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An Extraordinary Order: The Little Temple at Temple Newsam

Article Index

  1. An Extraordinary Order: The Little Temple at Temple Newsam
  2. Background
  3. Description
  4. Commentary: Context
  5. Commentary: Precedents from Architectural History
  6. Commentary: Purity of Style
  7. Commentary: Non-Architectural Models
  8. Designer: Possible Designers
  9. Designer: Other Hypotheses
  10. Designer: The Model Used
  11. Condition
  12. Conclusions
  13. Appendix 1
  14. Appendix 2
  15. References
  16. Illustrations
  17. All Pages


The Little Temple has been fenced off from public access for many years “for safety reasons and to deter vandalism” (Leeds CC).

It is clearly in urgent need of conservation and repair. At first sight, the following issues are apparent. [40, 41, 42]

Sandstone – some damage – large flake from south column, some corners of abacuses are missing, erosion and impact damage, with moss/lichen at bases.

Stone Plinth – cracking, with moss and lichen.

Brick/render – cracked, spalled, recent graffiti

Timber entablature/pediments/roof – lost paint, water ingress, broken and rotting timbers.

Footings may be affected by nearby tree roots, including the mature Beech only 3m from the northeast corner, and possibly also by 1940s opencast mining “to within 20m”.

A paint sample scrape and recording of the oldest layers and tints would be advisable before all is irretrievably lost.

A fabric inspection report by ADS for Leeds CC in 2004 seen appears to be thorough, and the works then recommended generally appropriate. The Little Temple was due to be reinspected in 2014 and, after another 10 years of weathering and decay, prompt action will be even more imperative.