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Cobblestones

A Grade II Listed Building in Esher, Surrey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3724 / 51°22'20"N

Longitude: -0.3676 / 0°22'3"W

OS Eastings: 513722

OS Northings: 164972

OS Grid: TQ137649

Mapcode National: GBR 5P.80P

Mapcode Global: VHFTZ.LR1R

Entry Name: Cobblestones

Listing Date: 1 May 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1425577

Location: Elmbridge, Surrey, KT10

County: Surrey

District: Elmbridge

Electoral Ward/Division: Esher

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Esher

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Esher

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

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Summary

A detached house designed 1937 by Blunden Shadbolt (1879-1949) in his picturesque Tudor Revival style with Arts and Crafts influences incorporating C19 outbuildings on the north side modified by Shadbolt.

Description

A detached house designed 1937 by Blunden Shadbolt (1879-1949) in his picturesque Tudor Revival style with Arts and Crafts influences, incorporating attached C19 outbuildings modified by Shadbolt.

MATERIALS: the house is predominantly built of yellow stock bricks on a projecting plinth with occasional red or black bricks and stone blocks, mainly in stretcher bond. There is some timber-framing where the brick infilling is varied by being laid in horizontal, vertical and diagonal blocks. Roofs are tiled with brick chimneystacks. Windows throughout are metal-framed casements with leaded lights. The attached outbuildings are brick with pantiled roofs.

PLAN: the house is an asymmetrical, roughly rectangular plan of two storeys. The entrance porch opens into a staircase-hall with gallery. To the south-west is a large drawing room with connecting folding doors leading into the adjoining dining room. To the north-east is a den or study and cloakroom, and to the north-west the kitchen and scullery. The upper floor has a master bedroom to the south-west, two smaller bedrooms and a bathroom and separate WC. The outbuildings form a single storey T-wing with workshop and garage at the eastern end.

EXTERIOR: the southern bay of the south-west or entrance front has a large projecting timber-framed gable with barge-boards and a pendant, supported on brackets, with a four-light mullioned and transomed window on each floor. A projecting gabled brick porch interrupts the northern side of the gable and has a round-headed arch and semi-circular steps set with cobblestones, which provides the house with its name, behind which is a studded oak plank door with ornamental ironwork. The central bay has an elliptical dormer with a tripartite window and a staircase window below. Set in a projecting chimney to the right, which has an S-shaped iron tie, are small windows on each floor. The northern bay has a tripartite dormer, a two-light window on the ground floor and an adjoining service entrance.

The south-west end elevation has the timber-framed return of the front gable, a brick chimneystack rising through a lower penticed section, housing a large inglenook with two small windows, and further timber-framing with close-studding.

The southern bay of the north-west or rear elevation has a three-light dormer and a sloping roof supported on brackets over a loggia, behind which are French windows strengthened with scrolled ironwork and flanked by side-lights. The central bay has a two storey projecting gable, the upper storey timber-framed, possibly containing some reused timbers, and a three-light over a four-light casement window. The end bay has a three-light window on each floor and there is a further small window at the end.

The north-east side has plain brickwork and two small ground floor windows.

The outbuildings are of brick, the northern wall part of an C18 garden wall listed at Grade II, the other walls C19. Oak plank doors to the workshop and garage at the eastern end were added circa 1937, with large iron hinges to the garage.

INTERIOR: the staircase-hall has a reused late C19 neo-Jacobean-style dogleg staircase with a double handrail, carved newel posts and balusters, a gallery and an under stair panelled cupboard. The cast iron scrolled panels with shields between the balusters were added in the 1930s. The ground floor corridor has an oak panelled radiator case with scrolled ironwork. The gallery has a built in wooden bookcase with a curved end and sliding glass doors. There are a series of flush oak doors with ornamental iron hinges.

