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Oakhurst, Bradford

Description: Oakhurst

Grade: II
Date Listed: 15 November 2011
English Heritage Building ID: 1404507

OS Grid Reference: SE1558134878
OS Grid Coordinates: 415579, 434877
Latitude/Longitude: 53.8100, -1.7649

Locality: Bradford
County: Bradford
Country: England
Postcode: BD8 7BG

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Listing Text


Detached villa, 1860s/70s, coursed sandstone 'bricks', ashlar dressings, slate roof, tall stone stacks and rock-faced basement. 2-storeys plus basement and attic with taller ground floor. Gothic Revival style.

Reason for Listing

Oakhurst, No. 2 Oak Mount, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural quality: it is an imposing and well-preserved example of a bespoke mid-late C19 villa with a strong Gothic design incorporating a high level of ornamentation and good quality materials and craftsmanship, along with specialist features, such as a former billiards room projection and a small winter garden room
* Intactness: the exterior is little altered overall and despite later internal alteration many of the interior's original features survive, and the original internal layout remains readable
* Interior quality: the high quality interior, particularly that to the ground floor, is richly decorated with both classical and Gothic influences. It includes decorative moulded cornicing and friezes to the ground and first floors, late C19 fireplaces and overmantels in the principal garden-facing rooms, Gothic-arched openings, decorative plaster ceilings, and a highly decorative stair hall with a bracketed and coffered first floor landing and an elaborate first floor coved ceiling incorporating projecting plaster heads of men and women
* Bespoke design: the interior contains two stained glass windows depicting a man and woman in C17 dress, which are believed to be depictions of the original owner, Jacob Moser and his wife
* Historic interest: it was built for Jacob Moser JP, a wealthy merchant, philanthropist and prominent Zionist and his Jewish heritage is reflected architecturally in the building through the incorporation of a carved Magen David to the bargeboard of the gabled front elevation. The building also serves to reflect the wider context of the strong Jewish patronage of Manningham during the mid-late C19, when wealthy merchants immigrated to Bradford from various parts of Europe, and went on to greatly influence and shape the city


Until the mid-C19 Manningham was a small village on the outskirts of Bradford characterised by weavers' cottages, farmhouses and a few wealthy villas. In c1850 Manningham's population began to increase rapidly as Bradford's worsted and silk trade developed in the mid-late C19. This expansion was escalated by the opening of Manningham railway station in 1860 and the sale of plots of land for the development of middle class housing, which were mainly concentrated in the northern and eastern areas of Manningham and inhabited by the merchant and professional classes. The construction of working-class and lower middle-class terraced housing and back-to-backs was mainly concentrated in the west and south near to mills, such as Samuel Cunliffe Lister's Manningham Mills (1873) and towards the centre of Bradford.

Many small building clubs/societies were formed to construct houses during this period. Whilst much of the east side of Manningham Lane, including Oak Mount and Oak Villas, was developed by building clubs, Oak Avenue was left with much larger plots upon which wealthier individuals could construct their own bespoke houses. Oakhurst, now also known as No. 2 Oak Mount, is believed to have been constructed in the 1860s/70s and is one such bespoke house. It was built for Jacob Moser JP (1839-1922), a wealthy merchant and Danish-born Jew who was a prominent and active Zionist. Moser played an active role during the late C19/early C20 in laying the foundations of the modern-day State of Israel through his membership of the Zionist Central Council and Anglo-Palestinian Corporation and as a supporter of the Jewish National Fund. In 1907, he contributed 50,000 francs and underwrote the construction of the Herzliah Gymnasium in Ahuzat Bayit (now modern-day Tel Aviv) near Jaffa, the first Hebrew secondary school in what would later become the State of Israel. Moser was also a founder of the Bradford Reform Synagogue (1880, Grade II*) and was a philanthropist, donating vast sums of money and materials for various causes in the city and elsewhere. He was also a board member of the British Royal Infirmary from 1883 and an Independent member for Manningham ward in 1896. In 1910 he was both Lord Mayor of Bradford and Chief Magistrate.

Oakhurst was used as a women's home for the blind known as Oakhurst, Waddilove Hostel for the Blind in the early-mid C20 and they added a ramp by the main entrance. Oakhurst has been in use as a nursing home for young adults with learning disabilities for approximately 20 years and the top floor has been converted into single, en-suite bedrooms. In the mid-late C20 the north-eastern section of Oakhurst's gardens, which originally contained a substantial glasshouse, was built upon.


