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Orangery and Loggia at Minley Manor

A Grade II* Listed Building in Blackwater and Hawley, Hampshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3152 / 51°18'54"N

Longitude: -0.8224 / 0°49'20"W

OS Eastings: 482170

OS Northings: 158002

OS Grid: SU821580

Mapcode National: GBR D8X.GWY

Mapcode Global: VHDXN.P6ML

Entry Name: Orangery and Loggia at Minley Manor

Listing Date: 26 June 1987

Last Amended: 19 December 2014

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1339884

English Heritage Legacy ID: 136738

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

Orangery and loggia, 1885-88 by George Devey for BW Currie.

Description

Orangery and loggia, 1885-88 by George Devey for BW Currie.

MATERIALS: the orangery is in red brick, predominantly in English bond, enhanced with diaper pattern brickwork and rubbed brick and limestone dressings; it has a pantile roof.

PLAN: single-storey orangery in five symmetrical bays, the main elevation facing south-east over formal gardens, flanked to each side by a lower loggia, which continues to enclose the garden on the east, dividing it from the entrance forecourt and linking it to the main house. The lawn is terraced with low walls in a semi-circular form with steps leading to the central entrance of the orangery.

EXTERIOR: the south-east elevation is articulated by pilasters in finely jointed rubbed brick with moulded stone bases and capitals, and has a continuous stone plinth, moulded stone cill band and cornice which continue to the gable walls. The central, entrance bay breaks forward beneath a stepped gable which has a small segmental pediment on a tall entablature enriched with fielded panels in rubbed brick, a stone ball finial at the apex and tall vase finials at the angles. The entrance, beneath an elliptical arch, has a part-glazed door within a tall fixed glazed window, in turn beneath a fanlight which has shaped glazing bars arranged in a lozenge pattern, which is repeated in the other windows. To each side is a round-arched alcove; at the base of each is a moulded stone corbel on which sits a stone, carved animal figure that appears to have been re-used from elsewhere, probably the main house. Windows, filling each bay, also have elliptical arched heads, moulded mullions and a transom set at springing point beneath a lozenge patterned fanlight.

End gables have stone copings and tall, segmental pediments, matching the south facing entrance bay. In each gable wall, reached from the loggia, is an entrance beneath a rubbed brick elliptical arch, each with a pair of oak doors with plain muntins.

Like the front elevation, the rear elevation has a projecting central entrance bay, articulated by rubbed brick pilasters with stone dressings. The gable has a triangular pediment flanked by scrolled brackets with small ball finials at the outer angles, and an oval oculus at frieze height and in the pediment. The entrance, also beneath an elliptical red brick arch, is fully glazed as on the south east front, but has a pair of doors beneath a plain overlight. The bays to either side are windowless with diapering and separated by offset buttresses. Above each bay is a full height pedimented dormer window with limestone mullioned and transomed windows frames, triangular pediments and tile-hung cheeks.

Entrance to the orangery gardens is through a squat buttressed Gothic tower with a wide arched entrance, elliptical and dying into the responds on the forecourt side, and pointed on the garden side. The tower is brick with moulded stone dressings applied to the string course, buttresses, arches and parapet, which is pierced with tall crocketed finials, both matching the house. Above the arch on each face is a shaped blind panel that rises through the parapet, surmounted by a cross finial, and on the forecourt side is framed by moulded shafts surmounted by heraldic beasts. To the south the loggia leads to a curved screen wall containing a passage connecting it with the main house. On the garden side the loggia, here lower and less ornate, has a three-bay chamfered stone arcade set on a brick parapet wall, chamfered stone entrance arch and a solid brick parapet, shaped beneath a cross finial.

To the north the loggia has a solid brick rear wall and a low brick parapet wall to the front, supporting alternating octagonal and drum timber shafts with moulded bases and capitals and upper section; a moulded cornice and canted ceiling with moulded ribs. Floors have terracotta tiled panels with stone margins. The cloister turns through 90 degrees beneath a squat square tower forming the north-east corner, while a narrow canted towerlike bay, with rectangular window openings, is set midway on the eastern range. The loggia has a square-cut open balustrade at the parapet, which continues to the south entrance. The loggia extends to the west of the orangery and terminates in a lower shaped gable with ball finials and a triangular pediment. Facing the terraced garden it has a pedimented entrance that echoes the centrepiece of the orangery, within a gabled projection above an elliptical archway, flanked by rubbed brick pilasters with stone dressings. The gable sweeps up to a triangular pediment above a moulded brick panel flanked by stone consoles and surmounted by ball finials.

