A detached private house with the associated raised paved garden, steps, garden walls, pond surround and lamp posts of 1966, by the architect A A J Marshman for himself.
Reason for Listing
Horton Rounds, a house by A A J Marshman of 1966, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: along with Peter Lambert Gibbs's own house of 1965, Fernhill in Ashdown Forest, and Robert Harvey's houses in Warwickshire, Horton Rounds is one of the best in the country of a small group of post-war houses clearly influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd-Wright. It is a bespoke design, uniquely created by A A J Marshman for himself, giving the house additional interest;
* Degree of survival: the building is little altered externally and internally;
* Plan-form: the use of circles and arcs in the form of the house is highly unusual and daring in its treatment of space;
* Materials: the imaginative use of stone and timber affords a rich, vernacular texture to the elevations and is well-executed;
* Interior quality: interior finishes are equally meticulous; exposed timber and stonework dominate and some built-in furniture remains.
* Group Value: the house has group value with designated assets in the vicinity, notably the designed landscape of Horton Hall, registered at Grade ll.
A A J Marshman was a senior partner in Marshman, Warren and Taylor, a substantial regional practice specialising in commercial buildings who built extensively outside London. They are best known for their work in Devon and Cornwall, which included the Chapter House at Truro Cathedral (1974) as well as large offices and housing association schemes. This is the only substantial dwelling by Marshman, either individually or with the firm and was constructed for himself.
The building was known as The Round House and was built in two phases in 1966; the guest wing was built in the second phase. The building was not built entirely as planned; bedroom space was maximised and corridor space was reduced and the breakfast room adjacent to the kitchen was omitted. The building, as constructed, is little altered however. The spare bedroom has been converted into an ensuite for the master bedroom and bathroom and kitchen facilities have been refitted.
MATERIALS: randomly coursed, square-cut local yellow stone is used for the ground floor, stair tower, chimney and addition cores running through the house. The first floor is timber-boarded resting on a concrete slab floor. The roof is shingled with timber-lined eaves.
PLAN: the plan combines circular forms linked by arcs, usefully described by Pevsner in the Buildings of England for Northamptonshire as 'a comma, with a full stop linked by a bridge'.The living room, reception area and kitchen occupy the main circular part, with sleeping accommodation arranged along the tail of the comma. The 'full stop' is a guest wing with a circular plan comprising accommodation and a small sitting area.
EXTERIOR: the house has two storeys with an attic study space. Low-pitched roofs, most with deeply overhanging eaves, accentuate the plan and horizontality of the piece. The elevation of the principal range comprises a series of horizontal bands flowing continuously around the building, interrupted by stone, vertical cores accommodating the stair towers and chimney. On the ground floor is a recessed, stone-built undercroft, partially enclosed to contain a small entrance hall with a spiral stair and a lift to the first- floor reception area and service rooms. A secondary stair emerges adjacent to the kitchen. The undercroft also houses the carport, complete with an inspection pit. The undercroft is punctuated with timber doors and inverted semi-circular openings, some glazed. The overhanging first floor has a nearly continuous band of timber-framed windows. Along the bedroom elevation, a lightweight balcony is accessed from the corridor, master bedroom and kitchen. Another balcony is accessed from the lounge and has an external spiral stair. To the west is a guest wing with a recessed storage area at ground floor and accommodation at the first floor. It is linked to the principal range by a bridge at first floor level.
INTERIOR: the majority of the accommodation is on the first floor. The living room, reception area and kitchen occupy the main circular part, with sleeping accommodation arranged along the tail of the comma. Natural materials predominate; timber and fair-faced stone with area of white-painted render. The house retains much of the original fixtures and fitted furniture, notably in the principal living space. The roof-line is expressed internally with the wood-lined ceilings, allowing for clerestory windows in the bedrooms. Elsewhere, the windows are designed to drop down into the wall when opened. The bands of windows to the circular living room and study of the main range maximise the extensive views of the garden. At the centre of the living room is a stone fireplace and chimney, around which wrap the spiral stairs leading to the study, enclosing the snug adjacent to the chimney in the living room.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: steps lead from the attached terrace to the paved garden with a pond, partially sheltered by the house, link the different levels. The garden with its lamps, garden walls and landscaping form part of the original design and are integral to both the plan and form of the house. The garden also incorporates stone steps from an older garden.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.