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House and Brock Brothers' Studio

A Grade II Listed Building in Newnham, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.2115 / 52°12'41"N

Longitude: 0.1005 / 0°6'1"E

OS Eastings: 543612

OS Northings: 259110

OS Grid: TL436591

Mapcode National: GBR L78.879

Mapcode Global: VHHK2.PPH0

Entry Name: House and Brock Brothers' Studio

Listing Date: 2 November 1972

Last Amended: 8 December 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1331872

English Heritage Legacy ID: 47568

Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB3

County: Cambridgeshire

Electoral Ward/Division: Newnham

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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Listing Text

02-NOV-72 35
House and Brock brothers' studio

(Formerly listed as:

A house dating from the late C18, with later C19 and C20 additions, including a purpose-built artist's studio dating from 1908, designed by the Brock brothers for their own use.

The house and studio are constructed of brick, the majority of which has been painted, laid in Flemish bond. The hipped roof to the house, plus the pitched roof to the rear extension is clad in slate, and the mansard roof to the studio is clad in clay tiles.

The house with its extensions and garage is rectangular in plan, as is the studio building, which adjoins the house at its south-eastern corner. The two elements together form an L-shaped plan.

The principal elevation (north) is of three storeys and four bays. It has two flat-roofed polygonal bays to ground and first floor with cornice detail, and contains twelve-pane vertical sash windows. Between the two bays is the main entrance which contains a late C18 Roman Doric doorcase with fluted pilasters and pediment, and classical door with fielded panels and mouldings. Above the door is a twenty-pane horizontal sash window. Above the bays and at second floor level are three single pane vertical sash windows and at the east side there are tri-partite windows with moulded stone heads and ironwork detail to sills, to all three floors.

The east elevation is of plain buff brick (Flemish bond) and contains a pair of four-pane vertical sliding sash windows to each floor. There is a central door at ground floor level. Also of note are the remains of the iron coal-winch, which is attached to the flank wall.

The rear elevation (south) comprises three different elements. The south-western corner of the earliest build is still visible and contains a pair of twelve-pane vertical sliding sash windows at first and second floors. A single-storey extension has been added in brick in the 1930s which has a pair of arched windows each with seventeen panes. There is also an open terrace made of concrete with iron railings at first and second floors. The elevation then steps out where a three storey extension has been added in plain buff brick. There are twelve-pane vertical sliding sash windows to each floor as well as some smaller two-pane sashes to WCs at ground and second floor. At the eastern end, the studio wing adjoins the house to form an L-shape plan, which encloses the small rear garden on its northern and eastern sides.

At ground floor there is an entrance hall which contains a stairwell to the upper floors and features a concrete stair with elegant steel balusters and handrail typical of the 1930s. The hall links through to a cross-passage from which entry is gained to the two bay-fronted sitting rooms at the front of the house, and the two linked rooms to the rear of the house. At the far eastern end of the cross passage is a kitchen and bathroom and another front room. There are no fixtures and fittings or internal features of note and none of the internal doors and joinery is original.

At first floor level the six-room plan is repeated. Original floors remain in-situ and there are good fireplaces to each of the front rooms, one with paterae being late C18 or early C19 in date. The large rear room has a good quality, built-in C18 corner cupboard designed in neo-classical style, which appears in some of the illustrations that the Brock Brothers produced. Also of interest is graffiti etched on to the rear window of the room on the western side of the house, which reads, `J Waldron, December 28th 1868.' One original internal, panelled door to the corridor remains. Access to the linked studio wing is obtained through the [first floor] kitchen in the south-east corner. The plan form is repeated again on the second floor.

The purpose built studio is a two-storey building of rectangular plan-form with a series of three large storage rooms at ground floor, and the main top-lit studio space above at first floor. A square tower of two-storey height with a pyramidal tiled roof links the studio to the main dwelling. The studio was built in 1908 to designs by the Brock brothers, in a pared down Arts and Crafts style.

The studio is constructed in brick which has been painted and both the first floor walls and roof are clad in red clay tiles. There is also a box roof-light which straddles the ridge, for approximately half of its length.

A series of four plain arches form an arcade to the western elevation at ground floor which supports the upper storey. There are also timber entrance doors and horizontal sliding sash windows to ground floor. At first floor there are two pairs of horizontal sliding sash windows, each with twelve panes and a set of functioning timber shutters. There is a brick chimney stack to the southern flank elevation and an external stair allowing access to the first floor.

The three storage rooms at ground floor have plain interiors. The walls are painted brick, the only architectural feature being the brick piers which support the upper storey.

The first floor studio, rectangular in plan and top-lit, has an exposed coupled-rafter roof, which supports the box roof-light at the northern end. The original window-opening mechanism to the roof light remains in situ. The walls are panelled with horizontal, painted timber boarding and the window recesses are lined with painted timber. There is a large ceiling height window to the northern elevation. The original panelled door with finger plate, linking the studio with the main house, remains, and there is also a small ante room that is used as a kitchen, at the far north end of the studio, to which access is gained by stepping down through a hatch.

The earliest building is of the late C18, altered and extended in the later C19, with a studio added to the rear in 1908 to the designs of the Brock brothers. Original drawings for the building are held by the current owners.

There were four brothers in the Brock Family and all were talented artists who shared the studio in Madingley Road. Charles was the oldest and best known of the brothers who, having won his first book commission in 1891, became a very successful illustrator, winning commissions to illutrate editions of works by authors such as Jonathan Swift, Jane Austen, and George Eliot. Best known for his line work, he was also a skilled colourist producing numerous country scenes in both watercolour and oil and contributed many drawings to magazines and periodicals, most notably Punch. Brock occupied the studio until his death in 1938.

Clifford M Kelly: The Brocks - A Family of Cambridge Artists and Illustrators (1975)
Ian Rogerson: the Cambridge Family of Illustrators (1985)

No. 35 Madingley Road is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* This is a good example of a late C18 dwellinghouse of distinct architectural merit.
* There are good surviving features of historic interest, notably the main door, first floor fireplaces and a built-in corner cupboard.
* The building is unusual for its early C20 addition of a purpose built artists' studio.
* The building has historic association with the celebrated illustrators and artists, the Brock brothers, who lived and worked at the house in the early C20 and designed the studio addition.

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

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