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Russell Cotes Museum, Bournemouth

Description: Russell Cotes Museum

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 1 August 1974
English Heritage Building ID: 101826

OS Grid Reference: SZ0922290894
OS Grid Coordinates: 409222, 90894
Latitude/Longitude: 50.7176, -1.8707

Location: 3 Russell Cotes Road, Bournemouth BH1 2ET

Locality: Bournemouth
County: Bournemouth
Country: England
Postcode: BH1 2ET

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

In the entry for:-

(South Side)
Russell-Cotes Museum

SZ 0990 19/169 1.8.74


The grade shall be amended to II*

The description should be amended to read:-

House museum and art gallery, formerly East Cliff Hall. 1894 by
Bournemouth architect John Fogarty for Sir Merton and Lady Russell-
Cotes: eastern picture gallery wing added 1918-19 by H.E. Hawker;
western gallery wing added 1990 by Bournemouth Council Architect's
Department. Cement render. Tiled mansard roof with tall rendered
chimney stacks and decorative cast iron balustrade; pyramidal roof
flanked by conical roofs to southern bays. French villa style, on
steep slope having single storey to road and 3 to garden. Porch of
1907: bulbous windowless pavillion of staircase adjoining has glazed
dome on domical leaded base. Garden front has central canted bay
flanked by bowed bays with continuous copper hood above 2nd floor
windows and loggia to 1st floor (which follows the line of the bowed
bays) approached by stone, balustraded imperial steps having a
segmental arch giving access to stairs to 1st floor. Attached
double height picture gallery rendered with rusticated pilasters and
terracotta busts in modallions; cornice and balurstrade with urns. To
left, 2 storey bowed conservatory; rendered ground floor with 3
round-arched openings and glazed 1st floor with shallow conicle roof.
Attached 3 storey extension, known as The Display Space, in similar
but simplified style to the house. Remarkable middle class aesthetic
interior to house with rooms off of a large top-lit, double height,
galleried hall with black and gold painted imperial stair. Interior
decoration by 0. Thomas. Much stencilling, hand-painted ceilings and
panels, tiles and gold lincrusta wallpaper; some good door furniture.
Good stained glass to windows, screens and top lights. Hall with
mosaic lined marble fountain and star-painted ceiling with top light
depicting phases of the sun and signs of the zodiac. Stair with
stencilled dado and gold painted classical frieze below stained glass
dome depicting bats and owls with clouds and stars; mosaic lyre
pattern squinches with lunettes having painted figures in roundels.
Dining room has painted peacock frieze on deep coving, brought forward
on freestanding pink marble Cornithian columns which flank a round-
arched inglenook with Elizabethan style overmantle and grate with blue
and white figure painted cheeks; flanked by stained glass windows.
Fretwork screen to window bay. Morning room ceiling replaced
following war damage and painted in contemporary theatrical trompe-
l'oeil style by Anne Zinkeisen. French style drawing room has C18
Florentine doors, white and gold plaster ceiling, elaborate
chimney piece and overmantle and fretwork screen to window bay. Upper
rooms have various scenically painted ceilings and cornices. Scenes
include Burmese, Japanese, pastoral and nautical. Lady Russell-
Cote's boudoirs in Adam Revival style having a pink stencilled scheme
incorporating cameo medallions and laure swags; good chimneypiece and
overmantle; fretwork screen to window bay. Arabic style painted
polygonal vestibule with stained glass dome leads to study having open
screen, golden imitation Spanish leather wallpaper and painted coved
cornice depicting pastoral bird scenes. Irving Room has painted
medallions. Picture gallery top lit with patterned stained glass
including a compass; Corinthian screen to gallery entrance and
Corinthian doorcases with painted texts to openings form an enfilade.
Tiled toilets and former bathroom with stencilled walls, tiled dado
and painted panel depicting a peacock, a parrot and fruit. The
Display Space has top lighting domes, one with stained glass depicting
local landscapes by Sasha Ward; circular opening to 2nd floor allows
dome to be seen from 1st. Floors approached by spiral stair in glazed
turret. Lord & Lady Russell-Cotes made their money from the Royal
Bath Hotel, Bournemouth. They travelled widely and collected
extensively; the house was built both to accomodate the collection
and entertain on a large scale. In 1908 they presented the house &
contents to the Corporation of Bournemouth, though retaining their
right to live their for their lifetime. By 1922 both had died and the
house and gallery were opened to the public. It is particularly
complete example of middle-class aesthetic taste. The Display Space
contains commissioned sculpture, stained glass and furniture by
contemporary artists and designers, in the tradition of the original

(South Side)

Russell-Cotes Museum
SZ 0990 19/169 1.8.74

Originally built c. 1895-1901 (Architect, J Fogerty) as East Cliff Hall, residence
of Sir Merton Russell-Cotes, owner of Royal Bath Hotel. Given by him to the
borough with his collections. Cement-rendered Italianate villa of eccentric
design, on steep slope, 1 storey to road, 3 to garden. Porch of 1907, bulbous.
windowless pavilion of staircase adjoining had glazed dome on domical leaded
base. House set back, with pavilion roofs in bright red tiles and iron cresting.
Garden front with 3 bows, conical spire over centre, semi-circular pavilion roofs
at sides. Remarkable interior, detailed largely by interior decorator O Thomas:
black and gold staircase, with clouds, stars and owls painted on dome, mosaic
lyre pattern on squinches, and medallions of symbolic figures between squinches,
leads down to galleried central hall, with mosaic-lined fountain and stained
glass skylight. Dining room has painted peacock frieze on deep coving, brought
forward on fragments of entablature on freestanding pink marble Corinthian columns,
which flank Elizabethian-style inglenook, lincrusta walls. Morning room repainted
c. 1920 by A Zinkeisen. Drawing room in more French style: white and gold plaster
ceiling, painted swags on cornice, gold stained glass. Upper rooms in oriental
styles - Burmese, Japanese, Arabic, study divided in two by openwork screen,
again with painted ceiling and lincrusta walls. Another openwork screen in boudoir.
Eastern wing of picture galleries added 1918-19 by H E Hawker: windowless exterior
with rusticated pilasters and terracotta busks in medallions.

Listing NGR: SZ0922290894

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.