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Feltham House

A Grade II Listed Building in Hounslow, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4429 / 51°26'34"N

Longitude: -0.4097 / 0°24'34"W

OS Eastings: 510621

OS Northings: 172750

OS Grid: TQ106727

Mapcode National: GBR 3V.WZ0

Mapcode Global: VHFTK.VZ8Q

Entry Name: Feltham House

Listing Date: 21 May 1973

Last Amended: 7 August 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1189466

English Heritage Legacy ID: 202543

Location: Hounslow, London, TW13

County: London

District: Hounslow

Electoral Ward/Division: Hanworth Park

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Hounslow

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Dunstan Feltham

Church of England Diocese: London

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Feltham

Listing Text

1.
4419 ELMWOOD AVENUE, FELTHAM

Feltham House
TQ 1072 SE 36/411

II


2.
Mid and late C18. Stock brick. West front 2 storeys and basement with
a 3rd storey of modern tilehanging. 2:3:2 sash windows, the centre 3 in
a full height canted brick bay. Steps up to ground floor central door,
C19 wood porch. East front, 3-storeys and basement, band over 2nd floor,
cornice and capping. Central door with C19 porch and with double flight
of steps, door with C19 porch and with double flight of steps. 2-storeys
and basement prjecting wings with bands and parapets. Ground floors have
Venetian windows with square piers and fluted caps, 1st floor 2 sash windows.
Sides of house plain, and the whole of severe character. Interior modernised
but retains C18 decorations of interest. Main East room has mid C19 plaster
panelling and modillioned cornice and 2 fine 2-tier carved wood mantelpieces
with floral swag enrichments. North East room, now billiard room had decoration
in the Wyatt manner with fine mahogany panelled doors with architraves,
ornamental friezes and cornices. Contemporary ceiling cornice, carved
white marble mantelpiece with green marble stringing, and with round classical
plaster figure relief on wall over with out wreathing. Venetian window
to room has panelled piers with apllied enrichment. Similar doorcases
to North West room. Staircase with wrought iron balustrade and mahogany
handrail carried round an apse - ornamental band at floor level, and enriched
soffit to landing. No history of the house appears to have been recorded.
The interior decoration may partly be attributable to James Wyatt, who
lived at Hanworth.


Listing NGR: TQ1061872750

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

Summary

House of about 1770 with alterations around 1800 and later. Used as a school in the mid-C19 and an officers’ mess during the C20.

Description

House, about 1770 with alterations of about 1800 and later, in use as an officers’ mess since 1923, now vacant. The building shows evidence of various phases of alteration or rebuilding.

MATERIALS: the building is of red-brown brick with flat rubbed red brick arches. The later wings are of yellow brick, as is the third floor to the north and west (with some rebuilding in Fletton bricks). On the south and east elevations the third floor is clad in mass-produced red clay tiles.

PLAN: originally with its main aspect to the north, the building now stands tightly bounded by trees to north and south. Its main entrance is to the south, reached from the east via a small circular carriage drive on this side. The later wings are at the east and west ends of the building and form projecting bays which flank the north elevation. Between the later bays is the single-storeyed, flat-roofed dining hall which was added in the mid-1960s. The external fabric of this addition is not of interest.

It is believed that the house originally had two storeys over a lower-ground floor, the principal rooms being on a raised ground floor, or piano nobile. The later wings share this arrangement but a third storey was added to the original building, possibly at the same time as the wings were added.

The lower-ground floor contained the service area of the house and is arranged as a series of rooms and stores off a spinal corridor running east/west. Principal rooms are on the raised ground floor, facing north, with an entrance hall and curved stair to the south. The first floor appears to have undergone greater alteration as a result of the circa 1800 additions, and subsequently with the provision of en-suite bathrooms to the bedrooms. The later second floor has a similar arrangement to that below, but is accessed via secondary stairs.

EXTERIOR: the south elevation has a 2:3:2 window arrangement, with the central three being in a full-height canted bay. The central entrance door is reached via a straight flight of steps and is contained within a C19 timber porch with decorative pendanted barge-boards and trellis-work sides. The outer door is glazed, with margin lights, and gives access to an inner vestibule with a half-glazed door and side screens.