The drawing room has a massive open fireplace with a gnarled bressumer. The fireplace contains two small windows and a round-headed arch. There is a huge wrought iron hood with a blank shield supported on corbelled bricks. Between the drawing room and the adjoining dining room is a wooden folding screen. The dining room has an Art Deco-style ceramic fireplace with a recessed floral panel and chrome electric fire. The study has a further electric fire. The kitchen retains a series of 1930s cupboards, a larder, and linoleum square floor covering.

The master bedroom retains an original circular fitting with electric bars. Built-in cupboards are shown in the architect's drawings and the cupboard interiors may be original though the mirrors and hinges are later. The adjoining bedroom also has possibly original built-in cupboards and an identical electric fire to the study. The bathroom has a black vitrolite Art Deco-style bath surround on a plinth with both vitrolite and glass shelves and a mirror surround, and there is a similar Art Deco-style vitrolite mirrored surround over the wash basin with original chrome and glass fittings. The bath and pedestal wash basin may also be original.

History

Cobblestones was designed in 1937 by the architect Blunden Shadbolt (1879-1949). It was commissioned by a local property developer, Frederick H Weiss of Wayneflete Development Company, for whom the architect had already designed some nearby houses in Esher, as a wedding present for his 17 year old daughter Muriel. She and her husband, Walter Mellard Frost, moved into the house in June 1938 and the property remained in the same ownership and occupation until November 2014.

The building plot was originally part of the Esher Place estate. On its north-east boundary was a mid C18 wall forming part of a triangular kitchen garden to Esher Place, probably by William Kent (listed Grade II), containing a mid C18 orangery (listed Grade II) and a cottage for the Head Gardener. Attached on the south-west side of this boundary wall was an outbuilding which is shown on the 1847 Tithe Map and with a larger footprint on the 1868-9 Ordnance Survey map, which also shows some other buildings further south, since demolished. This area is thought to have been a gardeners' yard. An aerial photograph of 1928 shows a large clump of trees occupying this area.

Cobblestones was constructed to the architect's plans and elevations except that on the north side, instead of a 1937-8 integral service end with maid's room, coal storage workshop, and garage, the existing outbuildings were retained, with the addition of plank doors with studs and hinges at the eastern end. The later C19 staircase to Cobblestones was discovered by Mr Frost in Sunbury, Surrey when a house was being demolished and brought on site to be included in the architect's design.

Blunden Shadbolt (1879-1949) was an architect who specialised in building houses in the Tudor Revival or Arts and Crafts style, incorporating recycled materials from barns or cottages that were being demolished, particularly timber beams. Characteristics, besides reused materials - particularly timber-framing - included complex multi-gabled roofs and roofs and exterior brickwork deliberately set out of alignment to give an appearance of age. A list of his works in an article by Donald Campbell 'Blunden Shadbolt 1879-1949: Architect of the House Desirable' in Vol. 3 of the Thirties Society Journal of 1982 includes at least 84 separate commissions, mostly for new properties, but also for additions and alterations to existing houses. His houses divide into two types, the larger grander houses, often in the country with large gardens, and smaller houses, usually detached and often on private estates, for the middle class. Four properties designed by Blunden Shadbolt are currently (2015) listed at Grade II, all of them of the grander type.

Reasons for Listing

Cobblestones, a 1937-8 house designed by Blunden Shadbolt in a picturesque Tudor Revival style with Arts and Crafts influences, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: varied, picturesque, asymmetrical elevations, predominantly in yellow stock brick in stretcher bond but with occasional red and black bricks, stone and some timber-framing;
* Interiors: includes a recycled oak staircase with gallery, an inglenook fireplace, contemporary joinery, and original heating and bathroom fittings;
* Intactness: the original owner lived here from its date of completion in 1938 to 2014 and the house survives remarkably intact both externally and internally as a rare surviving 1930s time capsule;
* Group value: the north wall of the outbuildings is a listed C18 garden wall and Cobblestones is one of a cluster of four 1930s houses in Esher in the same style by the same architect.

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