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East and West Lodges, Little Horwood Manor

A Grade II Listed Building in Little Horwood, Buckinghamshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.9795 / 51°58'46"N

Longitude: -0.8484 / 0°50'54"W

OS Eastings: 479193

OS Northings: 231848

OS Grid: SP791318

Mapcode National: GBR BZF.VQF

Mapcode Global: VHDTC.7HVW

Entry Name: East and West Lodges, Little Horwood Manor

Listing Date: 8 April 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393058

English Heritage Legacy ID: 503811

Location: Little Horwood, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, MK17

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Aylesbury Vale

Civil Parish: Little Horwood

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Little Horwood

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text

LITTLE HORWOOD

252/1/10010 WARREN ROAD
08-APR-08 (South side)
East and West Lodges, Little Horwood M
anor

GV II
Semi-detached pair of gate lodges to country house built 1938-39 to the design of ASG Butler. Lodges almost certainly also by Butler.

MATERIALS: Brick (mainly used in Flemish bond), ashlar, red tile.

EXTERIOR: The Buildings of England volume for Buckinghamshire (Pevsner and Williamson) describes Little Horwood Manor as 'One of the last mansions in England on such a Lutyenesque scale', and characterises its style as 'a kind of watered-down Lutyens in the manner, say, of Nuffield College, Oxford'. It has a butterfly plan, and is built of a dark buff brick with stone detailing, and the materials and main architectural themes, notably the use of squat tower-like terminations to the main ranges, are replicated in the nearby stables. The gate lodges stand north of the house, separated from it by lawns and trees. Originally the main drive ran straight from the lodges to the house; c1984 it was realigned away from them, and now enters the grounds via a new gateway to one side.

The lodges pick up the materials - a dark buff brick, red tile roofs, and ashlar for detailing - and architectural details, such as oak casement windows, of the house and stables. They form a symmetrical two-storey range parallel with the road, U-plan to the front and pierced by a central arched stone entrance in ashlar surmounted by an open segmental pediment and three tall pylons. The archway is flanked by narrow, slit-like windows. Each lodge has a broad end range projecting slightly forward, with a deep Dutch gable. Set in the inner angles of these to the rear, flanking the stone entrance archway which has a false balcony above with stone balustrade, are tower-like projections with hipped roofs and oculi to the first floor. To either side are well-detailed flanking walls which enclose small courtyard gardens; these walls are of special interest. The West Lodge has a modern conservatory attached to its side and a brick garage of c1990 beside this; these are not of special interest.

INTERIOR: The East Lodge has three bedrooms, West Lodge four, the additional one situated above the archway. The East Lodge has a simple staircase with plain stick balusters, but has otherwise seen much modernisation within the original plan form. The interior of the West Lodge was not inspected. With these buildings it is the exterior elevations which are of special interest; the interiors are not of particular significance.

HISTORY: Little Horwood Manor was commissioned in 1938 by George Gee, an industrialist and partner in Gee Walker Slater (GWS), a major engineering and building firm. The architect was ASG Butler. The site chosen was relatively high ground about a mile north of Little Horwood village, alongside the existing Manor Farm complex. It was supposedly intended to be used as a hunting box, Gee being a keen supporter of the Whaddon Chase Hunt, and this tradition seems borne out by the evidence of the building itself (below). Reportedly Gee was challenged in the hunting field by one of the Rothschilds to get his new house up in under a year, which was achieved.

The house was apparently never used by Gee and during the war it was requisitioned by the government. After the war the complex was sold, and remained mothballed until 1984 when the house was subdivided, the stables subdivided for residential use, and the main approach reconfigured to take the arch beneath the lodges out of use.

The integrated arch form of lodge was often used from the earlier C18 to announce the main entrance to a park, as great houses themselves retreated to private settings out of view of the world beyond. Its antecedents can be traced back via Elizabethan and Jacobean gatehouse towers to medieval castle and manor gatehouses, and to the triumphal arches of the classical world. At Little Horwood the lodges further develop the variety of broadly Arts and Crafts themes used in the main house, notably through the use of Dutch gables on the main elevation. Elsewhere the lodges echo features used in the house and stables such as the towers and the fine ashlar work for the main entrance where the C17 is referenced. Overall the composition is highly successful in its own right, and has sufficient special interest to recommend it for the list. That it is an integral part with the house and stables of a carefully designed 1938-39 hunting box complex gives it added significance.

The architect, ASG Butler, is today best known as Lutyens's biographer, but was principally an architect with a country house practice who also designed libraries and churches. In the 1920s and 1930s he worked both on new buildings and on refurbishments of older ones, especially country houses, and a number of his commissions are listed.

SOURCES: N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire (2000), 109, 438; ASG Butler's obituary in RIBA Library; T. Mowl and B. Earnshaw, Trumpet at a Distant Gate (1985).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: The East and West lodges at Little Horwood Manor of 1938-39 are listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* A good, late, example of the integrated arch type of gate lodge in the Arts and Crafts style by ASG Butler, a well-regarded early C20 architect and Lutyens's biographer.
* A key element of notable hunting box complex, akin to a small country house, all of 1938-39.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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