The windows are a mix of double-hung sliding sashes and side-hung casements of varying date. The windows on the raised ground floor, either side of the central bay, are full-height and those to the west have been converted to French windows, and late-C20 steel balconies have been added. The positioning of the windows above has also been altered.

The north elevation is five bays wide, with the two flanking wings, each having a Venetian window on the raised ground floor (that to the east is heavily remodelled) and two windows above. Both the wings and the second floor show evidence of rebuilding work. The dining room extension is of yellow brick with a predominantly glazed north elevation. Both east and west elevations show evidence of previous phases of remodelling, and to the east are several small, flat-roofed, single-storey extensions. The external fabric of these later single-storey extensions is not of interest.

INTERIOR: the building’s interior is currently (2018) inaccessible due to its condition. For this reason the interior description below is taken from the original List entry (1973) and from photographs taken within the last few years.

On the raised ground floor there is a large double-width room facing north, between the two later wings. Here there is C19 plaster panelling and a modillion cornice, and two fine carved wood chimneypieces with floral swag enrichments – one at each end. Corinthian pilasters and columns divide the two parts of the room. To the east of this, in one of the two later wings, there is decoration in the Wyatt manner, with fine mahogany panelled doors and doorcases with architraves, ornamental friezes and cornices. There is a contemporary ceiling cornice and a carved white marble mantelpiece with green marble stringing. On the chimney breast above is a round classical plaster figure relief with surrounding wreathing. The Venetian window here has panelled piers with applied enrichment. Similar doorcases are found in the room to the west. The staircase has a wrought -iron balustrade and mahogany handrail carried round an apse. There is an ornamental band at floor level, and an enriched soffit to the landing.

History

Feltham House, previously known as Feltham Place, is believed to have been built for the Villebois family in the 1770s. The main access was from the north along what is now Browell’s Lane. The main aspect of the house was also to the north, overlooking a tree-lined oval carriage drive in the centre of which were a number of ornamental specimen trees. It is not clear what exact form the building originally took, a series of maps from 1800 to the late C19 indicate an evolving footprint. The building appears to have been extended around 1800 with the addition of side wings and it is presumed that it was at around the same time that a quantity of Classical decorative detailing was added to some of the interiors. These interiors are in the manner of James Wyatt, who lived in nearby Hanworth. It is therefore speculated that the interiors may be by Wyatt, but there is no proven connection between the two. The house was also extended upwards by a storey at some point.

The house was offered for sale by auction in 1841 and again in 1845, with outlying land divided into plots for separate sale. The house was bought by Augustus Frederick Westmacott who ran a boarding school for boys from the house into 1850s. The house had various subsequent occupants and in 1897 was offered for sale again and was bought by an Alfred Smith. In 1899 further of its surrounding land was divided into plots to be sold for development.

In 1923 the Secretary of State for the War Department purchased the house from an R H Smith, but by this time an area of surrounding land was already in War Department use, the government having first acquired an interest during the First World War. By 1917 it had been identified as a location for an Aircraft Acceptance Park and after the war it became home to the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) Mechanical Transport Depot. Feltham House was brought into the site to serve as the officers’ mess, with a camp for the remainder of the personnel being built to its south.

By the beginning of the Second World War the site was designated as the No.1 Vehicle Reserve Depot and it continued to serve as a central vehicle and ordnance depot until around 1960. From about 1962 the site developed as one of the Ministry of Defence’s main intelligence gathering and analysis centres specialising in the supply of cartographic data, now (2018) the Defence Geographic Centre. Feltham House continued in its use as an officers’ mess and had a large dining hall extension built to the north in the mid-1960s. Its use subsequently ceased and the building fell vacant; in 2013 it was placed on Historic England's Heritage At Risk Register.

The sequence of sales particulars for the house, produced each time it was marketed for sale, give useful accounts of the estate’s gradually shrinking extent. They also give clues as to the early layout and room uses, suggesting that after the mid-C19 it underwent relatively little remodelling of the interior prior to coming into military use. A quadrennial inspection report produced for the house in 1996 by Watts and Partners provides a useful analysis of these earlier documents.

Reasons for Listing

Feltham House, of about 1770, with alterations of about 1800 and later, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

*  as a late-C18 house with early-C19 aggrandisement;
*  for its notable interior decorative work and fittings.

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