Friends of Old Wymering (FOW)

A photographic tour of the Ground floor of Wymering Manor


Introduction

Our tour of the ground floor of the Manor House visits some of its rooms. Most of the rooms have changed use over time and so are referred to by a number to avoid confusion.

Plan of the Ground Floor


Ground Floor Plan

Shortcut to rooms

If you want to go direct to a particular place, click on its name below.

 
Room 1     Room 2     Room 3
Room 4     Room 5     Room 6
Room 7     Room 8     Room 9
Room 10

Within the narratives below, the front of the house is referred to as facing east despite being slightly off 'true' east. The other directions are treated similarly.

The narratives below were mainly written in 2014. Since that time some of the rooms have been altered (mainly decorating).

The National Buildings Register (NBR) has been used help in constructing a narrative of the rooms.


Room 1

Room 1

Out tour of the ground floor starts in Room 1. The NBR plan refers to it as the Entrance Hall. It is on the east of the house and is the main entrance into the house.

The room is approximately 6.6m from north to south and 5.8m east to west. The room is the height of ground and first floor together. The NBR plan does not include the height of this area.

The double external doors give access to a small internal storm lobby, with timber panelled walls and double doors to Room 1. The internal double doors are partially glazed with 14 small panes of clear glass.

Flanking the main entrance doors in the east wall are fixed windows with panelled shutters folding back into recesses in the window reveal.

There is a door to the north giving access to Room 6 and a door to the south giving access to Room 2.

Ashlaring runs around the wall at a height of 710mm. The north wall is plastered to resemble ashlar blocks. The south and east walls are plain.

At ceiling level a cornice with simplified Greek key decoration runs around the room with picture hooks beneath. A high level window with 3 sash windows with curved tops sits below the cornice in the middle of the wall.

Two staircases back onto the room with wood panelled bases and wooden twisted spindles.

Although the staircases are the same style they are not identical in shape as can be seen from the plans. They both lead to the first floor (Gallery and Lobby): the south staircase leads to the first floor Lobby and the north staircase to the Gallery. The open Gallery runs across the western end of Room 1. The Gallery has irregularly shaped wooden beams beneath running east to west. At the northern end it is curved to allow access which follows the shape of and partially conceals a curved beam with adze marks. The Gallery is supported on the western side on pillars beside the stairs, encased in fluted panelling with scroll capitals.

Access to the first floor by the south staircase is impeded by a low lintel where the south wall of the hall is breached. The hall staircase ends at this point and narrow stairs continue up to the first floor Lobby through a door.

The north staircase rises through a broad gap in the north wall of Room 1, allowing full height and full width access throughout, facilitated by the curved end of the gallery above.

The floor of Room 1 has floorboards 170mm wide with square edges; they are not grooved.

The old photograph shows one of the Jacobean style staircases and how Room 1 was furnished when the house was occupied by the Metcalfe family after WWII. There is a Gallery connecting the two staircases and giving access to the upstairs bedrooms and attics. When the house was first built (c. 1582), what is now Room 1 was an open courtyard, formed by the two projecting wings and Room 4, which ended roughly level with the timber columns you can see in the photo.


Room 2

Room 2

The next room on the tour is Room 3. The NBR plan refers to it as the Parlour. Between 1900 and 1938 this room was variously Dining room and Library. In the 1946 sale catalogue it is called the Study. It is curemtly used as a kitchen.

The room is approximately square - 5.30m x 5.30m. The NBR plan shows the ceiling height as 9ft 5 inches. The walls are painted plaster.

The Metcalfe family between 1948 and 1960 and the YHA from 1960 used it as a kitchen and when the Youth Hostels Association leased it from 1960 to 2005 it was the Warden's Kitchen. In Mr Parr's time it had been a study.

A single storey three sided splayed bay window with sashes is set into the east wall, with a central panel wider than the two side panels. The bay window is not original. The bay has panelled reveals probably concealing shutters, as in Room 6. In the cills of the bay are pairs of holes with 160mm centres at side, 273mm centres in centre section. (They are absent from the cills of the bay in Room 6.)

