The history of Court Lodge, Orlestone dates back to 1322, when the tenant in capite or Lord of the Manor, Sir William of Orlaston, built a hall house to which he later added a byre and barn to accommodate his serfs and animals. The early hall had a central hearth with a smoke hole in the roof but over time, the hall was divided with a raised living room or solar remote from the kitchen and entrance hall. A partial upper floor formed a storage loft which was later extended to form a complete two storey house.
For those of you who are fascinated by the architectural features of our ancient heritage, we have reproduced extracts from the house’s listing and our thanks to Historic England for this.
The house in its current form dates from a 15th Century construction, extended in the 16th century and altered in 1847. It is timber framed with part exposed close-studding with plaster infill and part rendered. It has plain tiled roofs. The building has an L-shaped plan, the entrance front of 2 storeys on ragstone plinth repaired with brick to a continuous jetty on brackets returned on massive, moulded dragon beams. The hipped roof has gablets (untiled to the right) with the gable end of the rear wing oversailing to the centre left.
It enjoys a massive 16th century diapered brick offset stack projecting to the centre left, with 2 lozenge sets and truncated chimneys. There are blocked original mullioned windows to the left on the first floor with casements fitted between studs to the right, with leaded casements on the ground floor.
Inside the house, there is a jettied range with a crown post roof. The former exterior close studded wall is now inside the house with a section of brattished bresummer. The 16th century wing has a fine double wave moulded cross-beamed ceiling, with deeply cut fern-leaf chamfer stops. There is an extremely large inglenook fireplace with massive moulded chimney bressummer and a fireplace added by Edward Kingsnorth with large iron cauldron hooks and ratchet.
The house housed the tithe courts throughout the Middle Ages and Tudor times after which it reverted to a farm house and latterly a family home.