Broad Street Wrington ARCHIVE
Brook House - report by English Heritage
4th April, 2006

English Heritage (Listing) Adviser's Report 04 APR 2006


Parish WRINGTON Case UID: 160506
County AVON
Date First Listed: Formerly Listed As:


Outcome: No, do not list Recommended Grade: NL 09-DEC-2005

Advice Comments/Reason for No Previous Listing:

Reason For Decision: After examining all the papers on this file and other relevant information and having carefully considered the architectural and historic interest of this case, the criteria for listing are not fulfilled.

Context: The application for listing has come forward following the death of the previous owner. The property was bequeathed to the local PCC, which must sell in order to realise the value of the bequest. They hope to gain planning permission to extend and alter before the property goes to the market, and this has prompted fears for the building's future.

Description: A double pile house with origins in the C17 but dating in two main phases from the C18 and later C19. Three bays to the front (north) elevation and two bays to the rear (south) elevation, two storeys, with C19 entrance porch to east and single storey pent roof extension projecting forward from the front elevation dating from the C20. Roof has double gabled with central valley, and gable stacks to either end of each apex. Range to the north is earlier, partly dating from the C17 but mainly from the early C18, built of stone rubble and rendered, and the rear range, dating from the mid-late C19, is of brick, rendered.

The roofs are covered with clay Roman tile; the range to the front has the remainder of a decorated ridge, with vertical fleurs-de-lys. The stacks to the front range are of stone, with a few courses of brick rebuilding to their tops; those to the rear range are of brick. The front range has three bays, with wooden windows in a mullioned and transomed pattern, having later metal casements inserted between the glazing bars.

The earlier central entrance doorway has been converted to a window. To the rear, the windows are six-over-six pane sashes to the first floor, with larger arched top sashes to the ground floor. Interior : the ground floor room to the east of the front range has two large exposed chamfered and stopped beams, and an inglenook fireplace, rebuilt in the C20. This room is likely to be the only surviving element of the building dating from the earliest phase of the house, probably C17. The central staircase sits behind the original entrance doorway, but has been turned through 180 degrees and a half landing created.

To the rear are two rooms in the later C19 portion of the building, each with C19 fireplaces, skirting boards and picture rails. To the first floor, the eastern room to the front range has a C19 fireplace set with reused C18 Delft tiles, and a blocked window on the original external wall to the rear. The rooms to the rear have small later C19 fireplaces and C19 doors, skirting boards and picture rails. The roof space to the front range appears to date from the C18, with exposed single purlins and principal rafters; the roof to the rear range is currently inaccessible on health and safety grounds.

English Heritage (Listing) Adviser's Report 04 APR 2006

Assessment: The house appears to have been constructed in three phases. The first phase in the C17 comprised the room to the north east and perhaps extended further west into the area which is now the staircase hall, on a single depth plan, and having a single storey and attic. The walls in this section are considerably thicker than in any of the rest of the building; the additional evidence of the exposed chamfered and stopped beams indicates an early date for this portion of the house, though aside from this one room there is no further evidence of the earliest phase of construction remaining in the building.

Later, probably in the early C18, the building was raised in height to a full two storeys, shown in the blocked window between the two ranges on the first floor and the C18 construction of the roof structure in this range; a building on the site is shown on an estate map of 1739, and indicates that this entire range was present by this date. The building had some classical pretensions at this stage, with its regularity and symmetry of the facade, with three bays and a central entrance door (later altered), but with the rather archaic form of C17 mullioned and transomed windows being reproduced in timber showing an incomplete understanding of the aesthetics of the period.

There is no surviving evidence of any internal decorative scheme or fittings associated with this phase. The 1839 tithe map shows the front range only present at this date. By the date of the 1st Epoch OS map (1843-1893), the rear range and the entrance porch had been added, at which point the entire building was rendered to unify its appearance. This phase was associated with considerable internal remodelling, which has left the interior with largely C19 fittings and decorative elements and little evidence of its earlier phases.

Although Brook House has an early foundation, there is so little remaining of its C17 core and very little of the C18 phase that it must be assessed as a largely mid-late C19 building. As such, although a handsome building it does not have any great architectural pretension and its character has been changed by the addition of the extension to the front which has altered its largely symmetrical and classically inspired facade.

Internally, the decoration is very spare and some C20 fittings have replaced those from the C18 and C19. Its essential lack of original internal features and degree of alteration, together with the paucity of significant early fabric means that Brook House has been altered too greatly over the course of its life to have sufficient special architectural interest to merit inclusion on the list

Conclusion: The significant alterations and remodelling which Brook House underwent in the mid-late C19 have almost completely obliterated the C17 and C18 work to the house. The lack of significant early remains and its current essentially mid-late C19 appearance mean that it does not demonstrate sufficient special architectural interest to merit inclusion on the statutory list.

Summary of Importance:

Brook House is a largely mid-late C19 house, with evidence of a C17 foundation and early C18 extension and alterations. Its essential modesty and degree of alteration, together with the paucity of significant early fabric means that Brook House has been altered too greatly over the course of its life to have sufficient special architectural interest to merit inclusion on the list.

VISITS 23NOV-2005 Full inspection