Bowman's Green, an Arts and Crafts house of 1913 by Thomas Falconer (1879-1934).
Bowman's Green, an Arts and Crafts house of 1913 by Thomas Falconer (1879-1934) is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the house is a good example of Falconer’s Arts and Crafts interpretation of Cotswold vernacular building, but employing the butterfly plan to good effect, with limited but effective external detailing making use of traditional materials and craftsmanship; * Interior: the interior demonstrates quality in its spare but neatly-detailed architectural style, and retains its Arts and Crafts windows, a Falconer-designed stone fireplace, original joinery, and distinctive copper door-handles; * Intactness: despite the loss of some fireplaces, and alteration to the plan of the kitchen, the house remains largely unaltered, and the essential harmony of interior and exterior remains as intended.
Reason for ListingBowman's Green, an Arts and Crafts house of 1913 by Thomas Falconer (1879-1934) is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: the house is a good example of Falconer’s Arts and Crafts interpretation of Cotswold vernacular building, but employing the butterfly plan to good effect, with limited but effective external detailing making use of traditional materials and craftsmanship; * Interior: the interior demonstrates quality in its spare but neatly-detailed architectural style, and retains its Arts and Crafts windows, a Falconer-designed stone fireplace, original joinery, and distinctive copper door-handles; * Intactness: despite the loss of some fireplaces, and alteration to the plan of the kitchen, the house remains largely unaltered, and the essential harmony of interior and exterior remains as intended.
HistoryThe house now known as Bowman's Green was built in 1913 by Thomas Falconer for Pier F. Legh, on a plot of land to the north-west of Minchinhampton Church. The field within which the house was built was at that time nearly undeveloped, though the house immediately to the south – Windrush, also by Falconer – appears to have been completed a little earlier. Legh's house was named Camp Field until at least the time of the 1936 Ordnance Survey map; it has been suggested that the house was given its current name by a subsequent owner, Veronica Fyffe, known to have been an enthusiastic archer. The garden's large and regularly-shaped lawn may have been developed for archery practice, but the 1936 map indicates that the structure of the garden was in place by that time, and the mature planting and the harmonious relationship between house and garden suggest that they were designed during the same phase. The Stroud area has a rich heritage of Arts and Crafts buildings, with a number of distinguished architects and designers having moved to the area between the 1890s and the 1930s; these included Ernest Gimson, Sidney and Ernest Barnsley, Norman Jewson, Percy Morley Horder, and Thomas Falconer. Thomas Falconer (1879-1934) worked for Ernest George before setting up his own practice; his principal office was in Amberley, where he lived, and although he had a further office in London for some years, his work was principally in Gloucestershire, including a number of private houses as well as restorations and additions to historic buildings. Falconer's work in the Minchinhampton area included the house now known as Highstones at Amberley, which is, like Bowman's Green, built to a butterfly plan. Falconer was joined in partnership by Harold Baker from 1917 to 1928, from 1922 by John Campbell, and from 1919 to 1924 by Bligh Bond.
DetailsHouse, built in 1913 to a design by Thomas Falconer for Piers Legh. The builders were Orchard and Peer of Stroud. The architect's plans survive, and the rooms are referred to below by their original names.MATERIALS: local Cotswold stone ashlar, randomly coursed. The roofs, in their complex, interconnecting arrangement, are tiled, with five symmetrically-placed stone stacks, one being at the centre of the building. The majority of the metal-framed windows with leaded lights and decorative wrought-iron catches, set within stone mullioned openings, survive. PLAN: built to a 'butterfly' plan, with the entrance in the centre of the north elevation, and two angled wings extending from a central core, each formed of two parallel 'ranges' beneath pitched roofs, orientated outwards from the north towards the south-west and the south-east. These open out to enclose a forecourt before the entrance, whilst the smaller angle to the south creates a south-facing garden front. The house is built over two storeys. EXTERIOR: although the house's butterfly plan, associated with the Arts and Crafts movement, places it firmly in the early C20, the external appearance of the building is in the Cotswold vernacular tradition, with stone mullioned windows – several set beneath hoodmoulds – sweeping roof slopes, and ventilation shafts to the gables.The entrance is set within a projecting bay, fronting a hipped range set between the two wings. The stone doorway is formed of a moulded Tudor arch beneath a hoodmould containing a timber door, thought to be original. The lantern over the door is also thought to be original; there is a three-light window above. To either side of the entrance bay, a single two-light window to each storey. The wings, with their pitched