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Adcote School

Little Ness
Post Code : SY4 2JY
Telephone : 01939 260202
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Adcote is one of the finest houses built by Norman Shaw, the celebrated late-19th century English domestic architect.

The house was built in 1876 - 81 for Mrs Rebecca Darby, the widow of a descendant of Abraham Darby. Darby was a member of a Quaker family from Coalbrookdale whose modern iron manufacturing methods paved the way for the Industrial Revolution.

His grandson, another Abraham Darby, built the first cast-iron bridge over the Severn at Coalbrookdale.

Rebecca Darby's husband, a great-nephew the younger Abraham Darby, relinquished his direct association with the family business to move into the ranks of landed gentry.

Today, the Grade I listed building is a school.

Shaw designed Adcote in Tudor style and used the local building traditions to give the house a sense of continuity with the past.

The house is built of local sandstone with tall chimneys, pointed gables and mullioned and transomed windows.

Inside Shaw chose a Victorian plan and created some magnificent architectural spaces.

The wide main block contains the reception rooms, family rooms and bedrooms, with a service wing to the side.

From the Entrance Hall steps lead to a screens passage and the Great Hall, one of the finest created by Shaw. Stone arches span the open timber roof and there are mullioned and transomed windows and a medieval-style hooded stone fireplace.

The architect designed the Great Hall as a 'living hall' where the family could entertain large numbers of house-party guests. Today the room serves as a school hall.

The Staircase Hall opens off the screens passage and the Minstrel's Gallery is at the top of the stairs, looking down into the Great Hall below.

The rest of the rooms, although now empty of Darby's furniture and porcelain (some of which are now at Dudmaston Hall, near Bridgnorth) are still interesting. Features include fine woodwork and plasterwork, stone fireplaces and inglenooks.

Adcote is particularly noted for its stained glass by Morris & Co and tiled fireplaces by William de Morgan.

The Library (the former Drawing Room) has a superb collection of de Morgan tiles.

Adcote stands in flat parkland and is surrounded by grounds and landscaped gardens

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House Features
House built by Norman Shaw.
Opening Times
Sometimes opens under the National Gardens Scheme
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