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The Leys

A Grade II* Listed Building in Elstree, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.6404 / 51°38'25"N

Longitude: -0.2914 / 0°17'29"W

OS Eastings: 518326

OS Northings: 194896

OS Grid: TQ183948

Mapcode National: GBR 7N.95Z

Mapcode Global: VHGQ9.W1S8

Plus Code: 9C3XJPR5+5C

Entry Name: The Leys

Listing Date: 7 June 1995

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1263392

English Heritage Legacy ID: 432445

Location: Elstree and Borehamwood, Hertsmere, Hertfordshire, WD6

County: Hertfordshire

District: Hertsmere

Civil Parish: Elstree and Borehamwood

Built-Up Area: Elstree

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Elstree and Borehamwood

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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463/11/10024 BARNET LANE

Small country house, now residential home. 1901 with added wing of 1923, both phases by George Walton (1867-1933) for JBB Wellington. Orange-red brick ground floor; pebbledashed upper storey on moulded stone band. Plain tile roof (re-tiled 1980s), very steep, with lead hip flashings and deep boarded eaves. Cast iron rainwater hoppers with heart motifs, inscriptions and 1901 date. U-plan original house in Glasgow School/Arts and Crafts style. 2 storeys and attic.
EXTERIORS: FRONT has hipped roof and metal casements with leaded lights, arranged in symmetrical 2:3:2 - 2:3:2 -light pattern around central semi-circular bay. Bay breaks through main eaves, has flat roof, and is timber-framed with herringbone panels of 1" brick and bands of leaded lights. Projecting porch of similar brick, with segmental leaded roof and double plank doors, each door with half of a heart-shaped light. 2 raking dormers, each with 3 lights forming a narrow horizontal slit. REAR has central recess with mansard roof and Venetian hall window, and flanking gabled wings with stone copings, scrolled kneelers and external brick chimneys. Quadrant projection for spiral servants' stair, with door, in left angle; late C20 single-storey rendered link in right angle. Late C20 boiler flue, fire escape and minor alterations to windows. Small terrace between the wings is raised over coal-hole and boiler room.
INTERIOR: Rooms are arranged around 3 sides of central full-height hall/billiard room with stair and first-floor gallery. Staircase retains elements of Walton's original design with slender octagonal posts and matchstick grid, but full screen has been reduced to balustrade, with altered handrail and finials. Gallery has matching balustrade and posts, installed 1980s in place of original wrought iron. High semi-circular balcony above stair has tapering splat balusters with pierced roundels. Stone fireplace with carved scrolls, not as photographed in 1903. Hall also has stained glass dove in Venetian window, vertical wall panels of dark-stained wood, and matching door and window surrounds with flat cornices. Scrolled name plaques are re-sited from gates.
Other reception rooms on ground floor: drawing room and entrance hall have similar panelling, painted, surmounted by a wooden cornice/plate shelf and a deep plain frieze, and are linked by folding panelled partition. Drawing room also has short length of frieze painted in 1923 with ribbon and tulip motifs, and inglenook recess with corner post, side screen and mosaic panels for former fireplace. Entrance hall has groin vault, arches to hall, glazed inner doors and altered fireplace surround. Dining room retains inglenook recess with panelled ceiling, also cornice/plate shelf, but has been subdivided and has lost fireplace fittings. Morning room to rear of drawing room has moulded panels, and inglenook and alcove with side screens featuring drop motif, armrest and abstract curved openings. Fireplace with pargetted surround and tiled panels. Service rooms to rear of dining room retain fragments of glazed tiling to former kitchen, but were altered 1923 to give access to new wing. First floor has been re-partitioned but retains some 1901 door architraves, and small plain panels in former master bedroom. Attic floor has matchboard walls to servants' rooms, and screen to tank room with stained glass heart motif in door.
1923 WING: Added to NE corner, altered 1965 and 1980s. Red brick with hipped tile roof. 2 storeys, 5 bays retaining some original metal casements with leaded lights. Front formerly had central 3-bay arcaded loggia, still structurally surviving but now enclosed and partially incorporated into single-storey dining room extension of 1965. Former balcony above loggia also enclosed. Ground-floor kitchen retains some 1920s matt tiling, two piers tiled in black with offset tiled caps. First-floor billiard room now partitioned and with inserted ceiling, but with dark-stained vertical panelling to rear walls and end bays.
HISTORY: Home of JBB Wellington, photographer and manufacturer of photographic paper, until 1939. Walton's original furniture and fittings then dispersed. Since 1947 in use as a residential home by Middlesex County Council and London Borough of Barnet.
SOURCES: H. Muthesius, Das Englische Haus, 1904; N. Pevsner, George Walton - His Life and Work in Art, Architecture and Design, 1968; London Borough of Barnet, Architect's Department, The Leys, Elstree, Barnet, 1981; K. Moon, George Walton - Designer and Architect, 1993.

An Arts and Crafts country house of 1901 by the eminent architect George Walton. One of his best houses, its overall aesthetic and detailing was influenced by the Glasgow School and it is a rare example of this in the south of England. The interior retains most of its spatial integrity and high quality fittings, the symmetrical and homely exterior is as originally composed, as the landscape setting and the four Grade II subsidiary buildings provide important context.

Listing NGR: TQ1833094905

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