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Building No. 91 (Dining Rooms and Cookhouse), Gosport

Description: Building No. 91 (Dining Rooms and Cookhouse)

Grade: II
Date Listed: 1 December 2005
Building ID: 1418450

OS Grid Reference: SU5600001269
OS Grid Coordinates: 456000, 101269
Latitude/Longitude: 50.8083, -1.2066

Locality: Gosport
Local Authority: Gosport Borough Council
County: Hampshire
Postcode: PO13 9PE

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Listing Text


Building No. 91 (Dining Rooms and Cookhouse)


Dining room and cookhouse for ratings. 1931 and 1939. Cavity wall red brickwork, slate roofs.

PLAN: A single-storey block, originally a compact 'H' with central porch, containing 3 small dining rooms and a cookhouse: in 1939 considerably extended by the addition of a large dining room at right angles to the cross axis at each end, creating a bold 'H', and with new kitchen across the rear (N) side. Entered through small square porch and ante-room, with dining rooms to each side, the later rooms projecting well forward, and with small hipped lower blocks attached to the gable-ends to the south.

EXTERIOR: The entrance front has glazing-bar sashes to stone sills and brick voussoir heads. The flat-roofed porch has a pair of panelled doors with panel over, and in decorative brickwork, flanked by a low sash each side, and with a door on the W return. To each side is a 12-pane sash, then, brought forward, the original gables with barge-board and fascia forming a closed pediment containing a small bulls eye vent, above a large triple sash in 8:12:8-panes to brick mullions. A narrow link with a sash connects each side to the slightly higher cross wings, all in detail matching the original building, with 5 sashes to the inner face, and 7 on the outer returns; that to the left with a later door and overlight on 3 concrete steps. The left wing has a lower hipped addition with 2 small sashes, and the right wing similar, but with a central door in stone surround, flanked by 2 small sashes, and small sashes on the returns. The gables to which are attached to open pediments, and these, as well as the lower additions, have expressed brick quoins in one recessed to 4 projecting courses. The rear of the early block has closed pedimented gables over tripe sashes, as to the front, and the 1939 kitchen in a wide gabled block across the rear, connected to the earlier cookhouse with roof-light, and with later infill in courtyard areas.

INTERIOR: part of the front block only inspected. The entrance lobby has quarry-tile floor, and a haystack lantern over; the dining rooms have linoleum flooring, and suspended ceilings.

HISTORY: This modest-looking building has not been altered externally, and retains a simple elegance in layout and detailing characteristic of the 1930's Expansion Period in RAF designs; in the extensions this studied approach was maintained. The building was set, as was usual, at the head of the main parade ground, flanked by the ratings' barracks, and when extended, to meet the anticipated wartime growth of the station, the new wings partly obscured the frontages of the two northernmost accommodation blocks.

Established in 1917 as a temporary naval seaplane training school, this was first developed as a satellite to the Royal Naval Air Service base at Calshot, on the opposite (west) side of Southampton Water. In 1918 the RAF took over its administration, and in the 1920s training continued for the newly-formed Fleet Air Arm, training pilots for warship and later armed merchant cruisers in the Battle of the Atlantic. The site is immediately adjacent to the Solent, but severed from it by a road (Marine Parade).

The seaplane hangars were amongst the earliest structures erected on the site, located to the S and E of a generous concrete apron and connected by concrete slipways to the sea. Lt J G N Clifts was responsible for a number of buildings on the site from 1918, including the Power House of 1918. The whole base is closely woven into the adjacent suburban roads, houses predating 1917 being either demolished or reused: the most notable amongst these is Westcliffe House, a characteristic example of how early seaplane bases requisitioned earlier properties for use as officers' messes. A major rebuilding was undertaken after 1931 when the base became Coastal Area HQ. The most architecturally distinguished building relating to this phase is the officers' mess, a fine and unique composition by which fronts onto a large grassed area to its south. This is bounded to its SE side by a group of married quarters in the Garden City style characteristic of RAF expansion up to 1934. To the north is the station guardhouse (a 1926 design), institute and barracks square of 1932-5. Further additions in 1939 included the H-plan barracks blocks and Eagle Block, which served as HQ of Coastal Command until August 1939.

(Francis, P: HMS Daedalus, Report for Hampshire County Council, July 1996)

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.