A glazed partition runs north south across the room beside the door to Room 1 but turns at the south end to create an alcove at that end, with a sink.

At the south west corner is a cupboard and a small wash hand basin.

A door approximately in the middle of the south wall gives access to a small lobby and a further door to the exterior. There is a step down into Room 7. Room 7 has a floor of red rectangular tiles and a w.c. off to the west that has a wooden door of vertical planks with diagonal cross braces.

A wide cooker hood runs along the west wall to the south of the door to the corridor leading to Room 3 (for further details of which see Room 3 below).

A beam runs east west across the ceiling, in the same orientation as Room 3 next door, encased in painted panels, and meets a beam spanning the bay, also enclosed in painted panels.

There is a non slip sheet floor covering throughout.

Room 2 which you can see on the Ground Floor Plan to the left of the front door is the room used as a kitchen by the Metcalfe family. In Mr Parr's time it had been a study. It has a bay window which is not original.


Room 3

Room 3

The next room on the tour is Room 3. The NBR plan refers to it as the Dining Room. Between 1900 and 1938 this room was variously Dining room and Library. It was the dining room of the Metcalfe family between 1948 and 1960 and also the YHA from 1960.

This room is 5.37m north to south by 6.4m east to west. The NBR plan shows the height of the ceiling as 9ft 2inches to the plaster soffit.

On the east wall, at the north end is panelling, with an understairs cupboard with shelves behind, and a counter, giving access to the corridor leading to Room 2. The corridor is (size?) with a small access hatch in the ceiling. Across the corridor at the top of the panelling is a carved wooden decorative bridge.

To the south of the corridor is the fireplace, with two sets of wooden decoration above and a modern stone fireplace. On the south side is a call button.

In the south wall is a wide rectangular casement window in four sections of 8 panes each. There are two opening lights. Immediately behind the window in the reveal, at each end are small metal edged recesses to take bars. At the east end are two holes, and the west end is a single hole. Also in the south wall and to the west of the window is a low but wide door to the exterior with a wide door case. The door has diagonal wooden planks and a golden lion rampant decoration plus a thick plank across the bottom of the door below the hinge. There are two strap hinges and a bolt at the bottom which fits into a metal fixing in the door frame. There is a blanking plate below the metal latch, which has incised decoration of four vertical lines, a diagonal cross and a further three vertical lines then another diagonal cross and two more vertical lines. The latch does not match up with the latch holder on the frame. The door case is deeper across the top but it appears to be painted plaster on which there is carved decoration of both scrolls and vegetal motifs. The vertical architrave appears to be a composite.

To the right of the door is painted wall decoration protected under plastic. It is a cobalt blue stripe.

A further painted strip runs along part of the west wall, below the cornice close to the south west corner of the room.

In the west wall there was once a doorway into Room 7 and an access hatch remains. There is a deep dentille cornice on this wall with picture hooks beneath.

On the north wall there are pilasters at the northwest wall junction and mid way along the wall. There is a chair rail at the west end only. The plasterboard panelling between the pilasters is held in place with metal studs.

At the east end of this wall is the door to Room 4 with a moulded architrave, measuring 1150mm wide and 3530mm high. This door has 2 panels and L shaped hinges measuring 180mm wide (horizontal) and 305mm high (vertical part).

The floor is carpeted throughout. There is a step down to the Grand Hll of 30mm.

A beam runs the whole length along the top of the north wall, with a moulded cornice beneath.

A spine beam runs east to west, with a cross beam enclosed in panelled wood across the centre of the room. The spine beam meets a further beam running across the ceiling above the fireplace. The east west beam is chamfered on both sides but has a stop at the east end only.

The beam above the fireplace is 255mm wide but the depth is hidden in the plaster ceiling. It is not chamfered but has adze marks and evidence of 4 small mortice holes in a line towards the north end, the first of which is approximately 810mm from the south wall. To the north is evidence of a further mortice set back from the other set. There is a metal strengthening plate secured with square headed bolts close to the window end.


