A country house, built in the 1770s for the industrialist, Thomas Hill and converted after 1855 to be part of the Webb glass factory. In 2004-5 the building was converted to be a block of 19 flats.
Reason for Listing
Dennis Hall is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural: the building is a classical composition which is designed with assurance and a clear knowledge of the English classical repertoire.
* Historical interest: the association with the Webb factory, which produced some of the finest cameo glass in England in the C19 is of considerable interest and ties the building firmly to its setting in Amblecote area of Stourbridge, which was known throughout the C18 and C19 for the manufacture of glass.
* Historical interest: the building has a clear connection with the early industrial development of the West Midlands and with the type of house which was built for industrialists at the end of the C18 and start of the C19
Dennis Hall was built in the 1770s for the industrialist Thomas Hill as his house. It was bought from the Hill family by Thomas Webb c.1855, and he attached his glassworks to the rear of the property. The house served as office accommodation for the factory and as his family home. The Webb company was well known for the quality of its art glass, particularly cameo glass, where different colours of glass are layered and then etched or cut to create patterns. Glass pieces continued to be made at Dennis, despite the fact that Webb's was taken over by Crown House in 1964 and then Dema Glass and Coloroll. Production finally ceased in 1990. The site then lay empty and the building was subject to vandalism and arson attack which destroyed a significant part of the interior. In 2003-04 the building was converted to 19 flats. The factory complex, joined to the east side of the house, was demolished and replaced by a smaller extension which contained further flats, and the staircase hall was moved from its former position on the north side of the house to become part of the entrance hall on the western side. The Ordnance Survey map of 1885 shows the house with industrial buildings added to its east side and stables or further industrial buildings to the north. Walled gardens are shown to the north, with glasshouses and planted with trees, and the gardens to the west appear to have a variety of planting to either side of the drive, including stands of trees. The OS maps of 1903, 1920 and 1938 appear to show the same pattern of mixed domestic and industrial use. The building was listed in 1971 at Grade II.
A Country House, converted to house 19 flats, and originally built in the 1770s for the industrialist Thomas Hill. The building is of red brick, laid in Flemish bond with ashlar dressings and a hipped, slate roof. It has three storeys and a basement.
EXTERIOR: There is a stone band at the level of the first floor window sills which circles the building and another at sill level to the central three bays on the west front.
The western, entrance, front has seven bays, symmetrically disposed. The central three bays project slightly and are crowned by a triangular pediment. The central, semi-circular porch at ground floor level has a flat roof which is supported by four Tuscan pillars, with pilaster responds to the wall. The panelled door is flanked by sash windows with 12 panes. At first floor level the central window has an aedicular surround with pilasters at either side and a miniature pediment. At second floor level the central window surround is lugged, with a prominent keystone. All other windows on this front and around the building have segmental stone heads with projecting, fluted keystones. Apart from the central windows on the west front, which are wider, all windows at ground and first floor levels have 12 panes and those to the second floor have six panes. To the top of the wall and framing the pediment is a cornice, and there is a stone blocking course above this.
The north front has four original bays at right, of the same format seen on the entrance front. There is a truncated chimney which projects from the first floor and which is set between the first and second bays from the right and appears to date from the period when the building was a factory. To the left of this and slightly recessed are two further bays, added in the C21 which copy the existing pattern. The left-hand bay has a canted bay window which extends to the full height of the house. To left again is a range of two storeys, also added in the C21.
The east side has the added, two-storey section to the right, with a projecting canted bay to its centre. To the left of this the walling is original and has three bays of sash windows, as seen on the north and west fronts.
The south front has six bays of the same type with a single canted bay to the ground floor of C21 date, set in a portion of patched walling. The roof and its covering have been renewed and roof lights have been inserted.
INTERIOR: The building suffered considerably from vandalism and arson attacks in the 1990s, and the plan and the surviving details were altered at the time of the conversion to a block of flats. However, casts were made of the cornice in the entrance hall and this was reconstructed. The room has a moulded dado and door surrounds with frieze and projecting cornice. The entablature to the top of the wall has roundels containing alternating lion head and flower motifs to the frieze, above which the cornice is dentilled with paterae. To the rear of the hall is a screen of two wooden columns and an open-well staircase, all of which were inserted in the C21. Other interior spaces appear to have been rebuilt in the early-C21.
Ordnance Survey maps published 1885, 1903, 1920 and 1938
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.