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ROWTON CASTLE

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A country house built circa 1700, for Richard Lyster, altered and extended in 1809-12 by George Wyatt (1782-1856) for Col. Richard Lyster and further altered and extended in 1824-28 for Henry Lyster and his wife Lady Charlotte Ashley Cooper. It may have built on the site of a medieval castle which was later destroyed however there is a lack of consensus among sources to confirm this. The current house was constructed from coursed Alberbury breccia rubble with grey sandstone ashlar dressings and a hipped slate roof. The five-bay 17th century house had its north-west front remodelled and north-east wing added in 1809-12. In 1824-28, the south-east (entrance) front was remodelled and porch added, the north-east wing was extended to the south-east, a large circular tower was added to south-west and service buildings were also added. The house is of two and three storeys with a basement and attic. The stable courtyard is of coursed Alberbury breccia with red sandstone ashlar dressings and grey sandstone ashlar chamfered coping. It comprises two sides of a square with a gatehouse to the south west. The castle is an interesting example of how an early 19th century architect like George Wyatt conceived classical interiors for a Gothic building. The designs were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1809 "as about to be carried out" and in 1812 as "lately executed".

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