A late Georgian detached house, altered in the late C19, and including a rendered brick outbuilding to the rear. The L-shaped single-storey brick range to the north of the house, which includes a single-storey brick outbuilding with a corrugated-sheet roof and the attached late-C20 brick building, and all of the boundary walls are excluded from the listing.
Reason for Listing
No. 179 Longford Road, together with a rendered brick outbuilding to the rear, Longford is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the building is a well-appointed Regency villa house designed in a Classical style, with original external features including north entrance with its porch sheltering a panelled doorcase and door. The rear outbuilding also retains a significant proportion of original fabric;
* Historic interest: it is a good example of an early-C19 detached house, built in the tradition of suburban villa complexes;
* Decoration: it retains a number of good quality internal features including a timber staircase, oak doors, architraves, fireplaces and stone tile flooring;
* Legibility: despite later alterations and the loss of some of its surrounding context, it is still legible as an early-C19 detached house.
No. 179 Longford Road, historically known as Longford House, dates to the early-C19. It has been suggested that the brick façade may be a re-fronting of an earlier building; however, there is no clear evidence to support this. The Foleshill Inclosure Map (1775) notes that the site was the location of three separate plots; however, no buildings are depicted on these. A rectangular building is shown in this position on the Eagle Map of the Coventry Canal (1809-10). During the C19 it was the long-term home of the Massers, a prominent family in the region. In the 1850s Sir Joseph Paxton (1803-65), the eminent garden designer, architect and Member of Parliament, stayed at the house. It is understood that Paxton supervised the design of the garden formerly laid out to the north of the house. The 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (1888) shows Longford House, with a U-shaped plan, surrounded by outbuildings and a glasshouse in a T-shape arrangement to the west and north. Beyond was the designed walled garden with formal paths. The 2nd Edition OS map (1904) shows that the south wing of the building was at that time used as a post office; the rest of the building was accommodation for the sub-postmaster. It was during this incarnation that an article written in the Midland Daily Telegraph (early C20) detailed the building as having large airy rooms with a significant amount of accommodation in the outbuildings for horses and vehicles. The footprint of the building has changed very little since the late C19. In the second half of the C20 the outbuildings were reused as part of a involving some rebuilding. Other outbuildings to the north were converted into separate housing. The formal garden was built over by a detached house. In 1999 the building was sold, at which point its interior was described as retaining various C19 features. In the late C20 the post office ceased trading and the main building became home for a short time to a tutorial centre and nursery. It has now (2013) been converted back to residential accommodation, with the ground floor of the south wing continuing as commercial premises.
A late Georgian, detached house, altered in the late C19, and including a rendered brick outbuilding to the rear.
MATERIALS: a red-brick building laid in Flemish bond with a blue-brick plinth, all under a slate roof, with a rendered, brick outbuilding.
PLAN: a U-shaped building with a range running north to south facing onto the road and two wings extending to the west; there is a rectangular outbuilding to the rear.
EXTERIOR: the principal elevation (north) is three bays with a central recessed three-panelled front door set in a corresponding decoratively-carved panelled doorframe, and a projecting painted portico with foliate capitals, flanked on either side by eight-over-eight sash windows. The first-floor windows are also sashes (the ones at this level are horned); the central opening has six-over-six panes and is flanked by two with eight-over-eight panes. To the right of this wing is a single-storey extension containing a kitchen and garage. The east elevation (fronting onto the road) is three bays with eight-over-eight sashes, three to the first floor and two to the ground (one of which is hornless). The left ground-floor bay contains a late-C19 shop front with a panelled door and a multi-pane timber-framed window, all under a plain timber fasçia board supported by scroll consoles. The south elevation is largely blind, apart from two sash windows at the west end. All but one of the sash windows on the outward facing elevations are topped by decorative pediments supported by scroll consoles and two are double glazed replacements. The eaves cornice is supported by paired scroll consoles. To the rear (west) of the building is a small-enclosed courtyard. A large sash window, in the position of the main stairwell, looks into the courtyard. Some of the openings on the elevations looking into this courtyard have been subject to alterations. The slate roof is hipped with gables at the west end of the north and south wings and there are two brick chimneystacks. A set of solar panels has been placed on the south slope of the roof over the south wing.
INTERIOR: the ground floor has three reception rooms with ornate cornicing, and a central corridor with cornicing and a monochrome stone-tile floor. The building retains many original internal features including oak-panelled doors and architraves, a marble fireplace to the north-west reception room; the fireplace in the north-east reception room dates from the early C20. In the centre of the building is the main staircase, which takes the form of a winder with an open-string, straight balusters, wreathed handrail and a curtail step. At the west end of the north wing is a kitchen with a separate winder stair. The ground floor of the south wing contains a shop, now (2013) in separate tenancy to the main building; however, a blocked internal window and door, originally intended to provide access between the shop and house, can still be seen in one of the ground-floor reception rooms. The first floor has five bedrooms, set around a central landing, some of which contain fireplaces with C19 surrounds, and have coved ceilings.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: there is a rectangular outbuilding, which is of rendered brick, and one-and-a-half storeys high with a pitched roof and central brick stack. Most of the openings in this building have been boarded over, with the exception of those on the east elevation looking into the courtyard, which have multi-pane metal casement windows; there is a timber door on the south gable end. The north elevation of this building has been knocked through to an attached L-shaped single-storey brick range.
The L-shaped single-storey brick range to the north of the house, which includes a single storey brick outbuilding with a corrugated-sheet roof, and the attached late-C20 brick building, were constructed as outbuildings to the house. There are also various sections of boundary walls attached to the building. These are relatively plain structures which have lost a significant proportion of original fabric and are not of special interest. The L-shaped range and all the boundary walls are excluded from the listing.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.