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30 and 32 Wonford Road, Exeter

A Grade II Listed Building in Exeter, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7197 / 50°43'10"N

Longitude: -3.5218 / 3°31'18"W

OS Eastings: 292671

OS Northings: 92223

OS Grid: SX926922

Mapcode National: GBR P1.92F3

Mapcode Global: FRA 37H5.RSS

Entry Name: 30 and 32 Wonford Road, Exeter

Listing Date: 19 August 1999

Last Amended: 14 June 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1271893

English Heritage Legacy ID: 476907

Location: Exeter, Devon, EX2

County: Devon

District: Exeter

Electoral Ward/Division: Newtown and St Leonard's

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Exeter

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Exeter St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Summary

A pair of houses, circa 1830, one bombed and destroyed above the basement during the Second World War and rebuilt circa 1955.

Description

A pair of houses, circa 1830, one bombed during the Second World War and rebuilt circa 1955.

MATERIALS: the houses are of stuccoed brick or brick and stone walling, with slate roofs. 32 Wonford Road has timber sash windows, whilst those in 30 Wonford Road, apart from those on the front elevation, have been replaced in uPVC.

PLAN: double-depth plan on a corner plot, the two houses originally mirroring each other; the internal layout of 30 Wonford Road was altered as it was rebuilt after bomb damage.

EXTERIOR: the houses, which are in a simplified Italianate style, are each of two storeys, basement and attic, the basement only visible at the rear; each has a two-bay front with entrances on the returns. The front elevation is conceived as a single design with a gable treated as a pediment with a deep cornice and verges on shaped brackets and a stucco band to the verges. There are plain left and right pilasters and one to the centre, a plat band at first-floor level and a stucco band below the pediment cornice. Each house has two ground-floor and two first-floor eight-over-eight sashes. The right return has similar ground- and first-floor windows to the left and a six-panelled door under a flat canopy porch supported on slender posts; a two-over-two window to light the basement is set low down to the right. This elevation also has pilasters and an eaves band. There is a raking dormer with timber casements in the slope above the entrance. The front door to No 30 is in a recessed block to the left. The left return has two windows of various sizes and an entrance door, all in uPVC. To the rear, the houses differ: the left-hand house has a projecting gabled stair wing rising to the first floor, and retains its sash windows, which reduce in size towards the attic; the right-hand house, which was rebuilt circa 1955, has a square bay window rising through the ground and first floors, with large uPVC windows; the other windows, which vary in size and style, are in enlarged openings. There is a rooflight in the slope over No 30. Wide brick stacks with various chimney pots are set to either side of the apex. No 32 has been extended to the rear at basement level, creating a new room with a glazed monopitch roof.

INTERIOR: no 32 largely retains its original layout, with a single room to the front and another to the rear alongside the straight stair, a similar arrangement to the first floor, and the attic is divided into three rooms. The basement has been extended to create a single large room. The house retains early-C19 timber fire surrounds to the ground- and first-floor rooms, and the ground-floor rooms each have moulded cornices; the windows have moulded surrounds and shutters. The house retains some early-C19 four-panel doors; the stair to first and attic floors has a balustrade of turned newels with stick balusters and a ramped handrail, and the attic retains a smaller timber fire surround.

No 30 has modern internal finishes, some contemporary with its rebuilding in the 1950s, and some later. The layout roughly reflects that of the original house to the ground floor, but the first-floor and attic rooms do not: three rooms have been created in each. The ground-floor room to the front has a late-C20 fireplace in approximately the same location which would have been occupied by a fireplace in the original layout. Otherwise, the fixtures and finishes are all C20 in style and materials, most dating from the later C20.

History

The pair of houses now known as 30 and 32 Wonford Road was constructed circa 1830 as part of suburban expansion outside the walls of the medieval city. Numbers of villas and large townhouses were constructed along routes into the centre of Exeter. The city was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in the Second World War, when a total of 18 raids between 1940 and 1942 flattened much of the city centre, and some areas away from the centre also saw damage, though less comprehensively. Several buildings along Wonford Road and in neighbouring roads were badly damaged or entirely ruined, including 30 Wonford Road, which was destroyed above the basement level. It is shown on the 1951 Ordnance Survey map as 'ruins', in common with other houses in the area. The other house in the pair evidently stood alone for some time; permission to rebuild No 30, which was then numbered 15 Wonford Road was not sought until August 1952 (house numbers were ultimately reordered following the remainder of the post-war reconstruction). It was then proposed to fill in the basement level and rebuild from the ground up to match the other house in the pair, but in the event, the basement was retained, with new internal walls constructed. The rebuilding was carried out using cavity wall construction and softwood timbers. More recently, No 32 Wonford Road has been extended from its basement to form a glazed-roofed lean-to, and the steel windows which were added to the rear and returns of the rebuilt No 30 have been replaced in uPVC.

Reasons for Listing

30 and 32 Wonford Road are designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the pair of houses contained within the building are in a good, pared-down Italianate style, having a symmetrical front with multi-paned sash windows under the same pitched roof, giving the impression of a single, larger house;
* Historic interest: 30 Wonford Road, the eastern house of the pair, was badly damaged by German bombing in a Baedeker raid in the Second World War, and rather than being cleared and replaced by a modern building, was instead faithfully reconstructed to its pre-war appearance, to the main elevation, to provide continuity with 32 Wonford Road;
* Interior: 32 Wonford Road retains much of its original early-C19 internal scheme, and this adds to its special architectural interest; the interior of 30 Wonford Road dates wholly from the mid-C20 and later, and is thus of lesser interest;
* Group value: the pair of houses has strong group value with the other listed villas in this planned suburb of the 1830s.

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