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St Cuthbert's Clergy House, Kensington and Chelsea

Description: St Cuthbert's Clergy House

Grade: II
Date Listed: 22 September 2014
Building ID: 1421478

OS Grid Reference: TQ2500278461
OS Grid Coordinates: 525002, 178461
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4913, -0.2009

Locality: Kensington and Chelsea
County: Greater London Authority
Postcode: SW5 9ED

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Listing Text


Clergy house, 1883 by Hugh Roumieu Gough.

Reason for Listing

St Cuthbert’s Clergy House, of 1883 by Hugh Roumieu Gough, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: an interesting and somewhat eccentric design for a large urban clergy house, built on a constricted site in the manner of a small Italian Gothic palazzo; * Interiors and plan form: the building is little altered internally, retaining original fittings and, unusually, a number of doorways and passages opening into the church at various levels; * Group value: the domestic Gothic style and restless asymmetry of the house provides an effective foil for the austere bulk of the church alongside.


The clergy house was built in 1883 to serve the adjoining church of St Cuthbert (q.v.), then under construction. The designer of both church and house was Hugh Roumieu Gough (1843-1904) the son and former pupil of the architect Alexander Dick Gough. Alongside the clergy house was built in 1894 a further complex of accommodation and church rooms, known as Philbeach Hall, with Gough again as the architect. These latter buildings, badly damaged by wartime bombing, were partly rebuilt in 1956-7 by J Harold Gibbons (1878-1958), who also restored the church; they are not of special interest and are excluded from the listing.


Clergy house, 1883 by Hugh Roumieu Gough.MATERIALS: red brick with Bath stone dressings and slate roof.PLAN: the clergy house is built on a tight L-plan and wraps around the (liturgical) north-west angle of the church. It is of three storeys above a half-basement. The ground floor comprises a broad entrance porch (which also gives access to the church), a large drawing-room alongside it on the street side and a dining-room and study behind, with bedrooms on the upper floors. A closet on the first floor contains a little oratory which overlooks the church's south aisle, and a narrow stairway leads from the second floor up to the west gallery of the nave.EXTERIOR: the house is a tall, narrow building, set at a slight angle to the church and facing onto a side-street formerly known as Cluny Mews (now part of Philbeach Gardens). The street elevation is strongly asymmetrical, in a free domestic Gothic idiom characterised by the use of two- and three-light casement windows with trefoiled heads and brick or stone mullions. The projecting left-hand bay has a flat roof and a decorated parapet; it contains the porch, set in a Gothic-arched stone surround with angle-shafts. A stone St Cuthbert's cross is set into the brickwork above; a similar cross below and to the right of the door marks the foundation stone, inscribed June 2nd 1883. The hip-roofed right-hand bay contains the drawing room and principal bedrooms; the upper two floors are corbelled out to form a shallow oriel, the second-floor window having a tympanum filled with patterned brickwork.INTERIORS: these are simple though little altered. Most rooms retain fireplaces, some with plain marble surrounds and decorative cast-iron grates, as well as four-panel doors, skirtings, dado rails etc. The curving stair has a simple timber balustrade with close-set turned uprights. The inner door to the porch has decorative strapwork hinges and a lion-headed door-knocker - the latter a copy of the sanctuary knocker at Durham cathedral.EXCLUSIONS: the buildings of Philbeach Hall, of 1894 by Gough but much rebuilt by J Harold Gibbons in the 1950s, stand alongside the clergy house and form No. 51 Philbeach Gardens. They are not of special interest and are excluded from the listing.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.