Room 4

Room 4

The next room on the tour is Room 4. The NBR plan refers to it as the Grand Hall. It is approximately 7m north to south and 6.68m east to west. The NBR plans show the ceiling height as 9ft 2 inches. The room is carpeted throughout.

It was furnished with chairs and tables from 1900 to 1960.

This view was taken looking back at Room 1 from Room 4 and dates from Mr Parr's years. Note the candlesticks on the table. The elaborate ceilings shown in this photo had been replaced by the time the previous photo was taken.

To the east it leads into Room 1 between twin staircases.

There is also a small corridor behind and under the north staircase leading to a door into Room 6. This corridor on its north side has curved shelves closest to Room 6 and a cupboard, which has a curved east end and at the north west corner the brick and chalk block construction of the chimney stack serving both Room 5 and Room 6 is visible. The bricks are 9 inches wide and 2 inches high. The cupboard door has H shaped hinges which are not however the same. The bottom hinge is plain and the top hinge is shaped. Off the corridor is a further cupboard on the south side, in the area immediately beneath the staircase, and in which the construction of the staircase is visible.

On the south side of the room a door with two fielded panels leads into Room 3 which is 30mm lower. To the west there is a door on each side of the fireplace with six panes each and narrow glazing bars, both doors leading into the garden. These both have panelled wooden shutters which are split vertically and fold back against the wall into recesses. The door frame and shutter recess on the south side has slots for securing bars at upper and lower levels but the bars are no longer attached. The shutter on the south side is split into three panels vertically. The shutter on the north side door does not reach the ground and is split into two panels vertically. There are slots for securing bars at upper and lower levels and the lower bar is still attached. In the south west corner a further door, which has evidence that it was once a double door with three uneven panels on each side, leads to Room 7. To the north a panelled door leads into Room 3 however the doorframe overlaps the pilaster beside it on the east side and the pilaster on the west side has been extended up to the doorframe. Also on the east side set into the pilaster is a slot cut with a metal plate covering it. The slot measured 125mm high by 30mm wide, and was 1105mm from the floor to the base of the metal plate.

The south and north walls are panelled with a deep cornice above but are not solid, only partitions. The panelling on each wall is different with the south side having fluted pilasters and fielded panels in different sizes and the north side having flat pilasters and plain panels of equal sizes.

The fire surround is stone and the mantel shelf has cracked at the south end. The hearth has square red tiles and the fireplace and flue are brick lined.

The ceiling has a spine beam running east west which has wooden panelling covering it, and 11 lateral beams running from it. The lateral beams are all chamfered but have no stops.

Floorboards were seen in the corridor leading to Room 6. These were various sizes, 150, 155 and 180 mm wide without grooved edges.

Room 4 would have been the principal room of the house for the family when the house was first built.


Room 5

Room 5

The next room on the tour is Room 5. The NBR plan refers to it as the Drawing room. It is on the east of the house and is the main entrance into the house. In 1959 this room was used as a lounge or drawing room by the Metcalfe family. In the 1946 sale catalogue it is called the Library.

It is 5.42m north to south and 7.33m east to west. The NBR plans do not give the height of this room. The south and east walls are painted plaster. The access from Room 4 is level.

The oak beamed ceiling is original. The bow window was probably added at the start of the nineteenth century. It also has the original shutters. In this room you can see the damage caused by the rotting of the corner post in the far corner. The floor above has dropped by about 4 inches (100 mm).

Scaffolding was erected in 2005 following a partial collapse of the post in the northwest corner of the room. This necessitated the removal of the floorboards from half of the room so that the floor above could be supported.

The room is carpeted except where the floorboards had been lifted to allow erection of the scaffolding, revealing floor joists laid on the well compacted subfloor. On the subfloor were fragments of glazed white tile, broken bottle bases and fragments of clay tiles and plaster with hair bound into it. The floorboards where visible were 162mm wide with a rebate on both sides. On the floor lie many wooden beams taken from the building.

There is a lobby with a door at its entrance at the north east end, at a higher level than the room itself. This has a small casement window in the north wall with six obscure glass panes and vertical metal bars on the inside. A hole drilled in the south wall of Room 7 revealed chalk fill.

