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Seven Gables

A Grade II Listed Building in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham

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Latitude: 52.5573 / 52°33'26"N

Longitude: -1.8304 / 1°49'49"W

OS Eastings: 411594

OS Northings: 295506

OS Grid: SP115955

Mapcode National: GBR 3HD.D5

Mapcode Global: WHCH7.VZKD

Entry Name: Seven Gables

Listing Date: 4 March 1999

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1067112

English Heritage Legacy ID: 473077

Location: Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, B73

County: Birmingham

Civil Parish: Sutton Coldfield

Built-Up Area: Sutton Coldfield

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Maney

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

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Sutton Coldfield

Listing Text


2/10006 Number 14,
Seven Gables


House. Dated 1898 on a rainwater head on the cast front. By Joseph Crouch of Crouch and Butler, for himself Thin red brick laid in English bond, timber framing, with stone dressings, roof of tiles. The house is set out as two parallel ranges, each under a pitched roof, running east-west, and a taller cross-wing at the west end, the junction of the principal ranges and the cross wings is marked on either side by a tower. The north range and the cross-wing have brick to the ground floor and timber-framing above (which appears not to be planted), while the south range is almost entirely of brick. Two and three storeys. All windows flat-arched casements, many with decorative leading and coloured glass. The principal features of the north, or entrance front are the porch, formed by a massive buttress and flat canopy; the entrance has an unusual architrave, with sloping sides of stone and a very shallow-arched head of gauged red brick with a stone keystone; front door glazed in the upper part, with elaborate strap hinges; the porch is at the foot of a slim brick staircase tower with two 2-light windows, both with stone surrounds and one mullion, plus a tiny polygonal stone oriel, like a pepper-pot, corbelled out from the angle of the tower; cornice and very deep parapet; four-light oriel on the first floor of the cross-wing; full dormers to the right under timbered gables; a single-storey wing at the cast end, and the garage under a pyramidal roof, may be later. The west front has a polygonal, flat-roofed bay window to the ground floor, and the upper part of the first-floor framing jettied out, with a full dormer under a segmental 'gable'. The tower element on the south or garden front resembles the staircase tower: blank to the south apart from a stone sundial and a stone pepper-pot oriel corbelled out from the angle; simple stone balustrade to the top through which breaks a broad, almost unmoulded stack; in the angle of the tower and the cross-wing is a three-sided staircase tower with three lights under a hipped, roof, other features of this front are a single-storey canted bay window under a half-domed roof with French windows, a single-storey five-sided bay window under a hipped roof, one full dormer under a timbered gable and another under a segmental 'gable'; windows in the west face of the tower may have been altered slightly. Apart from the stack to the garden tower there are end stacks to the two principal ranges, one in the valley between, and one to the cross-wing. INTERIOR: Vestibule with two narrow doors and one broad, having ribbed panelling to the lower part and leaded glazing above, with elaborate copper strap hinges, and AMOR, AMICITIA, VIRTUS, SPES inscribed in mosaic on the floor, now carpeted over. The broad door gives onto an inner, two-storey sitting- and staircase-hall with original exposed brick to the ground floor and
timber-framing above; this hall lies between the two towers; the north tower contains an open-well staircase with incised, tapering square newels having neo-Jacobean finials, twisted balusters, shaped rail, and a small balcony over the hall, while the south tower contains an ingle-nook with a beam over carried on brackets carved with grotesques, original fitted seats and broad copper fire-hood, and a small study over it, reached by a narrow stair, with shuttered opening in the timber framing looking over the hall; original fittings for electric light include a lantern in copper or wrought-iron hanging from a wrought-iron bracket, and two small ceiling pendants in the ingle; set into the framing on the cast wall is a frieze-like painting on canvas, signed by Fred W. Davis and dated 1898, illustrating a scene from A Dream of John Ball by William Morris. Double doors, framed as the others, with elaborate decorative stained glass in the upper panels, give onto the former dining-room, now a sitting-room, which is panelled to picture-rail height with a broad chimney-piece resembling a Jacobean court cupboard, broad, low hearth, now slightly altered, under a frieze-like copper hood decorated in repousse with a heart and the initials J and E for Joseph and Ellen Crouch; cupboards to either side with a neo-Jacobean frieze overall; the upper part consisting of a canopy inscribed DULCE DOMUM carried on turned columns with a shallow, canted cupboard in the middle decorated with the initials of Joseph and Ellen Crouch; inside the cupboard, but formerly decorating the front of the central panel, is a portrait, presumably of Ellen Crouch, in Limoges enamels, characteristic of the Arts and Crafts movement in Birmingham; this is a copy of the original panel removed by Crouch when he sold the house. Through a broad flat arch at the end of the former dining-room is a narrow room, perhaps intended as a large ingle, the broad wall of which is framed in timber with a central fireplace having an outstanding copper firehood decorated in repousse work with stylised trees and a galleon. All the principal ground-floor rooms have exposed beams and rafters to the ceiling. The decorative features inside Seven Gables are, though not decisively documented, probably attributable to the Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts, an important group in the history of the Arts and Crafts movement in Birmingham; their earliest work is mainly concentrated in a handful of houses by Crouch and Butler. Seven Gables is now probably the best surviving example of this collaboration, since it is almost entirely unaltered from the exterior, and the interior appears to have lost only a pair of stained-glass windows by Mary Newill which used to flank the ingle-nook in the hall, and some neo-Renaissance tapestries which flanked the fireplace lit the room beyond the dining-room.

Listing NGR: SP1159495506

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

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