Date Listed: 10 October 1988
English Heritage Building ID: 321369
OS Grid Reference: SU1593542038
OS Grid Coordinates: 415935, 142038
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1774, -1.7734
AMESBURY RATFYN ROAD
SU 14 SE
(south east side)
Experimental smallholder's house, 1919-20, with later C20 extensions and alterations. Built by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research for the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, architect W.R. Jaggard.
EXTERIOR: Two storeys, approximately square plan of 2 bays.
Cement roughcast rendering on walls of puddled chalk and earth slurry (Pise de terre), with a slate roof. The entrance on the gable end has projecting stone and flint porch. Original timber casement windows with pre-cast concrete lintels and moulded sills. Brick stack to south gable and part external stack on north. Walls constructed within shutters, approximately 47cm thick, tamped in layers approximately 10cm thick with shutter ties at approximately 70cm horizontally, 52cm vertically, pointed up with weak concrete.
INTERIOR: Original staircase and original doors to upper floor and several to ground floor. The first floor rooms retain some of their original linings of ply on battens, with cover battens forming square patterning. Mostly to their ceilings, but one of the rear bedrooms has panelling to the walls.
HISTORY: Following the end of World War I, difficulties of transporting materials to rural areas and the dearth of skilled labour, clearly suggested that the use of local materials and traditional building techniques might be of value in carrying out the post-war building programme. Millmead is one of a number of experimental houses constructed on former Ministry land as a result of the Land Settlement Act and is built using the Pise de terre method (rammed earth). Although very absorbent, this particular construction provides high insulation values. It is a traditional technique that was typically employed in agricultural buildings; it is unusual to find such material used in C20 domestic buildings.
ASSESSMENT OF IMPORTANCE: The special interest of Millmead resides in its historical association with early C20 experimental work into building techniques. It reflects attempts made in after World War I to address social issues such as the housing shortage in the early C20. The building is also of special architectural interest in its own right.
Listing NGR: SU1593542038
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.