The fireplace is at the east end. This has carved wooden columns with dolphin terminals. On the columns sits a rectangular wooden panel divided vertically in two, each side having identical fielded panelling and a fluted cornice across the top. The fireplace is modern with a gas fire. Beneath the modern hearth is a black layer which may be the remnant of an earlier hearth and a further, thicker stone layer (limestone) which may be an even earlier hearth.

On the south side of the room is a door leading to Room 4. The south wall has picture hooks below the cornice, which continue at the east end up to the fireplace.

At the west end is a bow window with sash windows in 8 panes with glazing bars 20mm wide, flanking a central door onto the rear garden. The bow windows and its door have shutters set into recesses, with fixing bars still present on the north side and across the door. The hinges of the shutters are butterfly shaped. Where the bow begins to both north and south, are wooden pilasters with dolphin decoration the same as those framing the fireplace but set on panelled pilasters.

On the north wall is a glazed door leading to the exterior, with a step up of 550mm from the subfloor. The north wall construction has been revealed by removal of the wall covering during support for the upper storey. A structural post in the northwest corner has mortices for a midrail that would have run along the north wall and a mortice for a brace along the west wall. The brickwork of the north wall is rough and untidy throughout with odd sized bricks and little or no evidence of pointing. There is evidence of timbers inset into the wall which are no longer present but which do not appear to have been tied into the storey rail above. The floor plate is missing but there are two holes through the wall to the outside, one covered by a grille. The storey rail has evidence of close studding. There is also evidence of a window approximately 2400mm long overall, positioned approximately 660mm from the west edge of the glazed door and approximately 1550mm from the east wall. The window had 4 mortices for mullions at 370mm centres and holes for glazing pins at 375mm centres. The mortices and window end show ovolo moulding, which Edward Roberts reported continued on the bottom edge of the north face of the storey rail, which he believed originally had projected beyond the north wall face.

On the ceiling a spine beam 360mm wide runs east west, joining a transverse beam across the bow window. The spine beam is chamfered both sides but stopped at the west end only. A filet has been added at some point to the cross beam below the spine beam. There are 11 lateral beams each side of the spine beam, all chamfered both sides and stopped both ends, measuring 145mm wide. The beam furthest east is wider than the rest.


Room 6

Room 6

The next room on the tour is Room 6. In the 1946 sale catalogue and on the NBR plans it is called the Morning room.

It is 5.42m north to south and 7.33m east to west. The NBR plans show the height as 9ft 2inches to plaster soffit. The south and east walls are painted plaster. The access from Room 4 is level.

The walls are plaster, covered in wallpaper that has been painted. The floor is carpeted throughout and the NBR plans note a step down of 2 inches (50mm) into the room from Room 1 (room 1). The ceiling is plastered with no beams visible. A hole cut into the ceiling reveals the floorboards of the first floor. A moulded cornice runs around the top of the walls (except above the bay window, which has panelling.)

On the east wall is a splayed bay window matching that in Room 2, with three sections each having a sash window and split shutters. There are 4 panes in the side sections and 16 panes in the central section of the window. The glazing bars of the central panel are plain and square in section. The wall below the window is panelled on the south side only, the remainder being wallpaper over wooden sheeting.

The south wall has a door to Room 1 with four uneven panels with plain edges.

The west wall has a door to the corridor, leading behind the north staircase in Room 1 to Room 4. There is also a brick fireplace painted red and cream.


Room 7

Room 7
The next room on the tour is Room 7. The NBR plan refers to it as the Lobby.

Room 8

Room 8
The next room on the tour is Room 8. The NBR plan refers to it as a room off the Lobby.

Room 9

Room 9

The next room on the tour is Room 9. In the 1946 sale catalogue and on the NBR plans this is called the Music room.

It is 5.2m from north to south and 4.8m east to west. The NBR plans show the height as 9ft 2inches to plaster soffit. The walls are plaster, covered in wallpaper that has been painted. The floor is carpeted throughout and the NBR plans note a step down of 2 inches (50mm) into the room from Room 1 (room 1). The ceiling is plastered with no beams visible. A hole cut into the ceiling reveals the floorboards of the first floor. A moulded cornice runs around the top of the walls (except above the bay window, which has panelling.)

