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Latitude: 51.4311 / 51°25'51"N
Longitude: -0.3034 / 0°18'12"W
OS Eastings: 518039
OS Northings: 171593
OS Grid: TQ180715
Mapcode National: GBR 82.L5J
Mapcode Global: VHGR8.P9G9
Entry Name: Milton Court
Listing Date: 22 December 1998
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1051037
English Heritage Legacy ID: 471931
Location: Richmond upon Thames, London, TW10
District: Richmond upon Thames
Electoral Ward/Division: Ham, Petersham and Richmond Ri
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
TQ 1771 PARKLEYS, HAM COMMON
22/23/10058 Nos.1-16 Milton Court
Block of six 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, 'Eternit' block and tile hanging. Flat felted roof with three brick stacks. Two storeys. Rectangular block of nine bays divided by projecting exposed crosswalls. Entrances in northernmost bay and in third bay from south. Main facades have full-width windows of three square panes to bay, some with top-opening casements and others with blind green infill panels. Road facade has timber screens to entrances, divided by horizontal panel. Adjacent bays have two deeper windows divided at sill level and window boxes to each storey. Rear (east) facade has entrance way to ground floor, with two-light staircase window to first floor, and louvres to both storeys. Adjacent bays with blind window and two windows in tripartite composition with central top-opening casement, other bays with blind central light. Ground floor and landing paved, with red-brown terrazzo stairs. Steel balustrades with timber panels to first flight and first-floor landing. Big house numbers to side of doors. Nos. 1-2 have green glass to store doors; Nos. 3-6 have blue. Interiors have wooden floors and some have sliding partitions within living rooms, but have not been inspected.
Lyons and Townsend met in the late 1930s and renewed their partnership after war 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 garden were taken over as part of the development. It is laid out as a series of cul-de-sacs, with most of the blocks set out as squares or terraces. 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 particularly humane environment which 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 80 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' (Architectural Review, February 1959). This has proved so. The opportunity to work in such a close partnership with a sympathetic developer 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', as Townsend told the Architects' Journal (20 January 1955). Parkleys was the first, largest and probably the most influential of all the Span schemes.
Listing NGR: TQ1803971593
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