to reconstruct only the south wing with the State Apartments and so decided to retain the Elizabethan courtyard plan, although its layout was becoming increasingly unfashionable. He enjoyed building and reconstructed the East Front, which included the Painted Hall and Long Gallery, followed by the West Front from 1699 to 1702. The North Front was completed in 1707 just before he died.

Wikipedia.

In 1549, at the behest of his wife, Bess of Hardwick, Sir William Cavendish bought the land from the Leche family (relations of Bess’s) for £600. Recent
work for the Chatsworth Master Plan (2005-2018) has uncovered possible traces of this earlier Tudor house in the Baroque building’s northern cellars. William and Bess started construction of their house in 1552, but William did not live to see its completion, as he died in 1557. Although Bess of Hardwick completed the building work, the house was entailed to the eldest son from her marriage to William Cavendish, “my bad son Henry” and she made Hardwick her primary residence in 1590. Henry sold the house to his younger brother William (who became the 1st Earl of Devonshire in 1618). The Elizabethan house was successively rebuilt by the 1st, 4th and 6th Dukes, obtaining its current form with the 6th Duke’s major additions and alterations as designed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville, which were implemented c.1820-1841.

Timeline of the Cavendish amily and some of their major properties” (PDF)


Chatsworth House–Great Hall
c.1910
Publisher: Thomas Taylor & Son
“From Photographs taken by special permission of His Grace the Duke of Devonshire.”

First impressions count. When guests are welcomed to Chatsworth, this is one of the first rooms they see. William, 1st Duke of Devonshire built the Painted Hall between 1689 and 1694, the only original feature is the painted decoration on the walls and ceiling. Whilst still Earl of Devonshire he chose to flatter the monarch by decorating the hall with scenes from the life of Julius Caesar, he was elevated to Duke in the year the room was completed.
Chatsworth House: room cards (PDF)

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John Knox’s House, Edinburgh


John Knox’s House, Nether Bow, Edinburgh
c.1910
Publisher: Stewart & Woolf, London

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John Knox House, popularly known as “John Knox’s House”, is an historic house in Edinburgh, Scotland, reputed to have been owned and lived in by Protestant reformer John Knox during the 16th century. Although his name became associated with the house, he appears to have lived in Warriston Close where a plaque indicates the approximate site of his actual residence. The house itself was built from 1490 onwards, featuring a fine wooden gallery and hand-painted ceiling.  .  . . The visitor’s pamphlet states that the house “was Knox’s home only for a few months during the siege of Edinburgh Castle, but it is believed that he died here.” It appears to have become widely accepted as “John Knox’s House” from the mid-19th century onwards after Victorian writers like Robert Chambers and Sir Daniel Wilson had repeated the popular tradition, first recorded c.1800, of attaching Knox’s name to it. The house looked old enough to fit the description, but no research was able to establish the rights or wrongs of the claim.
Wikipedia.


Audience Room, John Knox’s House, Edinburgh
c.1910
Publisher: William J Hay, Edinburgh


The Study, John Knox’s House, Edinburgh
c.1902
Publisher: William J Hay, Edinburgh

Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire


The Courtyard, Haddon Hall.
c.1910
Publisher: G. Marsden & Son, Wirksworth

Google Maps

Haddon Hall, the private residence of Lord and Lady Edward Manners, is set in the Peak District in the valley of the River Wye. With nine hundred years of history, it is one of the oldest houses in the country and moreover one of the only houses in England to have remained in one family’s ownership for its entire existence. Haddon is unique as it remained empty for nearly two hundred years. This extraordinary period, when time stood still in the Hall, allowed it to remain unaltered during the modernising period of the Georgians and Victorians. So venturing into Haddon is like stepping back in time, since from the 1700s the family preferred to live at their main seat, Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.

The Medieval Banqueting Hall remains furnished with its original Dais table, behind which hangs a tapestry gifted to the family by visiting Henry VIII.
Haddon Hall 


Haddon Hall, Banqueting Hall
Dated on back: 12 July 1920
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate

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Old Post Office, Tintagel, England


The Old Post Office, Tintagel (XIVth Century)
c.1950
Publisher: R. Youlton, Tintagel

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Tintagel Old Post Office is a 14th-century stone house, built to the plan of a medieval manor house, situated in Tintagel, Cornwall, United Kingdom. The house, and its surrounding cottage garden, are in the ownership of the National Trust, and the building is Grade I listed. The name dates from the Victorian period when it briefly held a licence to be the letter receiving station for the district. The Trust has restored it to this condition. It was among the early acquisitions of the Trust (1903) and closes in the winter months.

The building was acquired by the Trust from its owner Catherine Eliza Johns (died 1925) who had employed the architect Detmar Blow to renovate it in 1896. (Blow was also responsible for some buildings at Treknow in the 1890s.) Catherine Johns had bought it in 1895 to prevent its demolition. She and a number of other artists then raised money to enable the National Trust to buy it from her.
Wikipedia.

The house was built in c.1380 as a medieval thatched house of three rooms with a through-passage. The building would originally have been a single storey dwelling, open to the roof, and would have housed livestock in the northern partition. A central hearth in the hall would have offered warmth and provided smoke that would seep through the thatch above, killing off woodworm and preserving the wooden frames.

Modified since the medieval period, the main phases of re-development took place during the 16th and 17th centuries: local brown slate was used in place of thatch for the roof, timber panelling was replaced with stone and a fireplace and central chimney stack were also added.
National Trust


Doorway of Old Post Office, Tintagel
No publisher or date details but it is similar to card below


Fireplace in Old Post Office, Tintagel
c.1930
“Photographed and published by F.A. Maycock, The Little Art Shop, Polzeath, Cornwall”