It is the largest room in the house and was added in the nineteenth century but has been much altered. In the photograph, taken in the 1930s, there is a magnificent fireplace installed by Mr Parr which was removed after WWII. There is a tradition that it came from Bold Hall, a Georgian mansion near Liverpool that was demolished in 1899. The windows were also altered at some stage, probably when the attic above was created by flooring it. Nineteenth century photographs show the windows extending into the roof.

Some of the many family portraits and furniture, which were returned to the Hesketh family under the terms of Mr Parr's will can be seen. Although called Room 9 on the plan, in Mr Parr's time it was Room 5 and it would have been here that Queen Mary was entertained on her brief visit.

Before redecoration there was evidence that the WWII occupants had left graffiti on the walls. Mr Metcalfe had his workshop in this room. Among his inventions was a pedal powered car.

On the east wall is a splayed bay window matching that in Room 2, with three sections each having a sash window and split shutters. There are 4 panes in the side sections and 16 panes in the central section of the window. The glazing bars of the central panel are plain and square in section. The wall below the window is panelled on the south side only, the remainder being wallpaper over wooden sheeting.


Room 10

Room 10

The next room on the tour is Room 10. The NBR plan refers to it as the Kitchen. It was a kitchen from 1900 to 1938 and is described as such in the 1946 sale catalogue. This room is sometimes referred to as a chapel but it is aligned north south and not east west as a chapel would be. Mr Metcalfe believed it originally had been a refectory or dining room. He converted it into a garage.

The room measures 9.85m from north to south and 5.08m east to west but has been truncated by the insertion of the men's shower room and toilets at its north end. The floor is non slip sheeting.

This was a nineteenth century addition but may replace an earlier kitchen range. The photo shows Room 10 in Mr Parr's time. Above the fireplace is a plaque displaying the family crest and motto of the Parr family 'Amour avecque Loiaulte'. There was quite a household to feed then. Besides Mr Parr, his aunt Mrs Nightingale and her two daughters there was a cook, a parlourmaid, a housemaid, a kitchenmaid and a nurse to feed.

There once was a narrow raised "minstrel's gallery" across the end above the door opposite the fireplace.

It was the member's kitchen while leased to YHA. From 1947 to 1960 it was converted into a garage, accessed from the east. This room is called the Chapel on the NBR plans. At the time of the NBR plans (1959) there was a gallery at the south end, described as a minstrel gallery in the 1946 sale catalogue (when there were also other extensive service rooms attached to the house in this area).

In the south wall is a half glazed door to the exterior with a pair of fixed gothic windows in the gable end above. The window has glazing bars and is divided toward the top, the bottom part having 12 panes and the top being divided into three by curved glazing bars. A rectangular plain glazed window is at a lower level on the east side of the door.

A false ceiling has been inserted in much of the room, obscuring the shape of the roof.

On the west wall are two windows above head height that are not the same. The window at the south end has a gothic top and leaded panes both square and diamond shaped, set in a splayed embrasure. The window to the north has a flat top and rectangular leaded panes. Although the sides of the window embrasure are splayed the top is not. (These windows and two others, now in the men's shower room but covered by wall covering, are seen in photographs of the west elevation.)

The room shape has been distorted by the erection of panelling to create a male shower room and toilet facility at the northwest end. Room 7 is reached via 4 steps outside the door to the shower room approximately 685mm high overall. The side wall outside the shower room is brick, in English bond with bricks 225mm wide and 65mm deep. The presence at a high level of the mantel shelf of the old kitchen, shows this was once the outside of the fireplace. Further evidence for this is seen above the false ceiling of the shower room where the curved top of the fireplace seen in photos from the early 20th century is clearly seen. Also present but hidden from view are the stone tablets mounted on the fireplace. One has an inscription in English and below it a carved angel head. On the exterior wall of Room 7 outside Room 10, by the steps, is a rectangular window set in a brick embrasure that is splayed on the north side.