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Latitude: 51.4308 / 51°25'50"N
Longitude: -0.3024 / 0°18'8"W
OS Eastings: 518110
OS Northings: 171569
OS Grid: TQ181715
Mapcode National: GBR 82.LF8
Mapcode Global: VHGR8.Q90G
Entry Name: Milton Court
Listing Date: 22 December 1998
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1051038
English Heritage Legacy ID: 471932
Location: Richmond upon Thames, London, TW10
District: Richmond upon Thames
London Borough Ward: Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside
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
Nos.7-18 Milton Court
Block of twelve flats. 1954-5 by Eric Lyons for Bargood Estates Ltd, subsequently Span Developments Ltd; Geoffrey Paulson Townsend developer, G Scroble project architect, Wates builders. Brick cross- and partition walls, concrete, 'Eternit' block and tile hanging. Flat felted roofs. The flats set in three linked ranges, each of four flats, with a brick stack at the end of each range. Nos. 7-10 and Nos. 11-14 each of six bays, Nos.15-18 of five, divided by the exposed ends of the crosswalls. Central entrance way and staircase to each block. Main facades have full-width windows of three square panes per bay, some with top-opening casements, the storeys divided by tile-hanging and some windows with green blind panels. Road (north) facades have large plate glass windows to right of each entrance, divided by horizontal panel bearing original signage to blocks. Two-light staircase window and louvres over. Rear facade has two-light staircase window and louvres to ground-floor of entrance bay. Otherwise it has a similar arrangement of windows to the north facade, save that all ground-floor flats have French doors on to the gardens. All the stairs are of terrazzo, with steel balustrading inset with timber panel to first flight and to first-floor landing; coloured glass in doors to stores. Interiors originally had timber floors and some had sliding living room partitions, but have not been inspected.
Eric Lyons and Geoffrey Townsend met in the late 1930s and renewed their partnerships after war service. They developed a number a 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, with most of the blocks set out as a series of squares and 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 int he 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). So it has proved. 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: TQ1811071569
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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