A gardener's cottage of c. 1895 designed by John Henry Williams for Hon. Alfred Percy Allsopp.
Reason for Listing
Gardener's Cottage, Battenhall Avenue, Worcester is statutorily listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural quality: the cottage has good architectural treatment to all four sides and interior fittings of high quality for a building of this type; * Intact survival: the building has been little altered since its completion and its original layout and functioning can be clearly seen; * Group value: the Gardener's Cottage forms a group with the stable block and gate lodge at Battenhall Mount (both Grade II) and with the former St Mary's Convent School, Battenhall Mount (recommended for upgrading to II*).
Battenhall Mount was built 1865-9 as a house for the Quaker clothier William Spriggs on the outskirts of Worcester. His architect is not known. In the 1890s his suburban house and the land surrounding it, were considerably aggrandised for the Hon. Alfred Percy Allsopp MP, the son of a local landowner, Lord Hindlip. He appears to have bought and then demolished a neighbouring property, called Fair View, which is shown to the south east of Battenhall Mount, on the 1888 Ordnance Survey map. Having considerably extended his plot of land, he employed the Worcester architect John Henry Williams and then a London architect RA Briggs to add large extensions to the house and undertake a lavish refitting of the interior. In addition to extending the house, Williams built a new stable block to the north east of the house, a new gate lodge to the north-west and the present Gardener’s Cottage, which lies to the south-east of the house, built on land which had formed part of the neighbouring plot. Design drawings for the 'new garden bothie' are signed by Williams and dated June 1896, and the accompanying specification mentions clearing the site of the 'old cottage, stable buildings &c' which were presumably associated with the demolished Fair View, and using the foundations and drainage channels from this earlier building. Although Allsopp's additions to the main house followed the Italianate style of the original building, the stables, lodge and cottage were all designed with references to west midlands timber-framed vernacular architecture. Battenhall Mount was sold to the nuns of St Marie Madeleine Postel in 1933 and this Roman Catholic teaching order established an independent school on the site which lasted until its closure in 2014. The Gardener’s Cottage was used latterly as staff accommodation for the school. It was vacant at the time of survey (November 2014).
A gardener's cottage of c. 1895 designed by John Henry Williams for Hon. Alfred Percy Allsopp. MATERIALS: Gault brick, laid in English bond to the ground floor, with stone dressings, and timber framing to the first floor with rendered infill and a roof of red fish-scale tiles. PLAN: two storeys with an enclosed rear yard to the south-west side of the building.EXTERIOR: the north-eastern, road front has two principal, gabled bays. The ground floor windows each have three, mullioned, casement lights with a transom. The first floor is slightly jettied, and has small-framed walling with a carved bresumer and a middle rail that forms the sill to the two three-light casements. The gables have carved bargeboards and angled braces.The south-east flank faces the side drive and forms the entrance front. It has an entrance door at right with a sunken panel carved with a coat of arms and the date ‘1896’. At first-floor level the small framing has two ogee braces at right and to left, above the entrance, is a two light casement under a gable with angled braces and carved bargeboards. The north-west flank has two, single-light windows to the ground floor and blank, small-framed walling to the first floor with ogee braces to either end. The south-west rear, facing the small back yard, has random fenestration to the ground floor and two, three-light casements beneath gables to the first floor, as on the road front. At the centre of each of the two roof ridges is a massive, chimney stack of gault brick with a richly-moulded, stepped head incorporating miniature gargoyle heads. Chimney stacks are elaborately moulded and of brick and terracotta, with gargoyles to the upper corners.INTERIOR: the ground floor has panelled oak doors and a staircase with carved newel posts and balusters. Leaded casement windows have their original furniture.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.