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Description: Little Winch
Date Listed: 3 October 1985
English Heritage Building ID: 158922
OS Grid Reference: TL0383301182
OS Grid Coordinates: 503833, 201182
Latitude/Longitude: 51.6998, -0.4989
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TL 00 SW SARRATT THE COMMON
03.10.85 Little Winch
House. 1935 by M. Fry for George Butler. Brick, with tile-hung timber-framed first floor studio. Flat roof. International Modern Style. Two storeys with a taller block to right. Entrance front has projecting entrance bay to left of centre with a large fixed window on the ground floor, a first floor 2-light casement and entrance in right return. Bay to left is plain. To right a covered walk with hood over ground floor on 3 posts, first floor 4-light horizontal window. To right and set back is taller block. Ground floor rendered with an entrance to left, two-light casement to centre, garage to right. Tilehung first floor, originally weatherboarded, has a large 5 x 2-light horizontal window. Oversailing eaves throughout. Garden elevation is largely glazed, ground floor has projecting continuous glazing to living room returned to right, elsewhere three- and four-light horizontal windows, with tilehanging to studio. INTERIOR: The house is entered beneath a canopy which gives on to a small hallway with green tiling and a wooden staircase with an open balustrade. The window beside the door gives a view through the house to the garden. From the hall one moves to the spacious living room, where there are thin steel columns to support the walls behind the projecting windows. A stove is built into the alcove, flanked by original shelving, with a broad display shelf on top. This allows for sitting by the fire while facing out towards the view. A folding partition originally divided the dining area from the rest of the dining room if required, but the fine hardwood floor runs straight through. Dog-leg staircase with open decorative steel handrail leads to three main bedrooms and a maid's room in a row, and a studio (not inspected) with a higher ceiling and raised dais. Little Winch was originally designed to be built in reinforced concrete but Watford R.D.C. insisted on traditional construction. The house is deliberately simple and minimal, though its cupboards, floorings and use of timber are exceptionally fine. `Modern architecture is an attitude to life as much as to materials and wine would go into a bottle whatever it was made of' (Maxwell Fry, Architectural Sketches, 1973). Though originally seen as a compromise, Little Winch marked an influential progression from the concept of the modern movement as an architectural style entirely of white concrete, towards a less austere synthesis that came to fruition only in the 1950s.
Cherry and Pevsner, Buildings of England, 1977
Architecture in Hertfordshire, 1929-1979 (exh.cat.)
Architectural Review, January 1936, pp.25-6
F R S Yorke, The Modern House in England, 1945 edition, pp.14-15, 73-4
Alan Powers and Edward Mills, The Modern House, Twentieth Century Society, October 1996
Listing NGR: TL0383301182
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.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.