PLAN: asymmetrical composition with principal elevations on to Oak Avenue, Oak Mount and a north-east garden elevation. Regular internal layout of rooms arranged around a central stair hall with secondary stair to rear. Basement service rooms and former billiards room with additional external access.

EXTERIOR: Full basement to north-east side and half-basement to south-east side, which appears as a lower ground floor due to sloping nature of site. Both are of rock-faced stone. Stringcourse between ground and first floor. Mainly 1-over-1 sash windows with some fixed-paned windows and some containing stained glass. Windows to the three principal elevations (the north-west, south-west and north-east) have chamfered jambs and ashlar surrounds (some incorporating quoins); those to ground floor with shouldered heads.

FRONT (NORTH-WEST) ELEVATION: facing Oak Avenue, 3 wide bays. Left and centre bays project forward; that to left is gabled with overhanging eaves and a decorative carved bargeboard incorporating a Magen David to the apex. 2-storey canted bay window to ground and first floors with carved decoration, including two birds (possibly eagles) projecting from top. First floor windows separated by paired columns with stiff-leaf capitals acting as mullions, paired trefoil-arched windows to attic above and behind with column mullion in same style as those to first floor. Centre bay rises in form of a tower, incorporates main entrance to ground floor accessed by a mid C20 ramp. Tripartite entrance with central, wide Gothic-arched doorway flanked by two identically styled but narrower side lights; all with carved decoration and separated by tall columns with composite capitals. Doorway incorporates overlight and partly-glazed side panels flanking a 4-panel door with glazed upper panels with replaced glazing; each glazing panel has a Gothic-arched head. Entrance is flanked by short angle buttresses with stepped, sloping roofs. South-west side return projects slightly at ground floor level with small, glazed trefoil and stepped, sloping roof. Single Gothic-arched window to front and side return of first floor; both with hoodmoulds with foliate bosses. Second floor (third stage) of tower rises above roof with paired windows to front and single window to side return; all with trefoil-arched heads and hoodmoulds with foliate bosses. Front windows separated by column mullion with composite capital, further columns with stiff-leaf capitals set to each corner of third stage of tower, with a stringcourse and parapet above; the former incorporating projecting, carved dragons to each corner. Hipped tower roof, depicted in an historic photograph, now removed. Paired windows with shouldered heads to ground floor of right bay. Paired windows with Gothic-arched heads, mullion column with stiff leaf capital and hoodmould with foliate bosses to first floor above. Two small, early C21 gabled roof dormers with simple shaped bargeboards and 1-over-1 sashes to attic.

SOUTH-WEST ELEVATION: facing Oak Mount, 3 wide bays. Gabled bay to left with 2-storey bay window to ground and first floors (shouldered heads to ground floor windows, Gothic-arched windows to first floor) incorporating carved decoration and columns with stiff-leaf capitals, surmounted by a crenellated parapet with recessed trefoil-arched panels and projecting carved dragons. Paired trefoil-arched windows above and behind to attic. Doorway to ground floor of centre bay with partly glazed 4-panel door and overlight, converted from a window in 2004/5. Single Gothic-arched window to first floor above, small original roof dormer with decorative carved bargeboard to attic. Heads of paired basement windows just seen to right bay. Large triple-light window to ground floor of right bay with shouldered heads, paired Gothic-arched windows to first floor above in same style as those to front elevation, larger dormer to attic with trefoil-arched window and identical bargeboard to that to roof dormer to left.

NORTH-EAST ELEVATION: 7-bays. Windows in same style as those to north-west and south-west elevations. 3-bays to far left are a late C19 extension that replaced a conservatory/glasshouse. Large bow window to ground floor of bay 2 flanked by single window to left and smaller, mainly glazed, semi-octagonal projection (possibly an early C20 small winter garden) to right incorporating some stained leaded glass and a replaced door. Door provides access onto large flat roof of original projection attached in front at basement level, probably originally a billiards room. Projection has an embattled parapet, original sash windows and some later casements, original 5-panel door with glazed upper panel to north-west side, sub-basement storage area to north-east end with 4-panel door and fixed-pane windows (now blocked-up externally). Roof lantern removed in c1994/5. Gabled bay to centre of elevation with 2-storey canted bay window to basement and ground floor, paired Tudor-arched windows to first floor and paired trefoil-arched windows to attic; both in same style as those to front elevation. Small, later skylight inserted to roof behind gable. Three bays to right set back slightly with wall stack to centre, flanked by slender, ground floor casement windows and Gothic-arched window to first floor left.

