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Manor House, Harrow

Description: Manor House

Grade: II
Date Listed: 11 October 2013
Building ID: 1412949

OS Grid Reference: TQ1695791976
OS Grid Coordinates: 516962, 191974
Latitude/Longitude: 51.6145, -0.3121

Locality: Harrow
County: Greater London Authority
Postcode: HA7 2QZ

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Listing Text


House, 1929-30 by Douglas Wood for Samuel Wallrock, in the manner of a substantial later C16/early C17 house.

Reason for Listing

The Manor House, Stanmore, 1929-30 for Samuel Wallrock, to designs by Douglas Wood, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: inter-war vernacular revival house, built using traditional methods and, as was common in such buildings, incorporating salvaged material, fixtures and fittings;
* Intactness: the house has not been extended and the exterior and principal rooms are little altered;
* Historic interest: like other late examples of vernacular revival building, the estate shows Wallrock's commitment to maintaining traditional craft skills, to provide training and employment in the uncertain economic climate of the late 1920s, as well as his keen interest as a collector.
* Group value: the Manor House forms a group with the listed Grade II Gatehouse (1 and 2 Manor House Estate, NHLE 1415761) and coach house and more widely with the similarly treated group of listed cottages in Old Church Lane (Cowman’s Cottage, Church House Cottage and The Church House, NHLE 1285946) remodelled and restored by Wallrock.


The Manor House was built in 1929-30 for Samuel Wallrock, to designs by Douglas Wood. Wallrock, a wealthy estate agent with a business based in the City of London, bought the site and 4.5 acres of land in 1923. The previous house known as the Croft had been built in the early 1900s on the site of a C17 house and its gardens. Wallrock was a keen advocate of the vernacular building tradition, interested in the craft of building, and went to great lengths to employ local craftsmen on his project where he aspired to use only traditional building techniques. He collected salvaged fabric and fittings from demolished buildings nationwide, building up a collection that ranged from timber framing and roof tiles to moulded panelling, decorative stone and timber architectural fragments, carved figures and stained glass, much of which he incorporated in his new house.

This conscious move in the inter-war years to revive or maintain traditional building techniques continued the ethos established by vernacular revival architects in the late C19 and early C20, seen for example in the work of the Surrey school of architects, and notably Harold Faulkner, based in Farnham, in his 1920s project at Dippenhall. Similarly E Blunden Shadbolt continued this late C19 and early C20 trend into the inter-war years. Offering an alternative to cheap mass-produced building products, driven partly by nostalgia, it helped to redress the shortage of expert craftsmen in the economic downturn following WWI.

Wallrock demolished the apparently rather ordinary early C20 house to replace it with a vernacular revival house approached by a Tudor gatehouse on Old Church Lane. Using salvaged material he also remodelled Cowman’s Cottage, Church House Cottage and The Church House, the latter built as a banqueting house, (each listed Grade II), which frame the approach to the gatehouse in Old Church Lane.

A distinguished horticulturist, he created extensive gardens which were acclaimed at the time, employing a large number of gardeners. The grounds included an alpine garden and caves based on those at Cheddar Gorge; apparently unusual for the time, mature trees were brought in. Structures from the C17 gardens are thought to have been incorporated in it. The so-called Tudor Well Head now re-positioned in Well Close, may have come from the C17 site.

The project was short-lived. Wallrock was declared bankrupt in 1933 having spent an estimated £100,000 on the house and estate. The estate was later acquired by the Ministry of Defence. The southern part of the gardens was sold for development, while the house, garage and gatehouse were retained.


House, 1929-30 by Douglas Wood for Samuel Wallrock, in the manner of a substantial later C16/early C17 house incorporating reused salvaged material and fittings. Jacobean revival interiors apart from the drawing room which is fitted out in the reduced classical manner typical of the interwar period, described at the time as Empire style.

Pegged timber framing, much of it salvaged, handmade red brick and herring-bone brick nogging, tile-hung upper floors, plain tile roofs. Windows have timber-framed mullion and transom frames and casements with leaded lights. Architectural fixtures and fittings include panelling, said to come from Lord Leverhulme’s estate in Cheshire, armorial glass from Wallrock’s former regiment, The County of Middlesex and the Incorporated Society of Auctioneers of which he was past president.

Asymmetrical on plan, of two storeys built to resemble a vernacular building which had been extended over time. Although it is traditionally constructed, the plan does not adhere to a typical historic model. To the north, the entrance front is dominated by a forward gabled bay, containing the stair hall and main entrance, flanked by a shallower gabled bay to the right (west) which has prominent external stacks rising above the ridge. To the left (east) of the entrance bay, a three-bay, two-storey range leads to a single-storey service wing.

The south-facing garden front is a seven-bay range opening onto a raised terrace overlooking the garden, the eastern section breaking forward slightly. The westernmost corner bay is both south and west-facing, while there are single-storey service rooms to the east.

