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Description: Little Molewood
Date Listed: 9 September 1996
English Heritage Building ID: 461533
OS Grid Reference: TL3192613419
OS Grid Coordinates: 531926, 213419
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8039, -0.0880
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TL3113SE THE AVENUE, Bengeo
817-1/5/292 (West side)
House. 1903-4. Architects Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin for
Alfred Graveson. Pebbledashed brickwork, clay tiled roof with
exposed rafter ends, red brick chimney with projecting tile
band. Plan of two 3 bay rectangles, one with main living
accommodation, the other with service rooms, pushed across
each other by 1 bay, entrance in the re-entrant between.
EXTERIOR: 2 storey; Arts and Crafts free style, vernacular
based. Principal south-west elevation faces sloping garden.
First floor with two 4-light pebbledashed mullioned windows
with alternate iron opening casements and fixed lights, all
leaded. Central recessed balcony with boarded door at left,
with upper leaded glazed panel with arcaded head, timber
balcony front of plain wood splats and deep handrail. Ground
floor with 2 similar windows beneath tile-coursed dripmould,
central recessed loggia now covered by projecting porch with
leaded French windows and fixed sidelights, with lean-to tiled
roof. Glazing run into corners which are stabilised by
battered diagonal buttresses, with 2-light return windows on
first and ground floors. Entrance in half-octagonal recess at
junction of 2 main blocks. Front door oak, boarded, backed
with ledges, with upper leaded glazed panel with arcaded head,
and moulded sill.
Rear service block set down from road frontage and has central
projecting gable with clasped battered buttresses, tiny attic
window, and two 3 light leaded windows.
INTERIOR: progressively planned with 2 main sitting rooms
opening on to central vestibule out of which rises staircase.
The architects designed a full range of fittings including
fireplaces, and small details such as door latches and window
catches most of which remain in situ. Sitting Room with
recessed inglenook fireplace with flanking high-backed boarded
settles, with bookshelves above to left. Former plain red
brick fireplace with copper hood replaced with C20 yellow
stock brick arched fireplace. Exposed perimeter beams and
ceiling joists. Broad double leaf boarded doors with small
upper leaded lights, with wooden latches and bolts open into
Dining Room. Recessed low level settle, seat now missing,
below half landing of staircase, sloping battened back,
panelled cupboards above flanking central arched recess,
leaded light in return. Butlers pantry off entrance hall,
retains original china cupboards with glazed doors.
Dog-leaf stair rises out of hall, close string, lower flight
has substantial newel with chamfer tongued top, plain wood
splats pierced with spade motif, moulded handrail, landing
rail similarly detailed. Ledged and boarded doors with
architect-designed wooden latches. Bathroom has cupboards with
framed boarded doors pierced with leaf motif. Bedrooms have
tie beams of roof trusses exposed in ceilings. Roof structure
not accessible for inspection.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Barry Parker (1867-1947) and his partner, and
brother-in-law Raymond Unwin (1863-1940) were best-known as
pioneers of town planning with their layouts and grouped
housing design for New Earswick (1902 onwards) Letchworth
Garden City (1904 onwards) and Hampstead Garden Suburb (1905
onwards). Their practice was founded in 1896 in Buxton,
Derbyshire, and was responsible for over 100 individual house
designs, many with fitted furniture. Little Molewood is
typical of the architects' radical and total approach to
domestic design. The client, Alfred Graveson, a Quaker like
Parker, was owner, with his brother, of the large drapery
department store in Maidenhead Street and Market Place.
(Hawkes D (ed): Modern Country Homes in England: Cambridge:
1986-: 61-2; Miller M: Letchworth the First Garden City:
Chichester: 1989-: 43-8).
Listing NGR: TL3192613419
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.