REAR (SOUTH-EAST) ELEVATION: 5-bays. Visible half-basement level appears as ground floor on this side, windows with ashlar sills and lintels. Projecting gabled bay to left (right return of south-west elevation) with wall stack. Series of paired stair windows to bay 3, with the top one set within a half-dormer with decorative carved bargeboards. Stair windows flanked by sash windows to ground and first floors of bay 2 and stained glass windows to ground and first floors of bay 4. Overlight of a doorway survives to ground floor of bay 3, altered doorway below (door removed) now obscured by a small late C20, flat-roofed, single-storey projection attached at lower ground floor level in front. Projecting bay to right (a late C19 extension) with angled stained glass window to ground floor of south corner with quoined ashlar surround, small basement window and 2-light first floor window to left (south-west) return.

INTERIOR: parquet and tiled floors to ground floor, floorboards to upper floors (now hidden under later coverings). Dado with decorative, painted Lincrusta covering depicting birds, fishes and flora to ground floor circulation spaces and stair hall. Very deep skirtings, moulded door architraves, some original 4-panel doors survive. Chimneybreasts survive, but most fireplaces have been removed. Decorative moulded cornicing and friezes to ground floor rooms, mixture of decorative and plainer moulded cornicing to first floor rooms, and some carved timber window pelmets. Inserted partition walls to upper floors and part of ground floor. Plain attic rooms with some original built-in cupboards. Entrance vestibule leads into main stair hall with a first floor landing supported by decorative corbelled brackets with a coffered underside. Lift inserted into stair well, stair's balusters probably mainly removed although some might survive to a boxed-in section to the attic flight. Decorative coving incorporating decorative plaster garlands and projecting plaster heads of men and women to first floor ceiling of stair hall. Secondary stair with slender turned balusters, carved newel posts, closed string and toad's-back handrail set to rear (south-east side) of building. Gothic-arched openings (some plain and some incorporating multiple columns with composite and still-leaf capitals) to corridors/hallways on all floors; those to the two lower floors are more decorative. Ground floor corridor to north-east side of building with part-ribbed ceiling leads to garden-facing rooms and rear of building. Tall stained glass window to south-east end of corridor depicts a man in C17 dress wearing a medallion, believed to be Jacob Moser, the original owner of Oakhurst. Large south-east corner room overlooking roof of former billiards room with plaster wall panelling, late C19 timber fire surround with an overmantel and later insert. Two alcoves to north-west wall (that to left has a later inserted door) with plaster garland decoration above, and a stained glass window to south corner depicting a woman in C17 dress holding a book, believed to be Mrs Moser as a young woman. Later doorway with moulded architrave and 6-panel door to north-east wall, leads into winter garden room with panelled ceiling and lower walls, replaced floor covering, and an in-built shelf to north-west side. Two large garden-facing rooms to north-east side of ground floor, separated by large decorative opening with a shouldered head and paired columns, with stiff-leaf capitals in both rooms. Original Gothic panelled doors, with four trefoil roundels only visible in south-eastern room. South-eastern room also with plaster panelling to upper part of walls, decorative hood incorporating a miniature balustrade above entrance door, late C19 timber fire surround with overmantel and later insert. North-western room now partitioned. Room to west corner of ground floor with decorative raised-plaster ceiling, doorway to north-east wall into entrance/stair hall now sealed up but moulded architrave retained, additional original doorway to south-east wall. Two large rooms to south-west side of ground floor, with original plasterwork, are now partitioned. Basement now largely modernised with modern kitchen and dining room, some original wainscoting, door architraves and chimneybreasts, geometric-patterned and quarry tiled floors to some areas, one stone flag floor and an original store. Former billiards room accessed via basement and externally, now partitioned to create single bedrooms with inserted suspended ceiling, original panelled and coffered ceiling survives above, with the roof lantern now infilled. Original timber newel stair to west corner leads up to the garden and has a curving string, slender turned balusters, and later tread coverings.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.