The entrance is set beneath a prominent gabled porch with a tile roof supported on twisted timber piers. It has a moulded stone doorcase with a shallow four-centred arch and an oak door with studded moulded muntins. It is flanked by single-storey bays, each comprising a canted window on a brick base and beneath a pentice roof which wraps round the angle. The jettied first floor has a full width stair window of timber casements and fixed lights; the central lights have rounded heads with rosettes in the spandrels. All have diamond leaded panes and inset reused armorial glass. The gable has exposed timber framing and enriched bargeboards on deep oversailing eaves. The adjacent gabled bay is more simply treated, tile-hung at first floor. Ground floor windows have lozenge leaded lights, at first floor is a single oriel window with a moulded frame and base and rectangular leaded lights. Shallow eaves have shaped bargeboards. To the left (east) of the entrance bay, the innermost bays of a three-bay, two-storey range have paired gables, while at the service end to the east, the building dies away to a single-storey bay beneath deep hipped roofs. To the left of the entrance on the ground floor timber mullion and transom windows alternate with bays of exposed framing with herringbone brick nogging. On the first floor an oriel window similar to the right hand window and a projecting bay window on prominent brackets, alternate with simple cross casements. Tall grouped stacks, some set diagonally, have moulded bases and caps.

The south-facing elevation in seven bays is articulated by asymmetrically grouped gables, the eastern section breaking forward. The western section containing the principal rooms is more elaborately finished than the eastern section. The first floor oriel window has a moulded frame and a rough-hewn base, and bargeboards are cusped, whereas to the east the smaller oriel has a moulded base and bargeboards are scalloped. To the right of the central bay a two-storey window bay projects beneath the gable. The central bay has a timber porch supported on rough-hewn posts supporting a first-floor balcony with a balustrade of salvaged reused twisted balusters. Timber mullion and transom windows have metal-framed casements with leaded lights, doors are fully or partly glazed, beneath four-centre arched heads and have glazed margin lights.

On the west elevation the forward gabled bay has a canted ground floor bay and jettied upper floor, both fully-glazed with casements and fixed lights, square paned on the ground floor and lozenge-shaped on the first floor. Adjacent to the window are inset terracotta panels. To the left are two prominent external brick stacks. At the lower, eastern end of the house are intersecting gabled roofs and a deep hipped roof above a pentice roof protecting the side entrance and a round-headed, ventilated doorway to the cellar. Throughout, the house has ornate rainwater goods and heads imitating lead.

The entrance is flanked by an exposed pegged timber frame with inset panels of moulded terracotta tiles. A pair of oak doors in a four-centre arched frame have glazed upper lights above cusped lower panels. The hall, stair and landing walls are in slender scantling timber framing, some of it applied rather than structural and have moulded ceiling beams, joists and cornices and in some areas applied panelling. A composite Jacobean chimneypiece has a moulded, four-centre arched stone fireplace lined in herringbone brick and tile, an oak mantelpiece supported on each side by a draped figure with arms crossed, resting on a richly carved foliate base and a three-bay arcaded overmantel beneath an elaborate cornice, each bay supported by a grotesque figure.

The study, including the window reveals and soffit, is fully lined in square panelling and has simple chamfered ceiling joists. A moulded stone chimneypiece has gothicised columnar shafts supporting a central pointed carved panel depicting game.

The dining room is fully-lined in panelling said to come from Lord Leverhulme’s estate in Cheshire, comprising richly moulded linenfold panelling between a deep base and frieze. The base has moulded panels between carved standing figures, their headgear in the form of stylised Ionic capitals. The frieze is made up of carved and painted panels of grotesque heads, some in profile. The ceiling has intersecting moulded ribs, also painted, enriched with a foliate trail, forming lozenge and circular panels, and including Wallrock's rebus of a wall and rock, and an enriched, painted cornice. The room has a classically informed, richly carved chimneypiece in Jacobean manner, and a moulded stone fireplace. Ground floor doors to the dining room, study and opening onto the hall have ornate Jacobean panelling applied to one or both faces.

The drawing room is an inter-war interpretation of a late C18/early C19 room. It has a marble chimneypiece, the frieze depicting a pair of gryphons or sphinxes flanking an urn, moulded wall panels beneath a dentil cornice and a ceiling also enriched with husked garlands. The inner face of the door is in six moulded panels.

An open-well, closed string stair in oak has moulded splat balusters, a moulded rail and robust pierced lantern finials. It is said to be copied from the stair in a house in Worcestershire.

The stair window has inset panels of armorial glass that include a commemoration of Wallrock's presidency of the Incorporated Society of Auctioneers and Landed Property Agents 1926-7 and 1928; his regiment, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, City of London Regiment; his son's school, Streete Court, Westgate; the arms of the County of Middlesex; the Royal Horticultural Society and the British Red Cross Society.

First floor rooms in the western, principal area of the house have six- and four-panelled doors in panelled linings; one door is lined in C16 panelling on one side and, on the former bathroom side, in panelling said to have come from France. Two rooms have early to mid-C19 marble chimneypieces with Greek key pattern and floral inlay in black marble; one room has a moulded fireplace surround, reeded panelled walls, built-in cupboards with rosette ornament to the panels. The corridor lined in raised moulded panels, leads to a back stair with square newels and stick balusters.

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