roofs, have deep slopes facing to the north-east and north-west, giving an asymmetrical quality to their gable ends, with windows extending outwards beneath the roofs on the ground floor. To north-west and north-east, the slopes reach down to first-floor level: there is a tradesmen's entrance, and access to the cellar, to the north-west, and a window lighting what was originally the workshop, to the north-east. The south-east and south-west elevations are similar, reflecting the effect of the angles enclosing the north-facing forecourt; in each the southernmost gable end projects, having a four-light window to the ground floor, with a three-light window above, whilst the northern gable end, with its deep northern slope, has irregular fenestration – and in the south-west elevation, the entrance to the workshop. There are hoodmoulds above the windows, and shaped ventilation shafts to the gables. A number of window panels have been replaced within the south-east elevation, and two to the south-west. The south elevation, of which the angled south-west and south-east faces form a part, visually, is composed of the inward-facing south sides of the wings, with the angle filled by a triangular roof slope extending downwards to form the loggia with, above, a timber-mullioned window topped by a gablet. The loggia was originally open, with a timber lintel resting on stone corbels, and two central posts; this structure has been filled with glazed panels in timber frames. The multi-paned glazed doors giving access to the loggia from the house are original. Flanking the loggia, and sheltered by extensions of the loggia roof, are ground-floor canted bay windows. INTERIOR: the main entrance leads to a small lobby, lit by small windows to east and west, and giving on to the entrance hall. Straight ahead is the central chimney stack (now blocked), with the doorway to the sitting hall to the right; roughly hexagonal in shape, the sitting hall forms the centre of the radiating plan, opening to the loggia to the south, with the principal public rooms to the south-west (drawing room) and south-east (dining room). Both drawing room and dining room, occupying the southern blocks, have windows on two sides, with bay windows angled towards the loggia. The stone fire-surround in the drawing room is a replacement. The dining room has an original stone fire-surround similar to others designed by Thomas Falconer, consisting of a chamfered flush frame with a deep lintel, and a shallow coved mantelshelf less wide than the frame. To the west of the entrance hall is the staircase hall, with the stair curving upwards to the south. Extending along the north side of the wing, a passageway leads to a large room, originally designated as Mrs Legh's Bedroom. This room has a C18 timber fire-surround, with a central motif depicting a bow and torch; this was installed later, possibly at about the time the house was re-named Bowman's Green. At the north-west end of the wing, the workshop has been converted to a kitchen; the small WC beside it retains a small corner basin. To the east of the entrance hall, the pantry, with an original built-in dresser, and doors opening to the dining room and kitchen. The kitchen has been substantially re-modelled, with a wall having been taken down to incorporate the former scullery. The arrangement of the kitchen offices remains otherwise much as planned, with the back stair rising from behind a door in the kitchen; the larder retains its cupboards and slate shelf. The house's principal stair, having square newel posts with shallow pyramidal caps, slender turned balusters and moulded handrail, is characteristic of Falconer. The balustrade continues along the south side of the landing, creating a miniature galleried effect, overlooking the entrance hall. On the first floor, the layout of the bedrooms remains largely unchanged, although the central bedroom in the western wing has been converted to a bathroom. The principal bedrooms are above the dining room and drawing room, and similarly have double aspects. The south-east bedroom has a cast-iron chimneypiece, thought to be original to the house. The south-west bedroom has a C18 carved timber chimneypiece. The chimney to the bedroom above the sitting hall is blocked. At the north-east end of the eastern wing are the former maids' bedrooms; the door which separates these from the rest of the house has a standard brass handle on the side facing the maids' quarters, rather than the elliptical copper handles otherwise used throughout. The house retains the majority of its original simple joinery, including three-panelled doors, door-frames, a rounded angle-bead, and skirting boards. There are original cupboards in a number of the bedrooms.SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: immediately to the south of the house is a terrace, defined by low dry stone walls, with steps centrally and to the east end. There has been some alteration and extension at the west end of the wall. The house is separated from the lane by a dry stone wall which encloses the forecourt and garden; two stone piers with shallow pyramidal caps angled slightly to the north; these are widely spaced for vehicular access. A pedestrian gateway to the east has a wrought-iron gate thought to be original to the house.
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