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Brooke Court

A Grade II Listed Building in Richmond upon Thames, London

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Latitude: 51.4316 / 51°25'53"N

Longitude: -0.3038 / 0°18'13"W

OS Eastings: 518010

OS Northings: 171658

OS Grid: TQ180716

Mapcode National: GBR 82.D33

Mapcode Global: VHGR8.P88V

Entry Name: Brooke Court

Listing Date: 22 December 1998

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1051028

English Heritage Legacy ID: 471922

Location: Richmond upon Thames, London, TW10

County: London

District: Richmond upon Thames

Electoral Ward/Division: Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside

Built-Up Area: Richmond upon Thames

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Ham St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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Richmond upon Thames

Listing Text


22/23/10053 Nos.1-16 Brooke Court



Courtyard development of four blocks of flats. 1954-5 by Eric Lyons for Bargood Estates Ltd, subsequently Span Developments Ltd; Geoffrey Paulson Townsend developer, G Scoble project architect, Wates builders. Brick cross- and partition walls, concrete floor slabs, 'Eternit' block and tile hanging to facades. Flat felted roofs. Two brick stacks to each block. Two storeys. Nos. 1-4 a rectangular block of six bays set at south end of courtyard, abutting Nos. 4-6 Marlowe Court. Nos. 5-8 abutting the other end of Nos. 4-6 Marlowe Court and set back from Nos. 9-12. Nos. 13-16 at right angles closing the courtyard. Nos. 13-16 also of six bays, the others of five. All blocks with horizontal strip timber windows, set in threes between projecting exposed crosswalls, except where noted.
Nos. 1-4 has entrance way in third bay from east. North facade has large plate glass windows to right of entrance, divided by horizontal panel. Bays to either side have two deeper windows divided at sill level and with window boxes to each storey; other bays with one blind light in alternating composition. South facade has entrance to ground floor with vertical two-light staircase window to first floor and louvres to both storeys. Other bays in mirrored composition about centre, with some blind panels. Paved ground and first floors; steel balustrade with timber panels to first flight and landing. Green glass to store doors.
Nos. 5-8 has similar glazing but with west bay of south facade blind, instead having square windows in each storey of west end with 'Eternit' panel in between. These variations reduced the problems of overlooking. Paved ground- and first-floor landings, with brown-red terrazzo stairs. Steel balustrade with timber panels to first flight and landing, green glass to store doors. Nos. 9-12 identical but with blind bay and end fenestration to east. Stairs behind screening timber store, identical to those to Nos. 5-8 but with blue glass.
Nos. 13-16 have, on north front, two deeper windows to each storey either side of entrance bay; other bays with one blind light in alternating composition, including extra bay to left. Rear elevation mirrored around centre. Staircase similar to that serving Nos. 5-8, but with blue glass to store doors. No. 13 has a French window on the west side. Interiors noted to have originally had wood floors and some with sliding partitions, but have not been inspected.
Brooke Court is one of the most complex courtyards in the Parkleys Estate, the first, largest and perhaps the most influential of Eric Lyons's developments for Span.
Eric Lyons and Geoffrey Townsend met in the late 1930s and renewed their partnership after wartime service. They developed a number of small private developments in the south-west London and north Surrey borders, until in 1954 Townsend set himself up as a developer and was forced to give up his RIBA membership. This is their first mature work, and their first as Span Developments Ltd. It is on the site of a nursery, and the blocks of flats were carefully laid out so that existing trees were kept, and the nursery stock and its gardener were taken over as part of the development. It is laid out as a series of cul-de-sacs and pedestrian quadrangles. The combination of two and three-storey blocks is distinctive to Parkleys, while that of brick and tile hanging was repeated subsequently in Span works, particularly at Blackheath. Their mixture of old materials used in a modern manner makes for a humane environment that was much admired. Lyons's squares and terraces were a modern vernacular answer to the Georgian tradition of central London, set in lush suburban landscaping but at such relatively high densities (about eighty persons per acre) that Span were frequently in dispute with planning authorities.
Parkleys was developed for first-time buyers, and Span was one of the first companies to promote the endowment mortgage. It is also the first example of the system of residents' management companies set up by Span which has kept most of their developments in such exceptional condition. Each leaseholder contributes to the funding of paid maintenance staff, and is a member of the management company that runs the estate.
Eric Lyons was admired for 'bridging the gap' between speculative work and the creativity most architects of his generation only found in the public sector. 'Twenty years ago he would have been regarded as barely respectable, today he is important. He may even come to be looked back upon as a key figure'. (Architectural Review, February 1959). The opportunity to work in such a close partnership with a sympathetic development enabled Lyons to pursue his own ideas in materials, layout and design. Yet the blocks had to be simple, for 'the architect has to design and organise so that buildings can be produced at the same cost as a builder's scheme providing the same accommodation', or so Townsend told the Architects' Journal (20 January 1955).

Listing NGR: TQ1801071658

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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