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76 Storey's Way

A Grade II Listed Building in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.2135 / 52°12'48"N

Longitude: 0.1045 / 0°6'16"E

OS Eastings: 543880

OS Northings: 259342

OS Grid: TL438593

Mapcode National: GBR L78.97P

Mapcode Global: VHHK2.RMMH

Entry Name: 76 Storey's Way

Listing Date: 2 August 1996

Last Amended: 22 December 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1268347

English Heritage Legacy ID: 461918

Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB3

County: Cambridgeshire

District: Cambridge

Electoral Ward/Division: Castle

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Cambridge

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Cambridge The Ascension

Church of England Diocese: Ely

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Summary


Neo-Georgian house built in 1913 to the designs of Arthur Hamilton Moberly.

Description

Neo-Georgian house built in 1913 to the designs of Arthur Hamilton Moberly.

MATERIALS: yellow brick with occasional red brick laid in English bond with silvery gault brick dressings and plain tile roof covering.

PLAN: the house faces east onto the road and has a double-pile, approximately rectangular plan with a single-storey projection on the north gable end formerly used as a boiler room and store room.

EXTERIOR: the house has two storeys and an attic under a hipped roof with gablets and two transverse ridge stacks with oversailing brick courses. The eight-bay façade has a first-floor plat band and is articulated by rusticated quoins and pilasters which divide the elevation into two, four and two bays, the centre four being slightly recessed. The front door, in the third bay from the left, is reached via two semi-circular steps laid in brick and has six fielded panels and a single-light rectangular overlight. The doorcase has panelled jambs and a moulded flat hood with a panelled soffit supported by scrolled brackets. The regular fenestration consists of six-over-six pane horned sashes in gault brick surrounds, those to the ground floor beneath gauged segmental brick arches. The two left hand bays on the ground floor are blind; affixed to the right one is a plaque commemorating the residence of Ludwig Wittgenstein. The attic is lit by four hipped dormers wholly within the roof space which have tile-hung sides and two-light leaded casements. The north and south roof slopes have a similar dormer. Attached to the north gable end is a single-storey block with a hipped M-roof which has a vertical plank door on the north side, flanked by a two-light wooden casement on the right and a slatted opening on the left. The right return is lit by a three-light casement, and the left return by two single-light casements.

The seven-bay west garden front is similarly articulated by rusticated quoins and pilasters. It is dominated by a central projecting gabled bay with rusticated quoins which rises above the eaves, terminating in a square chimney-like finial. This bay lights the staircase and has two six-over-six pane sashes with a herringbone brick panel in between. The top window has a keyed semi-circular brick arch with a tympanum of vertically laid brick. To the right of this is a multi-pane door with wooden glazing bars and margin lights, and to the right a pair of narrow four-over-four pane sashes, both under a segmental arch in the same style as the staircase window. The remaining fenestration is the same as on the façade, and the attic is lit by two dormers. The south gable end has a canted bay with a late C20 French window in the centre and sash windows either side. The first floor has three blind window openings.

INTERIOR: this retains a good proportion of the original fixtures, fittings and joinery in a restrained classical style, including two-panelled doors set within recessed arched openings, some retaining lock cases with delicate drop handles, moulded picture rails and fireplaces. All the joinery is painted white. The small entrance hall in the third bay leads through a door, which is set in a segmental arched surround with a keystone that extends upwards to form part of the moulded cornice, into the staircase hall. This has a corner fireplace (now blocked) with a narrow wooden surround and canted hearth, two blind arched openings on the left wall and two arched openings on the right through which the open well stair is accessed. The stair has quarter turn landings, a closed string, diamond balusters and square newel posts. To the left of the staircase hall is the south drawing room which occupies the width of the house. This has a moulded cornice, wide unadorned frieze and incorporated picture rail. The chimney piece, set between square pilasters, has a moulded wooden surround and three-panel overmantel with a cornice supported by shaped brackets, and large tiles designed by William de Morgan depicting a stylised flower of vibrant turquoise. To the right of the entrance hall is the former dining room which has a similar cornice, two corner display cupboards and a recess for a sideboard. The room now has late C20 kitchen fittings, and the corner fireplace has been boarded and retiled in white tiles. There is a small servery to the right, which retains a serving hatch, followed by the former kitchen and service rooms at the northern end which have been converted into bedrooms. A small room on the west side of the former kitchen, described as a morning room in the 1946 sale particulars, retains a small rustic red brick fireplace with brick corbels.

The first floor has the same arrangement of paired arched openings described on the staircase hall. The fixtures and fittings are plainer and include picture rails, fitted cupboards and wardrobes, and fireplaces with moulded wooden surrounds, most of which are now boarded over. One room has a shelved recess described as a fitted medicine cabinet in the sale particulars. The attic similarly has fitted cupboards and fireplaces with little wooden surrounds.

History

Cambridge is situated on the southern edge of the Fens at the highest navigable point of the River Cam. The original Celtic settlement had grown up on the north bank but the Romans established the small town of Durovigutum at the strategically important junction of four major roads. The Saxon occupation spread to the south of the river, and the Normans reaffirmed the strategic importance of the site by building a castle which led to the expansion of the settlement. Cambridge soon became a prosperous town in which several religious houses were established, and these attracted sufficient students for Henry III to recognise the town as a seat of learning in 1231. Most of the fifteen colleges in existence before the Reformation had evolved from the cloistered world of monastic scholarship. Additional colleges and university buildings have continued to be established up to the present day and much new housing was built during the inter-war period and post-war period.

