A detached house, formerly the wharfinger's house and offices for Atherstone Wharf, built circa 1771-90, with alterations and extensions in the C19 and C20.
Reason for Listing
* Historic interest: the building is a late-C18 wharfinger's house and offices, constructed alongside a basin on the Coventry Canal which was for a time the termination of the canal;
* Architectural interest: the building is a classically-inspired vernacular brick building of the late-C18, retaining most of its structure, together with exterior and interior features of this date, and showing evidence of its former commercial use;
* Evolution: the house has been extended in the C19 to reflect changing social mores;
* Alteration: despite some unfortunate C20 extensions, losses and alterations, the C18 and C19 forms of the house remain readily legible.
The house was constructed sometime between 1771 and 1790, as the house and offices for the wharfinger at adjacent Atherstone Wharf, a coal wharf at what was then the termination of the Coventry Canal. The wharf was constructed in 1771, and the house appears to date from this period or shortly afterwards; it appears on the earliest map of the canal, circa 1790, as Queen Anne House, and was named as the house of Richard Pipes. The earliest phase, which was T-shaped on plan, was extended by the addition of a single-storey, one-bay extension to the front of the building in the mid-C19, and a single-storey extension to the south was added at roughly the same period. The rear was extended by the addition of a relatively narrow outshut in the later C19 (though before the first edition Ordnance Survey which was published in 1889), and a further addition was made to the rear in the early C20. The building continued in use as a wharfinger's house throughout the C19: Gilbert Minion, whose family gave its name to the adjacent wharf, was recorded there in a trade directory of 1828-9, and his descendents in 1850. The wharf continued in use well into the C20 – it is shown as Minion's Wharf on the OS map of 1924, and warehouses and other ancillary buildings were still on the site until at least the late 1970s. Soon afterwards the basin was infilled, and the site was developed for housing.
Red brick of various dates from the late C18 to the C20, largely laid in Flemish bond. The stacks are in brick, with plain clay tile roofs, apart from the garage extension which has a corrugated asbestos roof.
The house is oriented roughly north-south, with the main elevation to the east. The main house is of four bays, with an additional bay to the south; the two bays to the north end project a short distance to the front; the rear outshut has a curved corner to the north. The principal rooms lie to the east.
The house is a four-bay range with two storeys and an attic. The main elevation has a string course between ground and first floors, and brick dentil cornice. The off-centre gabled entrance bay projects slightly forward, and has a fielded four-panel door in a moulded wood surround, and a ten-over-ten sash to its right. The first floor has eight-over-eight pane sashes, with painted sham flat arches and keyblocks throughout. The small attic casement has many glazing bars. The two-bay left section has windows of varying size: the ground floor has a large eight-over-eight sash abutting the string course on the left, and a blocked window of similar proportions on the right. The second, third and fourth bays have brick segmental arches. The right part has a mid- to late-C19 single-storey flat-roofed addition, with a plate-glass French window, which has double-leaf doors and flanking windows in a moulded wood surround of pilaster strips, shaped brackets and entablature. The rear is irregular, and has brickwork of varying dates; the windows are a mixture of multi-paned late-C19 timber casements and mid-C20 metal-framed examples, with a small sash to the first floor of the curved section to the north end. The entrance door is set in a segmental –arched opening, and is fielded with partial glazing.
The principal rooms are set along the front of the building. The entrance hall, formerly the main living space, has a wide inglenook fireplace with a C20 brick-built interior, and a large, chamfered bressumer over. The ceiling has substantial chamfered and stopped ceiling beams, with exposed ceiling joists of contemporary date. The stair is a hardwood example with curved curtail step; the balusters and handrail have been replaced by solid infill in the C20. The former dining room to the north has a C20 brick-built fire surround. The living room to the south has shallow, segmental-arched niches to either side of the fireplace, which is a brick replacement similar to that in the dining room. The doors are a mixture of C18 plank doors, C19 four-panel doors without mouldings, and later replacements. To the rear of the house, the lobby has a quarry-tiled floor which continues into the scullery. The kitchen to the south has had its floor removed. The first floor retains most of its wide timber floorboards, and some C18 plank and batten doors with moulded edges to the planks. The fireplaces have been removed or replaced in the C20. The ceiling beams have mostly been boxed. The attic is divided into three sections, the partition walls built in brick and rising to the pitch of the roof to act as trusses. C18 twin purlins survive between the walls, and the roof is plastered between the purlins.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.