Detached villa, early C19, mellow red brick laid in English garden wall bond with painted brick and stone dressings, shallow hipped slate roof. Two tall chimneystacks, rebuilt in the 1960s, are of common brick. Two-storeys plus basement.
Reason for Listing
* Architectural interest: It is a good example of a smaller, suburban, Regency villa that is little altered and which retains its original attached former stable block
* Historic interest: It represents the wider context of the emerging middle-class in the early C19
* Intactness: The house is virtually unaltered internally and retains the majority of its original interior features, including fireplaces, six-panel doors, moulded architraves, stone and tile floors, an elegant main stair and a servant's bell system
* Spatial hierarchy: The differentiation between the family and service areas remains clearly evident with the principal rooms employing decorative treatment that contrasts with the much plainer service rooms to the rear of the house
The exact date of construction of Heath House is unknown but it is believed to date to the early C19 (probably the Regency period 1811-1830) and is depicted on the 1836-51 Cheshire Tithe map.
The building's address was originally no.1 Whitechurch Road but in the 1930s the Chester city boundary was moved and the house became no.179 Christleton Road. Also at this time the road was altered, resulting in the loss of the house's original stone entrance piers. Much of Heath House's original gardens situated to the east of the building were built upon in the mid C20.
PLAN: Central hallway plan with two rooms off to the front and two rooms off to the rear on each floor; those to the rear of the ground floor are service rooms.
EXTERIOR: Heath House, no.179 Christleton Road retains its original cast-iron rainwater goods and multipaned sash windows, which have painted brick-wedge lintels and painted stone sills. The three-bay front (south) elevation has a simple eaves cornice and a central, slightly raised, ground-floor doorway with a painted stone surround incorporating a reeded keystone and imposts, and a cast-iron bell pull. A six-panel door with flush and raised panels and a batwing fanlight above has an unusual painted cast-iron knocker in the form of a hand clasping a wreath decorated with a lion's head. To the first floor is a modern replacement six-over-six sash window. Both outer bays have eight-over-eight sash windows to each floor and a small basement window also exists to the left bay. Attached to the west end of the front elevation is a high brick wall incorporating large timber double doors and two small window openings, one of which has been blocked up. Behind the wall and attached to the ground floor of the west elevation is an original small, single-storey former stable block, a later timber lean-to, and two yard areas with brick and stone floors; one of which has been roofed to create a garage area. To the first floor left of the west elevation is an eight-over-eight sash window. The house's east-side elevation incorporates a six-over-six sash window to the far right on each floor.
INTERIOR: Original features survive throughout the interior including stone, tile and board floors (some hidden under later coverings), built-in cupboards, arched display alcoves, some window shutters, and marble and timber fireplaces with cast-iron grates (some with later tiled inserts, hearths and cheeks). six-panel doors survive along with moulded architraves; those leading into the two principal ground-floor rooms incorporate lion's head bosses, along with a built-in cupboard in the front right room. Plain moulded cornicing exists to the ground-floor hallway and two principal reception rooms, which also have picture rails. The service room to the rear right of the ground floor contains a suspended drying rack, built-in cupboards and a large cast-iron range with a glazed tile surround. The main hallway has a stone floor and contains two servant's bells; one of which retains its cable connected to the front door bell pull and remains in working order. The other bell originally served the front right reception room but the cable has since been removed. The main dog-leg stair is set to the rear of the hallway and has slender stick balusters, a wreathed mahogany handrail, an open string with carved brackets, and a curtail step. A long, very narrow room has been inserted to the western side of the half-landing level and contains an early, indoor flush toilet with a replaced mid-late C20, high-level cistern. The first-floor rooms are plainer but retain original features, including fireplaces, window surrounds and built-in cupboards. A small bathroom has been inserted at the south end of the first-floor landing. A stone stair beneath the main stair leads down into the basement, which occupies the western side of the building and has a brick floor, whitewashed walls and a fireplace opening with a cast-iron grate. The fireplace's timber surround with integral shelving has been removed to another wall.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.