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Description: Little Offley
Date Listed: 9 June 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 163121
OS Grid Reference: TL1296228502
OS Grid Coordinates: 512962, 228502
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9436, -0.3580
Explore more of the area around Offley, Hertfordshire at Explore Britain.
OFFLEY LITTLE OFFLEY
TL 12 NW
4/111 Little Offley
Country house. Late C16 origin as timber framed H-plan house of Spicer
family; refronted in Jacobean period (Drapentier engraving published in
1700 shows centre heightened to 2-storeys and attics, elaborate
2-storeys frontispiece, cupola with '1688' on vane and sash windows only
to 1st floor of wings); present new brick front and small gabled wings
projecting to SW and SE at outer corners of wings dated '1696' by
rainwater head on SE small wing. Restored and extended at NE and NW
c.1913 by Geoffrey Lucas and Arthur Lodge for C.E. Johnston. Timber
frame now exposed only at rear of W wing. Red brick in Flemish-bond
chequered with black headers. Light red brick to angles and openings.
Red rubbed brick at front for plinth, plat band, and whole projecting
central bay. Steep old red tile roofs with wooden eaves cornice and
pediment with slate roof. A large 2-storeys cellar and attics house
facing S. Present narrow through passage from front door in position of
screens passage of original house with hall to W with large external
rear wall chimney and parlour crosswing to W. 2 service rooms bay to E
of passage with rear passage to kitchen in E wing. C17 changes involved
adding 2-storey passage around the back of the hall chimney, a 2-gabled
stair tower to rear of E crosswing and service extension to E of it
beyond its massive E gable chimney, 2-storeys small outer gabled wings
at SE and SW and passage access to principal rooms on the 1st floor.
Symmetrical S front has 2-storeys 5 windows centre, flanked by 2-storeys
and attics 2 windows wide gabled projecting wings, themselves flanked by
narrow 2-storeys 1 window wide gabled outer wings. Flush box sashes with
12/12 panes to 1st floor of the centre, 6/6 panes elsewhere. Modillioned
painted eaves cornice to centre returned to adjoining sides of wings.
Triangular pediment to shallow, 1 window, central projection with
elaborate enriched bolection moulded carved oak doorcase with carved
swelled frieze, consoles, and segmental broken pediment with swags and
fruit-carved key-block. Doorcase moved out to front of rubbed brick,
flat topped, single-storey, rectangular porch with sash windows in the
sides, after 1917. Casement windows to kitchen on ground floor of E
wing. Moulded gable parapets to wings and outer wings. Small leaded
single-light windows to attic in wing gables. Rectangular E kitchen
chimney with small gabled bellcote on its E face. Square shafts set
diagonally to rear wall of central range and W side of W wing. SW outer
wing altered and widened probably in C18 and canted bay window of later
C19. 2-storeys c.1913 nursery wing at NW facing W has timbered loggia
below 2 gables with cross windows. Rear entrance by half-glazed door
under semi-circular fanlight with panelled spandrels below a flat
hood on shaped brackets with guttae as corbels. Twin gabled parapet to E
of stair tower with stepped plat-band and original cross windows with
iron casements and rectangular leaded glazing. Flat gauged arches.
Timber framing of rear of W wing shows 2 clasped-purlins to each slope.
Interior has much bolection moulded panelling and doors, notably in
through passage with arch flanked by panelled pilasters on bases and
with eared architrave to rear. Room on E of entrance has full panelling
with bolection moulding to fire surround, walls 3-panel doors with case
locks, and moulded cornice. Similar room with contemporary panelling on
1st floor. Jacobean arcaded overmantle to W parlour with 4 carved
caryatid figures and inlay bands. Barleysugar twisted balusters and
bolection wall panelling to staircase, but now rises from rear lobby
rather than former rear service passage. Clasped-purlin roof to main
range at same height as that of wings, has supports for former cupola.
Kitchen has old chamfered crossed ceiling beams but refitted as a
parlour with oak plank doors and stone fireplace c.1913. Chamfered
4-centred C17 brick fireplace on 1st floor. (RCHM (1911)161: VCH
(1912)39: Country Life 24 Feb 1917: Pevsner (1977)265-6: RCHM
Listing NGR: TL1296228502
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.