Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stockerston, Leicestershire


Stockerston Hall

You step into a field near the church, walk a few yards and watch the parting clouds that shift to let the sun warm up the brickwork. Thanks to a fence, a wall, a ditch, more brickwork, the house keeps you at arm's length and ensures the owners keep their privacy, as they have done, no doubt, since 1792.

It's simple really: brick walls, low-pitched roof, a Tuscan porch, four bays of blank arcading, framed by pale quoins and shaded by dark trees. It's likely a replacement for an older house (there's a mullioned window in a cellar somewhere, says Pevsner, giving us the gist; on Medbourne Road, two gate piers, 1700†).

I'm thankful for these bits of hidden England.Thanks to the friend who showed this one to me, P. Ashley of Unmitigated England, who posted here about the nearby church.

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† Please see the comments section for an update.

14 comments:

Michele Rowan said...

I wonder if you know who the architect was for Stockerston Hall? Been searching with no luck.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Michele: No I don't know. Pevsner doesn't say and there is no information on any architect on the British Listed Buildings website, which references the Victoria County History, so there is probably no info there either.

Michele Rowan said...

Ok thanks for response Phillip.

Michele Rowan said...

Hello again Phillip...can I be really cheeky and ask you to recommend a typical 19th Century style house that displays all the elements related to 19th century design, exterior only (I've moved on from 18th Century now). You are the font as far as I can see!

Peter Ashley said...

Sadly the two c1700 gateposts have now both disappeared. They were on the Medbourne road, aligned with the original Hall. I photographed the last extant one some years ago, and it makes an appearance in my 'Comings & Goings' book on gatehouses and lodges (shameless plug). I keep hoping it may still be in the undergrowth obscured from view, but I very much doubt it.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Peter: Thanks for that update. A shame when these things disappear, but there we go. There' always the chance that some remains may emerge from the undergrowth in winter, I suppose.

Stephen Barker said...

I had a look in J D Bennets Leicestershire Architects 1700-1850 and Colvin's Dictionary of British Architects but there is no mention of Stockerston Hall in either. Looking at the photo I suspect the design which is not that sophisticated is by a local builder or surveyor or even the owner of the house.
I too have'nt seen the gateposts for a few years, they may be hidden in the belt of trees but I fear the worst.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Stephen: Thank you. I too checked in Colvin but don't have the Bennet book. It is very likely that this house is the work of a local builder, I should think.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Michele: You'll have to be a bit more specific. Do you want a big country house or a smaller house? And there were so many styles in the 19th century - Gothic, Classical, Jacobean revival. And Arts and Crafts later in the century. And so on and on.

Michele Rowan said...

Yes I know I'm sorry it was vague....I need to look at a building that displays the characteristics of that period. Its so I develop an understanding of different design periods from 17th-21st C. I love Andrea Palladio and Inigo Jones but I will gravitate to this style if left unchecked! I do adore Arts & Crafts or Art Nouveau...anything you could suggest as a starting point for me? Thanks for attention Phillip.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Michelle: OK, there are several good houses owned by the National trust which might do the business for you:
For Victorian Gothic maybe look at Tyntefield:
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield/
For freestyle/Tudor revival maybe try Cragside, by Norman Shaw:
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside/
For Arts and Crafts, check out the Red House, Bexleyheath, by Philip Webb and William Morris:
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/redhouse/

Another great Arts and Crafts house (not National Trust) is
Blackwell, by Baillie Scott, but it was completed in 1901 so is arguably not a 19th-century house.
http://www.blackwell.org.uk/blackwell-today

Stephen Barker said...

At the other end of the scale I could suggest that you visit the back to back houses in Birmingham which are also owned by the National Trust. In London Leighton House with it's wonderful Arabic Hall which is newly restored is worth a visit as is the Linley Sambourne House. I suggest that the London Open House and the National Heritage weekends are a good time to see buildings not normally open to the public, both are held in September.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Michele: Stephen's suggestions are all good.

Stephen: You have reminded me that I must go to Leighton House, which I've not seen since the restoration that you refer to.

Michele Rowan said...

Phillip & Stephen thank you so much for your kind suggestions and am grateful for what you have put forward. Having a quick sneaky peek, I really like the look of the Red House so may focus my attention on this but also read around the others. Again genuine thanks for your help.