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Winslow House

A Grade II Listed Building in Woodchester, Gloucestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7155 / 51°42'55"N

Longitude: -2.2342 / 2°14'3"W

OS Eastings: 383912

OS Northings: 201893

OS Grid: SO839018

Mapcode National: GBR 1MX.KXK

Mapcode Global: VH954.746P

Entry Name: Winslow House

Listing Date: 24 February 1987

Last Amended: 17 August 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1090667

English Heritage Legacy ID: 132078

Location: Woodchester, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5

County: Gloucestershire

District: Stroud

Civil Parish: Woodchester

Built-Up Area: Woodchester

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Woodchester St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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Summary

A C17 dwelling remodelled later, probably in the early C19. It was the family home of George Archer-Shee, the Winslow Boy, prior to his death at the First Battle of Ypres in 1914.

Description

A C17 dwelling remodelled later, probably in the early C19, and with later alterations.

MATERIALS: constructed of local stone with brick chimneys. The south elevation is cement rendered. The roofs are slate.

PLAN: of two storeys plus attic, the building is rectangular on plan, the main range has stairs towards each end. A later C20/early C21 kitchen range is attached at the south-west end, with a room above*.

EXTERIOR: the three-bay road front is of coursed ashlar, probably an early-C19 re-fronting, with a pedimented parapet incorporating a small stack and string course. The parapet stands in front of the gabled, two-span roof. The openings are regularly-spaced timber sashes with an unusual 10-pane arrangement. The central opening to the first floor is blank. The south elevation is incised render and has the principal entrance with a glazed porch, a C19 canted bay to the left, and two C19 sashes above. Further left is the modern attached wing. The rear (north) and east elevations are coursed stone with brick or stone stacks and some C19 sashes. The stone stack at the north-east end has offsets. The rainwater goods are cast iron.

INTERIOR: the north end of the ground floor is at a raised height and has a flagstone floor and an early-C19 stair. The principal room to the north has a C19 partition with alcoves. The central room has two stone fireplaces with bressumers and a substantial stop-chamfered cross beam. Another crossbeam has been repositioned, probably when a lateral steel beam was inserted. The stair to the south is enclosed by a timber panelled partition. The principal room at the south end has C19 joinery including window shutters. The first floor has C19 or later subdivisions and joinery, and a glazed lantern above the corridor. A bedroom to the south has a chamfered crossbeam, probably of C17 date. A further beam is encased in the corridor partition. A timber stair leads to the attic floor where there is an early iron casement. The roof structures have substantial machine sawn timbers with cranked collars and are secured with iron bolts. Part of the attic floor takes the form of a mezzanine.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: attached to the road front is a stone garden wall with ramping. There are two stone gate piers which may not be in their original positions.

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.

History

Winslow House has origins as a C17 dwelling, extended and reordered in the C18 and C19. It is shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1885 where it has an attached temporary structure and outbuildings at the south-west end. During the early C20 the house was the home of the Archer-Shee family. George Archer-Shee went missing in action, presumed dead, on 31 October 1914 at the First Battle of Ypres, at the age of nineteen. Of particular historic note is the false accusation of theft and forgery that was made against him (relating to a five-shilling postal order) while a thirteen year old cadet at the Royal Naval College at Osborne, which resulted in his expulsion in 1908. This eventually resulted in a sensational High Court case in July 1910, at which he was cleared of any wrongdoing. Substantial damages were eventually paid to Archer-Shee’s father, but only following a forced House of Commons debate. It is thought that the opposition to the granting of compensation was probably due in part to a prejudicial attitude to the Catholic faith of the family. The acquittal followed a successful defence mounted by Sir Edward Carson and became a cause celebre for the protection of human rights (especially those of a minor) from harsh and unfair treatment by the establishment. The case was dramatised, and Archer-Shee himself immortalised, by Terence Rattigan in his play ‘The Winslow Boy’ in 1946, which was filmed by Anthony Asquith in 1948 starring Robert Donat. The play has been regularly produced ever since, and further television and film versions made.

Following the completion of his education at Stonyhurst College in 1912, George Archer-Shee travelled to America to work for Wall Street firm Fisk & Robinson. He returned to England in 1913 to enlist in the army, and on 3 May was commissioned into the Special Reserve of Officers as a Second Lieutenant with the Third Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. A few days before Archer-Shee went missing in action at Ypres, Sir Edward Carson’s nephew, Francis E. Robinson, fell on the same battlefield. Both are among those commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres at the rank of Lieutenant. Archer-Shee is memorialised on the Roll of Honour at the Church of St Mary on the Quay, Bristol (qv) and two war memorials in Woodchester (qv). Archer-Shee’s mother was widowed by the time of his death and lived with his sister in the house later renamed Winslow House.

Later in the C20 the building was refurbished and in the early C21 a new wing was attached to the south-west end of the house.

Reasons for Listing

Winslow House, South Woodchester, Gloucestershire, which dates from the C17 with later alterations, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it has a strong presence on the streetscene as a local, provincial interpretation of early-C19 architectural tastes;
* Date: constructed well before 1840 and probably with C17 origins;
* Intactness: a significant proportion of its early-C19 fabric and character is retained;
* Historical interest: for its connection with the Archer-Shee family, whose son was immortalised by Terence Rattigan in The Winslow Boy, and who died in battle during the First World War;
* Commemoration: in recognition of the tragic impacts of world events, and the sacrifices made in the First World War.

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