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GIBSIDE HALL

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The remains of a country house known as Gibside Hall. Although the visible external form of Gibside Hall is that of an early 19th century country house, parts of the internal structure of the house are of the 17th century. A 16th century inventory of contents exists for an earlier house on the site, although no fabric has yet been identified as predating the 17th century. The earliest identified building fabric is from a Jacobean country house erected by William Blakiston between 1603 and 1620. The house surrounded a courtyard on its east, south and west sides. The fabric of this house can be identified by its rubble masonry construction, which is evident on the internal wall faces (the external faces were refaced in the 19th century). The 17th century house was three storeys high; an illustration of the house in the 18th century shows it at this height with a pitched roof. Works on the house in the 18th century are characterised by the extensive use of brick on internal faces of walls. George Bowes (the owner from 1722 to 1760) had the kitchen of the 17th century house demolished and a new kitchen built. The north wall of the 17th century house was rebuilt and the courtyard enclosed to create a further room. He also added a range of service rooms onto the east of the house, which were later remodelled between 1773 and 1776 by the then owner John Lyon to form a range of service rooms around a courtyard. Some of these alterations have been attributed to the architect James Paine. In the first decade of the 19th century the house was reduced from three to two storeys and two window bays were added to the south front. The whole house was faced with ashlar and tall battlements with large, blind cross loops were added to the tops of the wall. After the death of the 10th Earl's widow in 1860 the house was seldom occupied by his successors. The house was gutted in 1920 and has been ruinous since then.

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