The rear of the walkway encloses the main entrance forecourt on the north-east. It is enhanced with brick diapering and a stone parapet and is blind except for the corner tower which has a single oculus on each face.

INTERIOR: the interior of the orangery is a single open space beneath a barrel vaulted roof, the central bay defined by rubbed brick arches supported on piers with stone dressings. The interior is faced in red brick, the modelling of the exterior echoed in flush grey or buff brick panels, on the rear wall also mirroring the front windows arches, while above the entrance at each end, the segmental arched panel is marked out with an oculus and spandrels in flush grey/buff brick. The orangery has oak skirtings, matching the door frames and doors and a continuous moulded stone cornice. The roof has moulded ribs, in the central bay with moulded bosses and grotesque figure heads. Gable end entrances have elliptical arched moulded timber architraves and doors have plain muntins as on the external face. There is an inner glazed lobby to the north entrance. Floors are paved with square stone slabs laid on the diagonal.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: to the front of the orangery the terrace is enclosed by low brick walls, probably added during Castings’ reworking of the formal gardens. They are in brick with stone copings and plain buttress piers; squat piers at the angles have ball finials, central stone steps on axis with the orangery. To either side of the steps to the front of the orangery are two low rectangular plinths, formerly bases for stone statues.


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. His design for Minley Manor (NHLE 1258061) was initially modelled on the corps de logis at the chateau at Blois (Hunting 1983, 98) and was at the time one of the first C19 country houses to be built in England in the French Renaissance manner, though under the influence of the English Gothic Revival. Typically for the period, Clutton rejected uniformity and symmetry, in favour of ordered but irregular elevations which, later augmented by Devey's alterations, were noted by Girouard for their ‘aggressive anarchy’. Clutton designed further buildings on the estate, including the Church of St Andrew (NHLE 1258200) and a number of lodges, before his eyesight failed and he ended his practice.

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, an architect and painter, began his own practice in 1846; he became a fellow of RIBA in 1856 and by the mid-1860s had established a busy country house practice. He worked for Bertram Currie in the 1870s at Coombe Warren, Surrey (NHLE 1080098) and at Minley remodelled the external elevations as well as interior spaces. To the grounds he added an orangery with a loggia (NHLE 1339884) linking it to the main house, a replacement stable block (NHLE 1258067) and lodges. Devey died the following year and his designs were executed by his chief draughtsman and successor, Arthur Castings (1853-1913).

To find an orangery of this date is unusual; by the late C19 the fashion had been overtaken by the cultivation of exotics, and heavily glazed conservatories were more commonly built. BW Currie appears to have been a traditionalist, perhaps indulging in horticultural antiquarianism, seeking to imbue the manor with a grandeur that Devey achieved through the addition of a consciously historicist building type as a key element of the ensemble and setting of the main house.

The entire estate was sold to the Army in 1936. The orangery remains largely unaltered, though the griffin statues in the doorway alcoves and on the plinths to the stairs in front of the building have been lost.

The RIBA drawings for the orangery show unexecuted alternative designs for it, the loggia and the connection between the loggia and the north-west corner of the house. They also show two possible locations for the orangery - the alternative being east of the sunken garden, where the loggia now runs (PB820/DEV [124] 25 – 44). The closest design for the front elevation to that constructed appears to be PB820/DEV [124] 29; although in this drawing it was clearly intended for the alternative east location. The ground plan as built appears to be shown in PB820/DEV [124] 27.

Reasons for Listing

Orangery and loggia, 1886 by George Devey for BW Currie, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: orangery in C17 manner, executed in high quality materials and exhibiting a high standard of craftsmanship inside and out in the use of brick and dressed stone; the scale, form and detail of the cloister walk relate it architecturally to the main house and Devey’s other buildings for the estate;
* Interior: lofty orangery interior, picked out in flush brick to echo the exterior, enriched with dressed stone and a ribbed, vaulted ceiling;
* Planning interest: the orangery and loggia compartmentalise the area around the house, enclosing the forecourt and formal gardens to the west of the house, and are positioned on axes with other buildings, part of Devey’s layout of the wider estate and drives, the hierarchical arrangement in relation to the house being an example of Devey's masterful handling of related structures to the principal building;
* 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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