Carriageway arch and cottage, 1887, to designs by George Devey for BW Currie.
Reason for Listing
Arch Cottage and arched entrance, 1887, to designs by George Devey for BW Currie, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:* Architectural interest: the group of buildings mark the entrance to the manor forecourt and use suitably grand architectural devices to announce this; the towers flanking the archway are a formal element, and are balanced by the cottage, deliberately asymmetrical and informally grouped round a stair tower; * Intactness: the external appearance remains largely unaltered; * Planning interest: the carriageway arch and cottage compartmentalise the area around the house and are positioned on axes with other buildings, part of Devey’s layout of the wider estate and drives; * Historic interest: the principal mansion, together with the other associated buildings and landscape illustrate the evolution of a mid-C19 to early C20 landed estate that comprises buildings by two significant and influential C19 architects, Clutton and Devey, and latterly Devey’s draughtsman Castings, laid out in collaboration with a major horticulturalist; * Group value: Minley Manor exemplifies a landed estate set in a registered designed landscape, marked by a number of listed buildings of note which together form an exceptional and very complete group.
In 1855 the manor of Minley was bought by Raikes Currie (1801-1881), a wealthy banker and Liberal politician. He immediately commissioned Henry Clutton to build a country house on the site. Clutton (1819-1893) began his career under Edward Blore and toured Italy, France, Belgium and Germany before beginning his own practice in the mid-1840s. Supported by private means from the Walworth Estates, Clutton was able to pick and choose his commissions, and favoured churches, schools and private houses. He became a fellow of the RIBA, wrote for the Ecclesiological Society and published widely on the subject of French Gothic and Renaissance architecture. His design for Minley (NHLE 1258061) was initially modelled on the chateau at Blois (Hunting 1983, 98) and was at the time one of the first C19 country houses to be built in England in the French Renaissance manner, though under the influence of the English Gothic Revival. Typically for the period, Clutton rejected uniformity and symmetry, in favour of ordered but irregular elevations which, later augmented by Devey's alterations, were noted by Girouard for their ‘aggressive anarchy’. Clutton designed further buildings on the estate, including the Church of St Andrew (NHLE 1258200) and a number of lodges, before his eyesight failed and he ended his practice. When Raikes Currie died in 1881 the estate was passed to his son Bertram Wodehouse Currie (1827-1896) who did not favour Clutton’s design and in 1885 employed George Devey (1820-1886) to make extensive alterations to the house and grounds. Devey, an architect and painter began his own practice in 1846; he became a fellow of the RIBA in 1856 and by the mid-1860s had established a busy country house practice. He worked for Bertram Currie in the 1870s at Combe Warren, Surrey (NHLE 1080098), and at Minley remodelled the external elevations as well as interior spaces. He created a forecourt at the front of the house, in line with the existing avenue of lime and wellingtonia trees. Arch Cottage and the carriageway arch enclose the east side of the forecourt and form a formal entrance, with the arch on an axis with Devey’s main lodge and gates (NHLE 1092280) and the gates north of the orangery (NHLE 1339884) leading to drives from the west. Devey died in 1886 and his designs were executed by his chief draughtsman and successor, Arthur Castings (1853-1913). In 1936 the entire estate was sold to the Army: initially it was used to house the senior section of the staff college, and latterly the Royal Engineers. Arch Cottage remains in use as residential accommodation.Arch Cottage was formerly included in the List entry for Minley Manor.
Carriageway arch and cottage, 1887, to designs by George Devey for BW Currie.MATERIALS: red brick in English Bond, stone and rubbed red brick dressings, flint chequerwork and slate roofs. PLAN: arched entrance and flanking cottage, adjoining the northern end of the service range of Minley Manor, providing the main approach to the forecourt from the main east drive entrance, and from within, terminating the forecourt on the eastern side. Their relationship to the principal house reflects Devey's approach to arranging buildings that gradually recede from or mark the approach to a principal building, in contrast to Clutton's more formal hierarchy. Designed in conjunction with the loggia and orangery they create an informal picturesque group where asymmetry and descending scale of importance and detail are deliberately and skilfully handled. The range containing the carriageway arch is flanked by a squat tower to the south-east, a further square tower linking it to the servant’s hall. The cottage occupies the two-storey square tower to the north-west of the arch, and a two-storey pitched roofed range facing the forecourt, and between, is an octagonal stair tower. EXTERIOR: approached from the east drive is a roughly symmetrical range of two square towers with pyramidal roofs either side of a central carriageway arch. The elliptical arch, in rubbed brick, is set within a pedimented aedicule with flanking pilasters and a shaped gable enriched with a rubbed brick fielded panel, stone dressings and a ball finial to the apex. Closing the arch is a pair of timber gates beneath a wrought iron overthrow. The entrance to the cottage is set beneath the arch, and has a chamfered stone architrave and plank and muntin door. The square tower on the left is a single storey, while that to the right, forming part of Arch Cottage, is of two storeys; both have a single two-light, hollow chamfered mullioned window to each floor, with metal casements and set in flush stone surrounds. The composition is balanced by the tall end stack that is visible above the roof. On the west elevation the pedimented arched opening is similar but has offset buttresses rather than pilasters, and the upper section of the southern tower, above a moulded string course, is in flint chequerwork, inset with a moulded plaque with a cartouche inscribed ‘1887’. To the left of the arch the octagonal stair tower has small rectangular windows in chamfered stone surrounds and a cornice and parapet with moulded copings. Extending beyond the arch, Arch Cottage is in two storeys beneath a pitched roof, with a tall central stack with an oversailing cap. The west-facing elevation is primarily intended to be a blank brick wall, enhanced by diapering, and a low offset buttress, but into which a single ground floor window has been inserted or enlarged, beneath a flat brick arch and brick cill. The gable walls have stone mullions windows in flush stone surrounds and tall brick parapets with stone copings and ball finials. INTERIOR: not inspected.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.