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placename:- Wray Castle Boat House
site name:- Wray Castle
site name:- Low Wray Bay
site name:- Windermere lake
locality:- Low Wray
parish Claife parish, once in Lancashire
county:- Cumbria
boat house
coordinates:- NY37580129
10Km square:- NY30

1Km square NY3701


Wray Castle Boat House -- Wray Castle -- Low Wray Bay -- Windermere lake -- Low Wray -- Claife -- Cumbria / -- 15.2.2008

Wray Castle Boat House -- Wray Castle -- Low Wray Bay -- Windermere lake -- Low Wray -- Claife -- Cumbria / -- 12.5.2008

old photograph:- Bell 1880s-1940s

thumbnail HB0839, button to large image
Photograph, black and white, Low Wray Bay, Wray Castle Boat House and the castle behind, Claife, Lancashire, by Herbert Bell, photographer, Ambleside, Westmorland, 1890s.
internegative at lower right:-
H. Bell
stamped at reverse:-
thumbnail HB0840, button to large image
date:- 1890=1899
period:- 19th century, late

database:- Listed Buildings 2010

Listed Buildings 2010

courtesy of English Heritage
courtesy of English Heritage
Boathouse, mid-C19.
MATERIALS: roughly coursed slate rubble; corrugated iron sheeted roof
PLAN: L-shaped
EXTERIOR: This boathouse is situated on the edge of Lake Windermere's western shore some 30m north of Wray Castle. It is constructed in a castellated Gothic style and comprises two storeys and two bays, the more northerly of the latter recessed. It is surmounted by a crennelated parapet, the upper parts partially lost and corbelling carries turrets at the corners. Two large boat entrances occupy the ground floor of each bay they are of unequal size and length, both with segmental- pointed heads and there are similar, partially blocked windows above. The south bay also has a tall narrow window to the right. Both returns have five battered and staged buttresses with some windows and an entrance on the south side. The rear elevation has a porch with a crow-stepped gable and a segmental headed entrance, reached by a set of stone steps, gives access to the first floor. On the west side of the boathouse there is a stone quay which projects into the lake and on the east side a second quay and an enclosed dock with a slipway.
INTERIOR: the ground floor is essentially an undivided wet dock for boats, comprising two parallel docks. It is entered though a doorway near the south corner and stone steps lead down to slate paved stone built walkways along the south-east and south- west sides of the larger, eastern dock. A central wooden walkway is a later insertion on the site of a former 'floating stage'. The rear wall of the dock contains two wall cupboards, there are wooden shutters to the openings in the north west side and a row of square socket holes of uncertain function. Timber posts and a cast iron column support the first floor, which is divided by lightweight modern partitions into two spaces, and the small workshop at the south corner, enclosed by timber partitions, contains a fireplace and storage cupboards.
HISTORY: this boathouse was one of five constructed on the Wray Estate during the second half of the C19; its size and position indicate that it was the principal boathouse for the occupants of nearby Wray Castle. The building is not depicted on the 1847-8 Ordnance Survey map but is present on the next edition published in 1888; all evidence supports the view that it was constructed shortly after 1847 as it is an integral part of the owner, James Dawson's (1779-1875) building project at Wray. A small room on the first floor is the 'workshop' referred to in 1920s sales documentation.
Bostock J, Wray Castle: Boathouse Approximately 300m to North of RMS Wray Castle, Claife, South Lakeland, Cumbria (2010)
Haigh S, Outbuildings at Wray Castle Claife Cumbria: Vernacular Buildings Survey for the National Trust (2005)
Menuge A and Goodall I, Wray Castle, Claife Cumbria. A report for the National Trust (2006)
Menuge A, Patriotic Pleasures: Boathouses and Boating in the English Lakes (in prep).
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: This mid-C19 boathouse to Wray Castle is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: [bullet] Group Value: it has group value with the numerous listed buildings of the Wray Estate, the principal building of which is listed at Grade II[star]. [bullet] Architectural Interest: A Gothic treatment and good quality detailing makes this an extremely attractive example of a mid-C19 boathouse. [bullet] Historical interest: it is the largest example of a Lake District Victorian boathouse, many of which were built to service the large villas which proliferated from the 1770s, and from which a nautical culture developed. [bullet] Landscape setting: the Gothic boathouse is part of a carefully planned design in which its presence punctuates the approach to Wray Castle in the same way the Gothic gate lodge does the approach by land.
district:- South Lakeland
listed building
coordinates:- NY37580131
date:- 2010
period:- 2010s

tiny photograph, 
button to large Wray Castle Boat House -- Wray Castle -- Low Wray Bay -- Windermere lake -- Low Wray -- Claife -- Cumbria / -- 15.2.2008
tiny photograph, 
button to large Wray Castle Boat House -- Wray Castle -- Low Wray Bay -- Windermere lake -- Low Wray -- Claife -- Cumbria / -- 15.2.2008

Old Cumbria Gazetteer - JandMN: 2013

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