Gate House to...

Every time I visit Stokesay Castle it takes me by surprise. One look at the gatehouse which was built in 1640-41 makes me feel that I have stepped back in time. The gatehouse as it stands now, probably replaces an original stone structure of which little is known.

The detailing on the gatehouse is quite elaborate with stars, moons, angels, dragons, Adam, Eve and more incorporated into the design:

The biblical story of the fall of man is carved along the lintel above the entrance, with the trees of life and of the knowledge of good and evil at each end, and Adam, the serpent and Eve between them. Adam and Eve appear again on the brackets flanking the entrance, while the brackets to the south are carved as acanthus leaves and those to the north as a pair of dragons. Angels top the wooden pilasters set on either side of the window above.

The inner side of the gatehouse repeats the exterior design, with the addition of two doors, but the carving is even more flamboyant. Dragons grasp a shield over the doorway and on the brackets on either side are a man and woman in Jacobean dress, accompanied respectively by a nude woman, half-hidden, and a nude man. More human figures support the low arches beneath the window above.*

*From the Stokesay Castle guidebook.

8 Comments CherryPie on Jan 5th 2012

8 Responses to “Architecture 100 :: 2 – Stokesay Castle Gatehouse”

  1. I’ve always wanted to visit this castle!
    Saw it on BBC (maybe History channel) last night. ;)
    Are you planning to get another annual pass from the English Heritage this year?

  2. jameshigham says:

    What’s the beer like in there?

  3. Marcie says:

    The gatehouse alone and unto itself is lovely!! A beautiful piece of architecture. I just love these tours you take us on!!