The development of the former medieval West Fields began around 1870. This land, covering approximately 200 acres, was owned primarily by the colleges, notably St John’s, which had always strongly resisted any building west of the Backs (the stretch of land which runs along the back of the riverside colleges). It was the loss of college revenue from the agricultural depression that led to their decision to lease the land in building plots. Three new institutions were established – Newnham College in 1875, Ridley Hall in 1877, and Selwyn Hostel (now College) in 1879 – and suburban houses in various styles from Queen Anne to Arts and Crafts and neo-Georgian were built piecemeal over almost half a century. The demand for such large family homes was partly fuelled by a new statute passed in 1882 that finally allowed dons to marry without having to give up their fellowships. The main arteries of development were West Road, Madingley Road and Grange Road which forms the central spine road running north-south through the suburb.

A plan for an estate of about 35 acres on the northern boundary of West Cambridge was laid out in the early C20 for the Trustees of Storey’s Charity, which had been allotted an L-shaped plot of land in the 1805 Enclosure Award. Storey’s Way, the main road of the new estate, was constructed in 1911 and 74 freehold plots were offered for sale, varying from a quarter of an acre to an acre. The Trustees were determined to keep a strict control over the residential development and imposed numerous restrictions in the leases, including minimum building costs of £800 on smaller plots and £1000 on larger plots. To put this in context, in 1906 the sum of £1000 was considered well above the price of a substantial suburban villa. The majority of building leases in West Cambridge and Storey’s Way were taken up by individuals who commissioned either local or London-based architects, many of whom are now considered to be amongst the finest of the late Victorian/ Edwardian age, E. S. Prior, J. J. Stephenson, and Ernest Newton.

76 Storey’s Way was built in 1913 to the designs of Arthur Hamilton Moberly FRIBA. Moberly has one other listed building to his name as an individual architect – the Grade II listed neo-Georgian 7 Linton Road, North Oxford (1910), described as being exquisitely styled like a miniature country house – and is also associated with the Grade II listed Gunfield, Norham Gardens, Oxford which was built in 1877 and extended by Moberly in 1915. He belonged to the firm Slater, Uren, Moberly and Pike, surveyors to the Berners estate, whose commissions included the Peter Jones department store at Sloane Square, London (1936-9, with William Crabtree and C. H. Reilly), and Sanderson House, the company headquarters with showrooms, offices and studios (now a hotel) on Berners Street, London (1957-60), both listed at Grade II*.

Moberly designed 76 Storey’s Way for Professor Sir John Harold Clapham (1873-1946) who was one of the founding fathers of the discipline of economic history. His reputation was established with the publication of the three volume 'An Economic History of Modern Britain' which led to his election to the newly created Chair of Economic History at King’s College Cambridge in 1928. Clapham had an impressive range of commitments, including being Vice-Provost of King's College in 1933, editor of the first volume of the 'Cambridge Economic History of Europe', which appeared in 1941, as well as producing influential publications, notably the two volume 'History of the Bank of England up to 1914' (1944), and the 'Concise Economic History of Britain from the Earliest Times to 1750' which preserved the substance of his undergraduate lectures from 1908 to 1935. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1928, and served as President from 1940 until his death. Clapham was knighted in 1943.

In 1946 the house passed into the ownership of Edward Vaughan Bevan, a doctor and a rower who won a gold medal at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. In the 1946 sale particulars 76 Storey’s Way is described as having ‘a distinctive and attractive appearance’ and as being ‘exceptionally well planned both from an artistic and practical point of view – the design is extremely pleasing and at the same time lends itself to economy of labour’. The particulars also mention ‘de Morgan tiled surrounds’ (by William de Morgan, the celebrated Arts and Crafts ceramicist) in the drawing room and dining room, although unfortunately the surround in the latter room has been removed. The seats described in the bay window in the drawing room have also been removed. Bevan had a detached single-storey surgery built in the garden. One of his patients was the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) who, after being diagnosed with prostate cancer by Bevan in 1950, lived at 76 Storey’s Way until his death in April 1951. Wittgenstein was based in Cambridge between 1929 and 1947 firstly as a Fellow of Trinity College and then as Professor of Philosophy. He is widely considered to be the most influential Western philosopher since Immanuel Kant. In 1990 the house was acquired by the adjacent Churchill College and adapted for student accommodation. This involved fireproofing doors, adding glass to some arched openings, converting the former dining room into a kitchen and the remaining service rooms into bedrooms.

Reasons for Listing

76 Storey’s Way, a neo-Georgian house built in 1913 to the designs of Arthur Hamilton Moberly, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it has well-proportioned and finely detailed elevations incorporating the attractive deep roof and elaborate doorcase typical of Georgian domestic architecture;
* Building materials: the thoughtful use of silvery coloured bricks for the window dressings, rusticated quoins, and patterned brickwork confers distinctive appeal;
* Interior: this retains much of the original joinery, fixtures and fittings, all designed in an appropriate restrained Georgian style, including an elegant chimneypiece embellished with William de Morgan tiles;
* Historic interest: it is associated with two distinguished Cambridge academics, John Harold Clapham, one of the founding fathers of the discipline of economic history, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, the renowned philosopher, whose death there in 1951 is particularly poignant;
* Context: it forms part of an exceptional suburban development in West Cambridge which encompasses the work of some of the most notable architects of the day;
* Group value: it has group value with numerous listed houses on Storey’s Way, notably the Grade II listed neo-Georgian 63 Storey’s Way (1912) by T. D. Atkinson opposite, and the adjacent Grade II listed Churchill College (1961-8) by Sheppard Robson and Partners.

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