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Winscombe House and Winscombe Tower, Crowborough

Description: Winscombe House and Winscombe Tower

Grade: II
Date Listed: 18 April 1973
English Heritage Building ID: 295928

OS Grid Reference: TQ5085629919
OS Grid Coordinates: 550856, 129919
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0488, 0.1508

Location: Whin Croft Park, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 1UQ

Locality: Crowborough
Local Authority: Wealden District Council
County: East Sussex
Country: England
Postcode: TN6 1UQ

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Listing Text

Winscombe House and
Winscombe Tower (formerly
listed as Winscombe House
and Winscombe Studio)
TQ 52 NW 20/188 18.4.73
Detached house, subdivided. Winscombe House was built circa 1899 by architect H M Baillie Scott in Vernacular Revival style. Local tradition is that the house was built for a Judge Swift. Winscombe Tower was added circa 1902, also by Baillie Scott, as a music room extension to the north west, and the front gable of Winscombe House was also probably remodelled at this time. Service accommodation was added to the north east probably betwen the wars which is now a separate property called Fernlea. Some later C20 extensions and replaced windows.

EXTERIOR: Ground floor of red brick and a painted roughcast first floor with tiled roof and roughcast chimneystacks, including a front stack set diagonally and an external chimneystack to the south west. The entrance front to the north east is asymmetrical and extended soon after the house was built with a large projecting gable originally supported on four wooden Tuscan columns, but the porch was glazed-in in the later C20. Behind it is the original front door with four ribs and moulded architrave. Casement windows with two oriels to the south east, replaced in the later C20, keeping the original divisions. The rear elevation has a left side gable and three casement windows. At ground floor level behind a later C20 brick and glazed conservatory an earlier tented canopy survives and there are wooden casement windows. Roughcast gable to the south west.
INTERIOR: The front entrance hall has a fireplace set diagonally with overmantel incorporating display shelves, copper surround and hood and a built-in wooden settle. There is wooden dado panelling and the ceiling has narrow moulded ribs. In the corner is a well staircase with solid balustrading decorated by cut-out patterns of three circles. The Lounge to the south west has a large curved arch over the fireplace incorporating a shelf and two small windows with a stone fireplace below, ribbed ceiling and cambered panels to the dado panelling. The central room was originally the hall and has the original french windows with leaded lights, two sidelights and two windows of five lights with leaded lights. There is a brick arched fireplace with pilasters, moulded wooden panelling to the overmantel, a built-in wooden settle with panelling and a low seat, dado panelling and a ribbed ceiling. The western room, originally a dining room (as illustrated in The Architectural Review in 1900) has a brick fireplace with panelled overmantel, elaborate square panelling to plate shelf level with diagonal joints, cupboard, dado rail and a central spine beam supported on stone corbels with beaded floor joists. The 1900 illustration suggests there may originally have been a stencilled decoration to the plateshelf. The first floor has a corridor with painted panelling with plateshelf, round-headed arched opening and original doors. One bedroom has an original fireplace with green tiles and three tiled panels probably of Persian tiles and slender pilasters with shallow capitals and a plateshelf. A further bedroom has a barrel-vaulted ceiling and a similar fireplace but with the original tilework painted over except for three Persian tiled panels.

EXTERIOR: Mainly roughcast with some brickwork to the ground floor of the north west or entrance front and tiled roof with a large external chimneystack to the entrance front. The principal feature is a two storey corner tower with flat roof and splayed corner bay with stone mullioned windows. The brick ground floor extension with gabled doorcase to the entrance front was probably added c1955 when the property was subdivided, with a slightly later flat-roofed extension to the left. The north east elevation retains tripartite casements with leaded lights. The garden front to the south west is of two storeys with casement windows to the upper floor but a mid C20 flat-roofed extension to most of the ground floor. INTERIOR: Originally the interior contained one large room, a music room, but this was partitioned into a number of smaller rooms after 1955. The large fireplace with brick chimney and two originally external casement windows with leaded lights survives, together with tapering wooden piers to ceiling height, ribbed wooden ceiling and panelling above plateshelf level. The tower has a half-winder staircase with flat balustrading and tapering square newel post, moulded to the top.

HISTORY: According to Kornwolf's "M H Baillie Scott and the Arts and Crafts Movement" the date of construction was between 1899 and 1902 with a music room added by Baillie Scott about 1902. A drawing of the entrance front of a "House at Crowborough" appears in this book with plans of the building taken from "Academy Architecture" of 1900. As built originally the house had four bedrooms and the ground floor had a large drawing room to the left, central hall, dining room to the right and service wing including a projecting wing to the right. The Architectural Review of May 1900 prints a watercolour of Baillie Scott's house at Crowborough exhibited in an exhibition of architectural drawings at the Royal Academy. Ordnance Survey maps show that Winscombe House was built first and by the 1904 map Winscombe Tower is shown, so this was the 1902 Baillie Scott music room. Fernlea was probably added between the wars as staff accommodation in a similar style and materials, but not known to be by Baillie Scott. In 1955 the building was divided into three properties, Winscombe House retaining its name, Winscombe Tower known as Kioma and Fernlea Cottage called the Studio.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: An 1899 Vernacular Revival style house designed by M H Baillie Scott with 1902 music room extension by the same architect. This is a key early house of Baillie Scott and, despite some later alterations, the interior contains good quality original staircases, fireplaces, panelling and built-in settles.

["Academy Architecture" I (1900).
"The Architectural Review " May 1900. Illustration of dining room.
James D Kornwolf "M H Baillie Scott and the Arts and Crafts Movement." 1972. Pp 209, 211 and 534.]

Listing NGR: TQ5085829925

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.