Palace complex, Grocholin
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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A well-preserved palace and manor farm complex featuring clearly discernible traces of successive stylistic changes. The late medieval fortified manor house remains an example of a typical knight’s residence of the type once common in the Greater Poland region, comparable to the Sieraków castle or the fortified manor house in Kruchowo.

History

The oldest written records mentioning the village date back to the late 14th and early 15th century. For the above reason, the designation of the manor house as a medieval structure has given rise to controversy. It is believed that, following the death of Władysław Miłkowski-Oporowski and the subsequent subdivision of the manor between his two sons somewhere around the year 1510, one of them - Mikołaj - became the owner of the village. From 1517 onwards, a chapel is known to have existed there, with the bishop of Łask conferring upon the village owner the right to hold church service there. In the 16th century, the ownership of the village passed on to the archbishops of Gniezno. In the early 17th century, the village was held by the three nephews of the archbishop Wojciech Baranowski under a lease agreement, although later on, they became its full legal owners. When the last members of the Baranowski family died without heirs in 1818, Grocholin was put up on an auction and was subsequently acquired in 1829 by count Skórzewski, who in turn sold it to Julius Carl von Treskow before 1836. Later on, the ownership of the village passed on to von Treskow’s adopted son, Rosen, who remained its owner right until World War II broke out.

The construction of the Late Gothic fortified manor is usually said to have commenced in the early 17th century; however, this date still needs to be verified. Apart from typical Gothic features, the building also has certain Mannerist design flourishes, including the portal in its eastern façade.

In the 18th century, the manor house was in a poor technical condition, leading to the collapse of its corner tower. When the village of Grocholin was purchased by Skórzewski, the construction of a new palace began, its design displaying numerous Classicist influences. It is believed that the construction project may have been continued by von Treskow later on. The old manor house was restored in 1836, with the works performed encompassing the rearrangement of first-floor rooms, the reconstruction of the corner tower as well as the addition of Gothic Revival gables. The roof truss of the building was also replaced during that period. During the interwar period, the manor house was known as the armoury, its interiors being used for the purposes of storage and display of von Treskow-Rosen’s private collection of historic weaponry.

The nearby Classicist manor house was subsequently redesigned in the second half of the 19th century as well as in the early 20th century, with much of its original, Classicist design features and detailing being lost in the process.

After World War II, the entire manor served as a State Agricultural Farm (PGR). In 1956, the corner tower of the old manor house collapsed once again. In the years 1974-80, the building underwent a comprehensive renovation which encompassed the reconstruction of the destroyed tower. In the 1990s, the building was converted into a conference centre. The Classicist manor house, on the other hand, continues to serve residential purposes.

Description

The complex consists of an extensive park, two residential buildings as well as the manor farm buildings located in the western part of the village. The structure is located on the northern side of the Miaskowo - Kcynia road. The residential part of the manor with the two manor houses is located in the centre of the complex. A landscape park stretches towards the north and the north-west, the waters of the Struga Smogulecka river flowing into its three interconnected ponds. An alley leading from the Miaskowo - Kcynia road runs across the park, over a small bridge spanning a waterway connecting two neighbouring ponds and reaching all the way to the former driveway with a central, ornamental lawn, virtually indiscernible in the surrounding terrain.

The old manor house is located on the western side of the former driveway, while the more recent, Classicist mansion stands on the southern side thereof. The manor farm buildings are located behind the new manor house, in the southern part of the complex; their overall layout has survived intact despite the passage of time, which cannot be said of their individual design, since the buildings are now either substantially modified or thoroughly modern in appearance. The manor house, often referred to as the castle, was designed on a roughly square floor plan, its interiors following a two-bay layout. The building features a pentagonal corner tower on the south-western side of the building, its body partially merged with that of the manor house. The manor house is a two-storey building with a basement, featuring a tall gable roof. The tower is a six-storey structure with a crenellated parapet on top. The western façade features a portal flanked by a pair of columns with tall impost blocks and crowned with a voluted pediment, its edges accentuated with strapwork decoration. The façades of the building are topped with a crowning cornice, separating the southern and northern gables from the rest of the structure. The design of the stepped gables bears the hallmark of the Gothic Revival style. The window openings are adorned with broad, plasterwork surrounds. The windows on the ground floor are segment-headed, while those at the first-floor level are purely rectangular in shape, their overall design having been transformed in the 19th century. Inside, a number of ground floor rooms feature barrel vaults and cloister vaults with lunettes. On the first floor, visitors can admire the wooden beamed ceilings as well as wood panelling dating back to the redesign of the building which took place in 1836.

The new, Classicist palace was designed on a rectangular floor plan, deviating slightly from the east-west axis. It is a two-storey structure with a basement, featuring a hip roof with wall dormers above the side façades. The front (northern) façade follows a seven-axial layout. A central, three-axial avant-corps projects ahead of the façade, featuring a triangular pediment and a recessed portico topped with a round arch at the first-floor level. All façades are topped with a crowning cornice, with an additional string course running between the individual storeys. The axially positioned windows are framed with profiled surrounds and feature segments of plain cornice directly above the lintel.

The interiors of the manor house have been substantially remodelled during the period when it served the needs of the nearby state-owned farm (PGR).

The manor farm area is connected with the residential section of the complex with an alley and a gate with brick posts. The surviving structures include the former administrator’s building, the cowshed and the granary. All of the buildings have seen substantial redesign after World War II. The remaining buildings are all modern structures, erected on the site of their historic predecessors.

The landscape park, covering as area of 12 hectares, was established in the first half of the 19th century. The park features a large alley, a system of water bodies consisting of three ponds as well as a great variety of trees, representing 29 species in total. The park has undergone revitalisation works both towards the end of the 20th century and in the early 19th century.

Limited access to the monument. The park is open to the public. The structures can be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Piotr Dąbrowski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Toruń, 14-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Łaniecki S., Pałace, dwory i folwarki powiatu nakielskiego, Sępólno Krajeńskie-Nakło n. Notecią 2005, pp. 102-115.
  • Prusak P., Raczyńska E., Grocholin dzieje zamku i jego właścicieli, “Zeszyty Regionalne Kcyńskiego Towarzystwa Kulturalnego” 1999, issue 4.
  • Architectural monument record sheet, Dwór obronny, ob. Zajazd Grocholin, prepared by Grzybowska M., Werterowska Z., 1999, Archive of the Regional Monuments Inspector in Toruń, Bydgoszcz Branch Office.

General information

  • Type: palace
  • Chronology: przełom XVI/XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Grocholin
  • Location: Voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie, district nakielski, commune Kcynia - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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