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Photographer: Paul Waite

Whalton Manor

Gazetteer No. G0193

Date 1908-09

Address Whalton Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 3UT England


MANOR HOUSE. An interesting conversion job of Sir Edwin Lutyens, 1908-9, for Mrs Eustace Smith. He linked up two older houses, Old Whalton Manor (late C 17 or early c 18, already linked to three cottages by Lorimer in the late c 19) and Whalton Mansion, dated 1729. His connecting block has a tripartite gateway with an elliptical central arch, set back behind a fancifully paved approach. The three windows above have aprons and odd projecting blocks of stone between them. To the rear the gateway is flanked by quadrant-shaped rock-faced projections with semi- conical roofs that give a distinctly medieval and military feel, overlooking a concentrically paved yard. Inside, the entrance passage is aisled and groin-vaulted: from it opens a stone-walled hall with Gibbs surrounds to its doorways and a moulded fire- place. From this a stone winder stair with a ribbed barrel vault leads up to the first floor, where the former dining room (now a bedroom) is circular, with a high domed ceiling: it is said to have been a model for the Viceroy’s throne room at New Delhi. The w part of the house, the old Whalton Mansion, is now a separate dwelling (WEST MANOR HOUSE) again. It is a little-altered five- bay house and has a moulded doorway with a shaped top, and windows with triple keystones. Contemporary stair inside. Behind the house Lutyens laid out a garden with a pergola, various terrace walls and two SUMMERHOUSES, one chaste and classical and the other a jolly, almost nautical little structure, hexagonal with a round window and a tall pyramidal roof. On the s side of the road, opposite the E end of the house, is a section of wall with a reset medieval ogee-arched doorway, tracery fragments and three CROSS-SLABS, probably from the parish church. (Pevsner et al, 1992, p.623)

This is a conversion of four adjoining village houses into a house with six main living rooms and twenty bedrooms. The ground floor is divided by an entrance arch with outer and inner halls leading to a monumental staircase that ascends to an upper hall over the entrance and circular panelled dining-room on the first floor. A stone paved floor in the outer hall contrasts with the more comfortable polished boards in the larger area of the inner hall, which has a great fireplace opening rising to the ceiling as at Folly Farm. There is a slightly fortified look to the court and garden elevation with curved staircase walls. (Amery et al., 1981, cat no.171)

A tripartite entrance arch and first-floor extension link four eighteenth-century village houses as one building. The east end had already been extended and was retained to provide sitting rooms. Lutyens reorganised the rest of the building, divided on the ground floor by the entrance arch, so that the rooms became the outer and inner halls connected up with a monumental staircase leading to an upper hall over the entrance and a circular dining room on the first-floor. The whole is experienced as a continuous linear arrangement of reception rooms looking south towards the street; thus the view to the east is contained by the stone garden walls, while the view from the west looks out over the wall to the country beyond. (Inskip, 1986, p.86)


Pevsner N, Grundy J, McCombie G, Ryder P & Welfare H (1992) Northumberland. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Amery, C., Richardson, M. and Stamp, G. (1981) Lutyens, the Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): Hayward Gallery London, 18 November 1981-31 January 1982. London: Arts Council of Great Britain.

Inskip, P. (1986) Edwin Lutyens: Architectural Monographs 6. 2nd edn. London: Academy Editions.

Also Cited In

Weaver, L. (1913) Houses and Gardens by E L Lutyens. London: Country Life.

Pevsner, N., Grundy, J., Ryder, P., McCombie, G., Welfare, H. (1992) Northumberland. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Butler, A., 1950. The architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens: the Lutyens memorial series. Vol 1: Country Houses, Country Life: London and Scibners: New York.

WHALTON MANOR,.. ..NORTHUMBERLAND. 1912. Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), 31(800), pp. axix, axx, axxiii.

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Listing Reference



Mrs Eustace Smith