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Frome Top, Stroud

Description: Frome Top

Grade: II
Date Listed: 25 September 2013
Building ID: 1415334

OS Grid Reference: SO8731201273
OS Grid Coordinates: 387312, 201271
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7100, -2.1850

Locality: Stroud
Local Authority: Stroud District Council
County: Gloucestershire
Postcode: GL6 9EQ

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Listing Text


A house, in Cotswold Arts and Crafts style, dating from circa 1926, by Norman Jewson, ARIBA, for Clement Templeton Esq.

Reason for Listing

Frome Top, an Arts and Crafts house of circa 1926 by Norman Jewson, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the house is a good example of Jewson’s Arts and Crafts interpretation of Cotswold vernacular building, with excellent massing, careful proportions, limited but good external detailing and strict adherence to traditional materials and craftsmanship;
* Design interest: the house demonstrates clear quality in its architectural style, with attention to detail throughout the building;
* Intactness: although the house has undergone a substantial extension, this has not impacted on the level of survival of the original building, which appears to be little altered otherwise.


The house was constructed circa 1926, and designed by the Cotswold Arts and Crafts architect Norman Jewson, ARIBA (1884-1975), who had moved to the Cotswolds after his architectural training in London. He was apprenticed to the architect, craftsman and designer Ernest Gimson, who, with the brothers Ernest and Sidney Barnsley had set up the group of craftsmen and designers at Sapperton which became the focus of the Arts and Crafts movement in the area. Jewson, a generation younger than Gimson and the Barnsleys, worked first as Gimson's pupil, then partner, and later set up on his own account as an architect in Cirencester. He earned a reputation for his sympathetic work in the conservative repair and adaptation of traditional buildings, born from his deep appreciation and understanding of the local vernacular tradition; he was a keen advocate of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings' conservative and honest approach to repairs. Jewson married Mary, the daughter of Ernest Barnsley, and he frequently worked with his father-in-law on building projects. After Barnsley's death in 1925, Jewson took over from Ernest the work to complete Rodmarton Manor (Grade I), the great Arts and Crafts house Barnsley designed for Hon Claud Biddulph. In 1925 and 1926, Jewson began working on his most celebrated conservation project, the repair and extension of the medieval and later Owlpen Manor (Grade I), which drew on all aspects of the local building and decorative traditions.

In the early 1920s, Jewson designed and built Frome Top for the local Minchinhampton resident, Clement Templeton Esq. Templeton had previously been in discussion with Sidney Barnsley about the design of a new house – a drawing of 1914 preserved in the Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery collection depicts a ground-floor plan drawn by Barnsley for Templeton, though the house was never built. Although some sources give the date of Frome Top as 1926, it is shown on the Ordnance Survey map published in 1923. In addition, it must have been completed some time before 1926, as Clement Templeton died on 20 July 1926, and is described in an announcement in the London Gazette as "late of Frome Top, Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire". It is likely, therefore, that the house was complete by 1922-3. The house, built in the Cotswold tradition, with deep gables, stone slate roofs and stone-mullioned windows, was carefully placed within its landscape setting, to take advantage of wide views over the open countryside. The house originally formed a compact rectangle on plan, formed from two wings set at right angles; the cross wing extending only slightly beyond the rear of the double-depth main range. A two-storey extension, one bay wide by one long, was added to the drawing room range in the mid-C20, before 1971, when it is depicted on OS mapping; a further two-storey extension was added to the opposing wing in the later C20, when a cloakroom was also added to fill the recess in the re-entrant angle between the two ranges.


A house, in Cotswold Arts and Crafts style, dating from circa 1926, by Norman Jewson, ARIBA, for Clement Templeton Esq.

MATERIALS: local oolitic limestone, squared and brought to course, with Cotswold stone slate roof, ashlar dressings and rubble stone stacks.

PLAN: the house has a roughly L-shaped plan, with a narrow hall running as a through-passage between the ranges, against the cross-wing. A small ancillary room extends to the north-west; this is part of the original plan of the house.

EXTERIOR: the building is of a two storeys and attic. Deep gables, extending down through the entire first floor, the eaves rising from the level of the first-floor ceilings, characterise the main south-west and south-east elevations. The entrance front, to the south-west, has a pair of these deep gables, with two- and three-light stone-mullioned windows with rectangular leaded lights and rectangular ventilators to the apexes. The entrance is via a deeply-recessed doorway housing a half-glazed timber door. Small one and two-light windows light the ancillary rooms to the ground floor. The south-eastern elevation has a projecting, gabled bay to the right, the result of an extension; the bay to the left has a small bay window to the ground floor. The other windows are three- and four-light mullioned windows with rectangular leading. The north-eastern front has a gabled bay to the centre, from which rises a gable-end stack, behind which its pair rises from the rear of the front gable. The re-entrant angle houses a small, flat-roofed single-storey bay giving access, via a plank door, to the through-passage. Above it, a three-light stone mullioned window survives; one of the windows in this elevation has been replaced with a late-C20 three-light timber casement. To the right, the more recent extension projects forward by two bays; the garden front houses C20 multi-paned timber and glazed doors. The gable end has two, three-light stone-mullioned windows with modern glazing, and a ventilator to match those on the earlier range. There is a rooflight set into the inner slope of the roof. A small, single-storey ancillary room extends at right-angles from the cross-wing, probably always a boot room or similar.

INTERIOR: as the building has not been inspected, it is not possible to make a description of the interior. However, photographs included within the recent sales particulars (2012) show large-section chamfered beams with run-out stops, typical of Cotswold building, in the dining room, and a Cotswold stone fireplace in the living room. The dining room also has a panelled corner cupboard. The description of the rooms indicates there are exposed beams in at least one other room, and a range of fitted cupboards and window seats, which may be original.

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