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FORMER MANSION, STAGSTONES, Penrith, Cumbria Desk-Based Study and Fabric Survey Report

Elsworth, Dan (2004) FORMER MANSION, STAGSTONES, Penrith, Cumbria Desk-Based Study and Fabric Survey Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) was commissioned by Manning Elliot to undertake an archaeological assessment and fabric survey of the former mansion at Stagstones,
Penrith, Cumbria (NY 5339 3164), prior to the construction of four dwellings on the site. The work was undertaken in accordance with a project design by OA North and a brief by
Cumbria County Council Archaeological Service.
The desk-based assessment consisted of a search of primary records, maps, and documents relating to the study area, as well as both published and unpublished secondary sources.
The Cumbria Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) in Kendal was also consulted, as was the Cumbria Record Offices in Kendal and Carlisle, together with the Penrith local studies
library and OA North's own archive. The fabric survey involved the recording of the plan and principal elevations of the ruinous former mansion, by means of reflectorless
instrument survey and rectified photography. The survey was partly restricted for health and safety reasons; in addition, large sections of the elevations could not be examined because of ivy cover, but a photographic record was subsequently undertaken immediately prior to the demolition of the building.
The assessment established that there was little direct evidence of activity on the site prior to the construction of the first house at Stagstones. The most significant archaeological feature identified was a Bronze Age cup and ring marked stone; however, this was found at the base of a dry-stone wall on a verge, immediately south of the farm, and was evidently not in-situ. It is not known if it has moved a short or large distance from its original
location; indeed it is possible it was imported to the mansion as a garden feature.
Three phases of construction were identified for the mansion, which was constructed in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century in a variation of the double-pile design, with the addition of a ground floor hallway. The block plan of this layout was clearly documented
by 1834. The second phase of construction appears to relate to a major status change, from a house with polite features, such as kneeler stones, string course and plinth, to a far more grand mansion. The documentary study revealed this to have probably taken place between 1867 and 1900, and appears consistent with the analysis of the upstanding remains. The original house was entirely incorporated within the new mansion, which was extended in all directions. The gardens appear to have also been re-designed at this time. The final phase of construction observed dates to the twentieth century, and comprises the internal reorientation of the structure rather than the construction of a new building.
It was apparent that more of the original fabric of the house was surviving than anticipated, with much of it obscured by dense vegetation. It is likely that many features, important in understanding the function of the house, lie preserved in-situ below ground

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cumbria
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology North
Depositing User: barker
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2022 12:41
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 12:41
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6624

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