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Description: Gateway, Formerly to Cromwell House
Date Listed: 16 February 2007
Building ID: 1417979
OS Grid Reference: TQ2012676010
OS Grid Coordinates: 520126, 176010
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4703, -0.2719
TQ 27 NW
Gateway, formerly to Cromwell House
Gate piers and foot-gate of c.1700 (piers) and early/mid C18 (gate); architect not known. Bath stone piers with wrought-iron gate and surrounding panels.
EXTERIOR: The gateway comprises a pair of gate piers of c.1700 supporting an early/mid C18 wrought-iron gate. The piers are of yellow Bath stone (with some stucco patching), with channelled, rusticated, masonry. Each has a tall, semi-circular headed niche on its front face, each arch with a set-back architrave, keystone, and moulded cornices at the springing of the arch. The piers have Portland stone caps with ball finials, both apparently later than the piers. The piers stand on moulded plinth blocks probably of 1962. The inner reveals of the piers have projecting stone jambs, which suggest that the original gate may have been of timber. The iron gate has plain uprights with a centre band of fleur-de-lys and a skirting band of spearheads. To either side are narrow fixed panels while above is an overthrow with scrollwork, fleur-de-lys and leaves. The gateway is set in a stock brick wall of c.1962 which is not included in the listing.
HISTORY: The gateway was previously located on the Cromwell Lane frontage of the site of Cromwell House. This, originally the Thames-side manor house of Mortlake, was held from 1536-40 by Thomas Cromwell (d.1540, Earl of Essex and Henry VIII's Chancellor). That house was rebuilt soon after 1700, with this gateway giving access to a small forecourt between forward-projecting wings. That building was in turn demolished in 1857-8. The gateway, however, remained in situ until the land was redeveloped for a large brewery in the early 1960s. In 1962 the gateway was taken down and re-erected nearby at the head of the northward run of Williams Lane, where it served as the foot-gate to a company bowling green, today a sports ground.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: The gateway, with piers of c.1700 supporting a slightly later iron foot-gate, is of a high quality, and typical of the gateways which gave emphasis to entrances to houses and gardens in the later C17 and early C18. This gateway has seen some repair and replacement of parts but the essential elements have survived, and the gateway retains the majority of its c.1700 fabric, as well as the overall design. The gateway was moved over forty years ago, and while the immediate context is changed, the move was local and the gateway remains an important, tangible, reminder of the location hereabouts of the chief house of the manor of Mortlake.
SOURCES: V.C.H. Surrey 4 (1912), 69-70; M. Brown, Barnes and Mortlake Past (1997), 38.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.