Description: Our Lady's Convent Preparatory School
Date Listed: 20 July 1977
English Heritage Building ID: 230117
OS Grid Reference: SP8580978095
OS Grid Coordinates: 485809, 278095
Latitude/Longitude: 52.3942, -0.7404
1. HALL LANE
Convent of Our Lady
SP 87 NE 2/57
Former preparatory school, built as a private house. Early C20. Probably by A. Bamford for a Mr.Berrill. Red brick ground floor and wide corner pilasters and pebbledash first floor. Wide elaborate modillion eaves cornice and hipped plain tile roof. Brick stack on left wing and possible truncated stack to right within flat of hipped roof. L plan. Carolean or Artisan Mannerist style with wooden or stone muillion and transom windows with fine leaded lights. 2 storeys and attics. Main front of house faces rear towards the garden.
The entrance front towards the lane has the wing projecting on left. In section to right the entrance door has flat hood and 2-light windows either side and a large 5-light window over. Further stone windows to left and on left return, and on the front of the wing a window on the first foor over a door and blocked window. 3 2-light casement dormers with curved roofs on main range and another on the wing. Right side has further windows and a dormer above and left side has a triple window at first floor over sashes and 2 dormers over. Garden front is a symmetrical design of 6 windows at first floor over a polygonal bay either side a a central stone doorcase with stone window either side. 4 roof dormers, the outer of 2 lights with curved roofs, the inner of 3 lights with flat and pedimented roofs.
INTERIOR. The entrance door leads to entrance hall with stone chequer floor from which leads an fine oak open-well staircase with column-on-vase balusters and massive column newels. Curving steps lead down under to cloaks which has black and white mini chequer floor and some original tiling. The entrance hall leads to a study on right with a c.1700 style fireplace and then down to the lounge hall which has an stone bolection fireplace. Original doors lead to the reception rooms which also have original fireplaces and to the service corridor. Bedrooms have orginal doors and fireplaces with cast-iron grates and one has become a second attic stair in addition to the back stairs.
This house is a fine-quality essay in the Carolean style with little alteration to the interior which is carefully designed and has high quality fittings including excellent leaded-light windows.
The house was mentioned by Pevsner in 1961 where it was mistakenly attributed to Gotch (q.v. Bryn Hafod, the Convent next door, with which Middlewest forms a group) but he specifically described this house.
The classroom extension to north of c.1973 is not of special archtectural interest.
Pevsner, N., Buildings of England, Northamptonshire, 1961, p.265.
Northamptonshire Archaeology, Assessment and Building Evalution for the Convent of Our Lady, Feb. 2003. including pers. comm. from RK Hardgrave re attribution to Bamford.
Listing NGR: SP8580978095
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.