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Latitude: 52.2202 / 52°13'12"N
Longitude: 0.7686 / 0°46'7"E
OS Eastings: 589216
OS Northings: 261616
OS Grid: TL892616
Mapcode National: GBR RGL.P5G
Mapcode Global: VHKDC.8GP9
Entry Name: 12-17 The Hamlet, and linking painted walls
Listing Date: 22 December 1998
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1246880
English Heritage Legacy ID: 471962
Location: Rushbrooke with Rougham, West Suffolk, Suffolk, IP30
District: St. Edmundsbury
Civil Parish: Rushbrooke with Rougham
Traditional County: Suffolk
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk
Church of England Parish: Rushbrooke St Nicholas
Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich
TL 86 SE
THE HAMLET (North side)
Nos.12-17 and linking painted walls
Line of six linked estate cottages. Commissioned 1950, built 1960-3 by Llewelyn Davies and Weeks, job architect John Weeks, executive architect Michael Huckstepp, for Lord Rothschild. White-painted brick on black-painted brick plinths; slate roof largely treated as monopitches, short stacks. Single storey with storage loft or playroom.
The six cottages arranged assymmetrically along continuous brick wall, with Nos. 12 and 13 forming a pair at right angles to street, Nos. 14 and 15 a mirrored 'L'-shaped pair, and Nos. 16 and 17 also 'L'-shaped but linked only by wall. All have large shed areas for storing tools and muddy boots.
The main houses based on a rectangle 56 ft wide by 33 ft deep, with a central spine, from which sections are then cut away to provide a picturesque but coherent composition. All houses arranged along the linking wall, which continues as the spine through them. All living rooms face south. Black timber doors, some of the front doors set in angles of the 'L'-shaped houses to give greater protection and with glazed panels; those to the sheds are solid. Timber windows painted black, their opening lights painted white. Door-height vertical strip windows to side of front doors to the larger units. Large closely-mullioned windows to the first floor stores.
Interiors not of special interest.
The black and white painted idiom is widely used in Suffolk, and the materials are traditional, yet Rushbrooke is wholly modern in its planning and design. Richard Llewelyn Davies and John Weeks were commissioned in 1950 to build estate cottages for Lord Rothschild, whom Llewelyn Davies had met when studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, in the 1930s. The linking wall defined a sense of enclosure, from which the orthogonal plans developed. The houses form a carefully organised group around a medieval well head, which is already listed. Their plans are closely based on the award winning prototype at Poplar Meadow (item 10006), but represent the culmination of Weeks's ideas on enclosure, with their more expressed porches.
The cottages at The Hamlet replaced a series of older cottages, considered too dilapidated to repair. Though built to a higher specification than public housing, the development of a coherently planned 'house type' and strong visual idiom was much admired at the time. Rushbrooke also broke the established imagery of post-war rural housing. Its ideas ran closely parallel to, but slightly anticipated, the research of the English group of CIAM (the international research group on modern architecture with a particular interest in housing and planning) in 1955, or slightly later. These ideas, by Bill Howell and John Partridge, James Stirling, Alison and Peter Smithson and John Voelcker, were also widely published and were influential in some of these architects' later low-rise, high-density schemes for urban areas. They show how the pragmatic modernism of Rushbrooke was to become a powerful force in housing design in the later 1960s and 1970s. 'Simple, single storey white painted brick houses sited around an open space ..., it made it clear to everyone that, in the hands of a skilled architect, a very ordinary brief and a modest budget could result in a real sense of place. Coinciding with the Architectural Review's Outrage issues, dealing with the lack of any sense of place in the housing developments of the time, the Rushbrooke scheme was admired as one of the few developments which felt like a real place.' So wrote John Winter in Contemporary Architecture, third edition, 1994
Listing NGR: TL8921661616
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