Loggia, probably 2nd quarter of C19, in the grounds of Thames Eyot, formerly the site of Poulett Lodge.
Reason for Listing
The early to mid-C19 loggia at Thames Eyot, formerly the site of Poulett Lodge, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: Portland stone Tuscan loggia leading to the rare surviving grotto or shell house (separately listed at Grade II*) and built against the boundary wall where there have been garden structures since at least 1725;
* Historic interest: Poulett Lodge was one of a group of substantial houses and gardens fronting the River Thames at Twickenham, associated with the literary and dilettante circles which included Alexander Pope and Horace Walpole; the Tuscan loggia, which is typical of the early to mid-C19 development of the garden, reflects a C19 phase in the continuing development of the gardens where the historic and architectural interest ranges from the early C18 to the late C19.
The grotto or shell house and attached loggia (separately listed) are built against the southern boundary wall of the grounds now occupied by Thames Eyot, a 1930s block of serviced flats. In the 1740s Dr William Battie, President of the Royal Society of Physicians, had built a new house on the plot, on the site of an early C18 house which had been destroyed by fire in 1734. It was one of a group of substantial houses and gardens fronting the Thames at Twickenham, which were the centre of the literary and dilettante circle which included Alexander Pope and Horace Walpole. It became known as Poulett Lodge after the family who owned it from 1774 until 1838. The house and grounds were remodelled in the Italianate manner in the 1870s by Frederick Chancellor for the new owner William Punchard, however Poulett Lodge was demolished in the 1930s to make way for Thames Eyot flats. The grounds were re-planned and replanted in 1962.
The owners and tenants of these C18 riverside houses vied with each other to augment their gardens with a fashionable grotto, cold-bath or Chinese pavilion, and were invariably acknowledged by a pithy repost from Pope or Walpole on their neighbour's lack of taste or sincerity. Their aspirations are recorded in Peter Tillemans' panorama of c1725. The painting portrayed the garden on this site with a pair of pavilions at the water's edge and a larger pavilion straddling the boundary wall between it and Cross Deep to the south, conceivably with space for an ice house or grotto beneath it. However they are omitted from an engraving of Dr Battie's house of 1749. The grotto is subject of debate and has been dated inconclusively to either the mid- to later C18, in emulation of Pope's grotto of the 1720s, or to the early C19. According to map evidence the loggia was added between 1818 and1863. Both survived Chancellor's remodelling of the grounds in the 1870s, when the riverside balustrade was built, and the demolition of the house in the 1930s.
At its eastern, riverside, end, the loggia is linked to the 1870s balustrade by a small alcove of the height of the balustrade. The loggia backs onto a canted garden pavilion in the neighbouring property to the south (not included in the listing).
MATERIALS: Portland stone, brick and cement, faced in dressed ashlar, stone flag roof slabs, on iron brackets, stone flag floors, slate soffit to roof.
PLAN AND ELEVATIONS: the loggia is built against the southern boundary wall and faces north-east. Approximately 18.5 m in length and 2.4 m deep, it comprises a ten-bay Tuscan colonnade built in stone and terminating in a square pier at the river end of the loggia and in paired piers adjacent to the grotto. The frieze is of alternating triglyphs and paterae beneath a deep projecting cornice with flat mutules or brackets. The rear wall is faced in stone and lined with truncated short pilasters. The roof, which is a single pitch, is clad in large stone flags supported on pierced iron brackets which also support slate linings. The floor and forecourt which extends beyond the loggia are paved in stone flags, extended in reconstituted stone paving.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.