14th century font,

St Mary's Church

ARCHITECTURE

 

OVERVIEW

Ketton currently has almost ninety listed buildings, indicating sites of historic importance. The architecture of the village is characterised by two main features:

  • Use of oolitic limestone from the local Ketton quarries. This is mainly used for walls of coursed rubble stone with ashlar dressings, but a proportion of facades are completely faced with ashlar blocks.

  • Use of Collyweston roof tiles. Ketton's proximity to Collyweston as the source of the tiles, means that this roof material dominates. There is only one thatched building (the barn at Garden Cottage on Church Road). In comparision, Empingham, four miles to the north has a high proportion of thatched properties.

MEDIEVAL PERIOD

  • The oldest building in the village is the Church of St Mary the Virgin, situated in the heart of the old village, close to the prebendal manor and The Priory, which stands opposite. The church is one of the most impressive village churches in England. It is characterised by a magnificent 13th century central crossing tower, with a tall, triple lancet belfry stage, topped by an elegant 14th-century broach spire. The whole tower is strongly reminicent of the tower of St Mary's Church in Stamford, which has a similar building history.

  • The oldest part of the fabric is the west doorway, which is a transitional work of around 1190, featuring a large round-arched doorway, flanked by pointed blind archways. All are ornamented with bold chevrons. The building material for all this early work is Barnack ragstone, rather than local stone, suggesting the Ketton quarries were not up and running by this date.

  • The church is unusual becuase of its size and also for its central crossing tower - it's scale was probably a reflection of Ketton becoming a prebendal manor of the Diocese of Lincoln in the 12th century.

  • The floorplan with aisles and transepts was probably complete by 1240-50, following an appeal for funds from the Bishop of Lincoln. The clerestory was added in the 15th century.

  • George Gilbert Scott remodelled the church in 1861, replacing the  west window, while two years later T. G. Jackson replaced the chancel with a new one in the Early English style.

  • The oldest secular buildings in the village are at nos. 94-96 High Street. This row of stone cottages contains medieval fabric, both externally in the butresses and blocked carriage arch, and internally with several gothic-arched doorframes. It is possible that this was a gatehouse for a medieval manor house.

17th CENTURY

  • Ketton retains a number of buildings dating from the first half of the 17th century. The six-arched stone bridge over the River Welland on the road to Collyweston was built in 1620, with three segmental and three pointed arches. It probably would have replaced an earlier wooden bridge. Garden Cottage, Church Road, has a classic canted vernacular gable dated 1629, of the style which was to become popular in the local area - Stamford has many examples. Another example, with the characteristic ovolo mullion windows can be seen at Manor Farm, High Street. The Priory opposite the church, on the site of a dwelling owned by the Priory of Sempringham, has two ranges of the period, one dated 1602 and another 1639. Further up Church Road is Emmanuel Cottage, dating from the early 17th century with mullioned wondows and a gothic-arched door. Other houses of the period include nos. 9-11 Geeston with a reset datestone of 1670, and no. 3 Aldgate (Chater Cottage) dated 1681. Right at the entrace to Ketton from the east is Ketton Grange, which still retains the core of a 17th-century manor house and further towards the village at nos. 19 -21High Street is a house of 1689, set back from the road.

18th CENTURY

  • Ketton expanded through the 18th century and a good number of buildings from this period survive. The grandest Georgian house is the remodelling of the garden range of The Priory, probably after it became a private residence in 1732. This has a five bay ashlar facade with Gibbs-style architraves and quoins. Another impressive property, although altered, is no. 9 Redmiles Lane, of high-quality ashlar dated 1741, while Geeston House began as a late 18th-century hunting lodge for the Spencer-Churchill family.  The Chestnuts on Church Road has an elegant late 18th-century facade with decorative architraves and quoins.Quite a few Georgian houses from the second half of the century are distinguished by windows with stepped keystones and doorways with lozenge fanlights. Examples include a three-bay terrace in ashlar at no. 45 High Street (c.1760-68) and a similar detached example at no. 104 High Street. Buckworth House in Aldgate is a large 18th-century farmhouse of three bays, while Redmiles Farm on Redmiles Lane dates from 1735. Perhaps the most unusual building of this period is the Old Bakery on Bull Lane, which has an external stone staircase to access a former granary on the first floor. Other interesting survivals from this period are the four stone-built dovecots, one at Manor Farm, High Street, one at Home Farm, High Street, one by The Priory in Church Road and one as part of the Geeston House estate. Also of interest from this period is the base of the grain windmill off the road to Empingham.

19th CENTURY

  • The classical Georgian style continued in Ketton right through to the middle of the 19th century, showing an underlying conservatism. Late examples include The Vale, no. 74 High Street, dated 1837 in very fine ashlar; no. 31 High Street (the old White Hart pub) dated 1841, and Home Farmhouse, no. 72 High Street, dated 1851. Significant buildings from the first half of the century include The Old Vicarage on Church Road, a large Regency house and stables dating from 1820; the Congregational Chapel on Chapel Street from 1829 and typical of the period with large round-headed sash windows, and Geeston House, built as a hunting lodge by the Spencer-Churchill family. Perhaps the most unusual is the picturesque lodge to Ketton Grange, conceived as a cottage orne.

  • Prominent buildings from the Victorian era include the gothic revivial Methodist Chapel dated 1864 at the bottom of Bull Lane and Hibbins House, 112 High Street, built in 1890 by the stone mason George Hibbins, and a showcase for the skills of his trade. Other noticeable Victorian fabric can be seen in the restoration work at the Church of St Mary the Virgin by notable architects Sir George Gilbert Scott and T. G. Jackson, and the former chapel which was added at nos. 88-90 High Street when it was bought by the Peterborough Diocese to become St Mary's Home for Girls. Fine large houses of the period can be seen at The Cottage in Aldgate, which is in a 17th-century vernacular style with a later timber-framed wing, and The Firs on High Street/Pit Lane which was built for the Molesworth family in 1875.

  • The stone bridge over the RiverChater on Church Road was rebuilt in 1849 by Robert Hibbins in the gothic style. The drinking fountain in Stock's Hill was erected in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria's jubilee.

  • Remains of industrial buildings survive in the form of The Maltings, situated next to the former Ketton Station, and the Brewery House, High Street, from c.1870, which was part of the former Rutland Brewery complex owned by the Molesworth family.

20th CENTURY

  • The most significant contribution to the Ketton skyline in the 20th century has been the ongoing development of Ketton Cement Works, begun in 1928 and now a landmark for miles around. The most notable part of the site is the giant kiln and stack. Other interesting buildings include the timber-framed wing added to The Cottage, Aldgate, and the rebuilding of Ketton Hall in a neo-vernacular style in 1926. The current School was built in 1969.

Medieval houses

94-96 High Street

17th century bay, Garden Cottage

Church Road

Detail, west door c.1190

St Mary's Church

The Priory,

Church Road

17th century

Emmanuel Cottage,

Church Road

Terrace c.1760s,

45-47 High Street

Gate lodge,

Ketton Grange

Chapel, St Mary's Home for Girls

Chancel ceiling St Mary's Church painted 1950

Site designed and maintained by Ketton Parish Council

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