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Gatehouse, 1 and 2 Manor House Estate, Harrow

Description: Gatehouse, 1 and 2 Manor House Estate

Grade: II
Date Listed: 11 October 2013
Building ID: 1415761

OS Grid Reference: TQ1689092041
OS Grid Coordinates: 516894, 192037
Latitude/Longitude: 51.6150, -0.3131

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

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Listing Text


Gatehouse, c 1929-30 for Samuel Wallrock, to designs by Douglas Wood, refurbished 2013.

Reason for Listing

The Gatehouse, 1 and 2 Manor House Estate, Stanmore, c 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 gatehouse, designed to frame the entrance to the Manor House of the same date, built using traditional methods and incorporating salvaged material;
* Historic interest: like other late examples of vernacular revival building, the estate buildings show 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: forms a group with the listed Grade II Manor House (NHLE 1412949) and the similarly treated group of listed Grade II 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, Old Church House and 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.


Gatehouse and cottages, in the manner of a Tudor gatehouse, c 1929-30, refurbished 2013.

Handmade red brick, brick herringbone nogging, tile hanging, timber framing, plain tile roofs.

Central covered entrance arch flanked by two-storey cottages (Nos 1 and 2 ), each laid out with a lobby opening from the covered archway into a single ground floor room and two first floor rooms with service rooms beyond.

Symmetrical, in two storeys beneath a wide hipped roof from which deep roofs splay to each side over a single-storey bay. The centrepiece has an exposed timber frame and projects slightly at first floor level. It is framed by very tall paired brick ridge stacks, set diagonally. The ground floor is predominantly in brick, the first floor tile hung. Under the archway walls are of exposed timber framing with rendered panels beneath tile hanging. Plank front doors with moulded muntins have ornate strap hinges, latches and letterboxes. To the side of each is an ornate boot scraper and to No 1 an attachment for a lamp.

On the roadside, the entrance is flanked by three-light cross casements with square-paned leaded lights above rendered timber-framed panels. At first floor, is a five-light window, the central light round-arched, above brick-nogged and tile panels, into which is set a stone coat of arms. Above the entrance the beam is inscribed, ‘Welcome ever smiles and farewell goes out sighing’ (Troilus and Cressida).

To each side there are two small ground floor windows with diamond leaded lights, and at first floor a two-light and three-light casement window, each with square leaded lights. The rear is similarly treated but has a smaller, three-light central first floor window; some ground floor openings have been renewed.

Each cottage had a baffle screen originally fitted with a bench, forming the side of an inglenook to a fireplace flanked by a small fixed window. The screens have been removed and the chamfered ceiling beams and plain bressumers above the former inglenooks have been reset at ceiling height. Both cottages have a canted chimney breast with a brick basket arch and simple timber mantelshelf. No 1 (north) had an internal plank and moulded muntin door with ornate strap hinges and latch (this is believed to have been removed in 2012/13), No 2 (south) has a door of three plain panels.

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