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Summerhouse at Minley Manor

A Grade II Listed Building in Blackwater and Hawley, Hampshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3157 / 51°18'56"N

Longitude: -0.8197 / 0°49'10"W

OS Eastings: 482353

OS Northings: 158062

OS Grid: SU823580

Mapcode National: GBR D8X.HKW

Mapcode Global: VHDXN.R606

Entry Name: Summerhouse at Minley Manor

Listing Date: 26 June 1987

Last Amended: 19 December 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1339847

English Heritage Legacy ID: 136743

Location: Blackwater and Hawley, Hart, Hampshire, GU17

County: Hampshire

District: Hart

Civil Parish: Blackwater and Hawley

Built-Up Area: Minley

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Minley

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

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Summary

Summerhouse, 1896-99, for Laurence Currie, attributed to Arthur Castings.

Description

Summerhouse, 1896-99, for Laurence Currie, attributed to Arthur Castings.

MATERIALS: timber-framed with a thatched roof and timber cladding and fittings, with a stone finial.

PLAN: it is situated on high ground 110m to the east of Minley Manor. It has a circular plan.

DESCRIPTION: 12 timber posts support a circular thatched roof that has three semi-circular eyebrow dormers with branches forming radiating glazing bars. Soffits are clad with timber shingles. A rustic timber screen divides the plan into three segments, each has a curved, panelled timber seat. The seat to the north opens into a central storage cupboard. The floor is timber parquet to the centre, with an external plinth of engineering brick with inlaid black and white pebbled panels in 12 segments in line with the timber posts, echoing the pebbled path which leads from the building to the north. The roof is topped with a stone finial.

History

In 1855 the manor of Minley was bought by Raikes Currie (1801-1881), a wealthy banker and Liberal politician. He immediately commissioned Henry Clutton to build a country house on the site. Clutton (1819-1893) designed a grand, French Renaissance inspired house (NHLE 1258061), based initially on the chateau at Blois, and a number of other estate buildings including the Church of St Andrew (NHLE 1258200). When Raikes Currie died in 1881 the estate was passed to his son Bertram Wodehouse Currie (1827-1896) who did not favour Clutton’s design and in 1885 employed George Devey (1820-1886) to make extensive alterations to the house and grounds. Devey died the following year and his designs were executed by his chief draughtsman and successor, Arthur Castings (1853-1913).

Arthur Castings was born on 17 March 1853 at St Pancras and had become Devey's chief draughtsman by the time of the census of 1881. Following Devey’s death Castings set up office at Lincoln's Inn Fields to complete the work at Minley, and St Paul's Waldenbury, the latter for the Earl of Strathmore. When Castings died in 1913 his practice was closed.

Formal gardens around the house, kitchen gardens and pleasure grounds were laid out during the first phase of building, between 1858 and 1861, by Messrs Veitch. The Veitches were a family of horticulturalists based in Chelsea from 1853 who were employed again, during Devey’s period of alteration. Drawings by Castings for the sunken garden and walling survive, suggesting a collaboration with the Veitches.

Bertram Currie’s son Laurence inherited the estate in 1896 and continued to develop it, employing Castings again. The summerhouse dates from this period and is likely to be the work of Castings. It is approached through wooded pleasure grounds underplanted with shrubs, and reached by a path laid in pebbles while to the front it opens onto a steep grass bank, which looks out towards the house. A similar structure remains within the Minley estate at Hawley Lake.

The entire estate was sold to the Army in 1936. Geometric timber balustrades between the posts were removed during the C20, but the summerhouse is otherwise unaltered and is well-maintained.

Reasons for Listing

The summerhouse at Minley Manor 1896-99, for Laurence Currie, attributed to Arthur Castings, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: a picturesque rustic summerhouse set in a wooded glade;
* Detail: every surface has been considered in the design, and a range of treatments and materials have been used to create a visually and texturally varied structure;
* Intactness: aside from the loss of the original balustrades, the building retains its original form, fixtures and fittings;
* Historic interest: the principal mansion, together with the other associated buildings and landscape illustrate the evolution of a mid-C19 to early C20 landed estate that comprises buildings by two significant and influential C19 architects, Clutton and Devey, and latterly Devey’s draughtsman Castings, laid out in collaboration with a major horticulturalist;   
* Group value: Minley Manor exemplifies a landed estate set in a registered designed landscape, marked by a number of listed buildings of note which together form an exceptional and very complete group.

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