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Description: High Cross Hill House
Date Listed: 16 January 1981
English Heritage Building ID: 101051
OS Grid Reference: SX7936062488
OS Grid Coordinates: 279360, 62488
Latitude/Longitude: 50.4498, -3.7006
Explore more of the area around Dartington, Devon at Explore Britain.
SX7962 DARTINGTON HALL
13/136 High Cross Hill House
House. 1932 by W E Lescaze of Howe and Lescaze of America for W B Curry,
the headmaster of Dartington School. Whitewashed rendered brick cavity
walls. Originally the front (North) block was painted blue and the south
block painted white in contrast. Concrete coping to the parapets which
conceal the flat roof.
Plan: An International Modern Style house, carefully planned. The house
is basically a long rectangular front block interlocked with a taller
square block behind and a small lower rectangular block with a curved
corner in the rear right-hand angle. The ground plan consists of an
entrance hall the servants' room and kitchen. The large drawing room and
the slightly higher level dining room are in the square rear block which
has cut away in the left-hand rear corner a verandah, and in the angle to
the right the study occupies the small low block with a curved corner and a
roof terrace above. On the first floor the guest bedrooms at the right-
hand end of the front range have access to this roof terrace and the maids'
bedrooms and linen cupboards etc. are at the left-hand end of the front
range. The principal bedroom is in the rear block with its bathroom and
writing room and the headmaster's daughter's room to the left had access to
a roof terrace over the left-hand corner but this has been converted into
another room. The stairs rise above the roof into a tower which gives
access to the flat roof terrace of the taller rear block.
Exterior: 2 storeys and stair tower. The house is conceived basically as
2 interlocking blocks with a smaller block with a curved corner in the rear
right-hand angle. The long 2 storey north block has the entrance at the
centre the kitchen to the left and garage to the right at a lower level.
The entrance is to right of centre with a concrete cantilevered canopy over
a boarded double doors with a flashing wall and seat projecting to the
left; high level cloakroom windows to right of doorway, band of windows and
doorway to left and a long continuous shallow band of windows across the
first floor above. The garage doors are at a lower level in the right-hand
(west) end of this north block.
A large, taller, almost square block projects to the rear facing the garden
to the south; the right corner is cut away to form a verandah on the ground
floor and a roof terrace above supported on very thin steel tube posts; a
glazed sun room been built later onto the terrace; to the left the large
drawing room window continues around the corner into the verandah at the
back of which the dining room has a French window. Rising from the left
side of this rear block, the stair tower with an integral stack gives
access to the roof terrace which has a tube steel and wire net balustrade.
In the angle to the left the single storey block containing the study has a
curved left-hand corner around which the window band continues, and above a
roof terrace overlooked by the windows of the first floor rooms in the long
Many of the windows are in horizontal bands and they all have steel frames
and plate glass and the cills are painted steel.
Interior: All the walls are white plastered and the curved corners in the
hall and on the landing are in contrast to the straight stairs with their
solid wall balustrade with a chromium plated tube hand rail. The
staircase rises up to the first floor and from the first floor into the
stair tower which gives access to the roof terrace; here the balustrade is
wooden with round stick balusters and square newels. The 'servants'
quarters and kitchen are confined to the front left-hand (north east)
corner of the house and here the ceiling heights on both floors are lower.
Concealed sliding door from the hall to the drawing room. The drawing room
has a fireplace with a large marble-faced lintel asymmetrically placed in
the chimney breast. Wide hardwood steps lead from the drawing room is
smaller and has French doors to the verandah and plywood cupboards with
sliding hatch doors to the kitchen. The servants stair is similar to the
top stage of the main stair and rises from the servants' living room. The
study has an asymmetrical block glazed tile fireplace surround. On the
first floor there are plywood cupboards and drawers in the servants'
quarters and a large fitted wardrobe outside the principal bedroom which
has a small fireplace in a curved corner.
Generally all the doors are plywood, some with hardwood veneer, in painted
steel doorframes. The heating radiators are set in the walls flush with
the wall surface.
High Cross Hill House was the first of the International Modern Style
buildings to be built at Dartington
References: C Hussey, Country Life 11 February 1933. Architect's drawings
in Dartington Hall archive.
Listing NGR: SX7936062488
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.