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30 Storey's Way

A Grade II Listed Building in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.216 / 52°12'57"N

Longitude: 0.0998 / 0°5'59"E

OS Eastings: 543550

OS Northings: 259609

OS Grid: TL435596

Mapcode National: GBR L78.21B

Mapcode Global: VHHK2.PK3K

Entry Name: 30 Storey's Way

Listing Date: 18 May 1967

Last Amended: 22 December 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1343647

English Heritage Legacy ID: 47781

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

Small Arts and Crafts house built in 1914 to the designs of M. H. Baillie Scott. The bicycle shed, railings and porch on the north-east side, the small shed to the west of this, and the garage in the south-west corner of the garden are not included in the listing.

Description

Small Arts and Crafts house built in 1914 to the designs of M. H. Baillie Scott.

MATERIALS: brick covered in off-white rough-textured render with subtle variations in plane and plain red tile-hanging, and a roof covering of brownish-red plain tiles with bonnet tiles and red brick chimney stacks.

PLAN: the house has an approximately rectangular plan in which the reception rooms and loggia/ verandah are located along the south-west overlooking the garden, and the former service rooms are to the north and north-east.

The bicycle shed, railings and porch on the north-east side, the small shed to the west of this, and the garage in the south-west corner of the garden are not included in the listing.

EXTERIOR: the Arts and Crafts house has one storey and an attic within a complex and half-hipped roof which has laced valleys and a pronounced downward sweep to ground-floor level with exposed rafter feet at the eaves. A tall chimney stack rises from the south end on the south-west pitch which has water tabling and four tall circular pots; and a shorter stack rises through the ridge on the north end which has a small gabled roof masking the joint with the main roof. Both stacks have delicate oversailing courses. The fenestration consists of horizontal casements of a varying number of leaded lights in wooden frames set flush with the wall. The south-west garden frontage forms the principle elevation and is dominated by an off-centre half-hipped, tile-hung gable, lit on both floors by a five-light window, that on the ground-floor containing a single top-opening pane (as do two other windows on this elevation). The bays either side are lit by five-light windows, which are shorter in the left-hand bay, with half-hipped dormer windows above wholly in the roof space. These have laced valleys but the tiles are swept around the sides. On the left is a loggia/ verandah recessed under the roof which has an early C21 three-light window and vertical plank door, both in a replicated style, and a small original hatch. The right return contains a two-panelled door to the sitting room. The south-east gable end is tile-hung to the ground-floor which is lit by a two-light window on the right, and there is a four-light window above.

The north-east elevation, approached from the south-east entrance path, presents a pleasing roofscape of three stepped, progressively larger hipped gables. From the left, the first is a small dormer window, under which is a two-panelled front door; and the second is a larger gabled bay flush with the wall and lit by a three-light casement and a ground-floor two-light casement. This is followed by a projecting gabled bay, the left slope of which falls diagonally across the preceding bay. This contains the former tool store, larder etc and is lit on the ground floor by a slit window, a two-light and single-light casement, and on the upper floor by a three and then two-light casement. The left return has a two-light casement. The roof over the north corner of the house sweeps dramatically down over the former coal store to about a metre above ground level. The north-west elevation has, from the left, an early C21 vertical plank door (to the coal store) with a diagonal top to fit under the roofline, followed by the early C21 extension under a pentice roof, lit by the original three and four-light casements. The upper floor has a single and then a three-light casement set in the tile-hung gable head.

INTERIOR: every element of this fairly simple interior has been finely and thoughtfully crafted. The plaster on the walls and ceilings has a slightly rough texture rather than presenting a bland smoothness. There are no cornices, and the skirting boards are simple. Much of the joinery survives and is almost all painted, except for the wooden floorboards in the reception rooms which are tongued and grooved and of varying widths. Most of the doors are two-panelled and retain either brass lock cases with delicate drop handles or knob handles, whilst some doors to secondary rooms are plank and batten with strap hinges and upright handles. Two of the ground-floor panelled doors have had their upper panel replaced with bespoke contemporary stained glass.

The best preserved rooms are the sitting/ dining room and the study. The former has a large fireplace of white modelled decorative plasterwork with angled jambs. It is plain except for a simple mantleshelf and a frieze of great charm depicting a pastoral scene of infants playing in woodland. Divided into a triptych by tree trunks, the first panel shows boys at play, one in a tree-swing; the middle panel has boys dancing in a circle around a tree; and the last shows boys at rest, one sleeping in a hammock. The opening has a surround of iron that has been wrought into a pattern of grapes and vines with tendrils forming an intertwined border. At the north-west end of the room is a raised dining alcove with three sides of small square panelling, unpainted, with chamfered horizontal rails. The study has a chamfered bridging beam with basic stops, and a smaller fireplace also with angled jambs and of modelled plasterwork with a criss-cross pattern, the end panels depicting grapes, vines and tendrils, the middle ones roses with the date 1914, and the top ones fleur-de-lys. The opening has the same ironwork as that in the sitting room, and also a decorative fender.

The straight-flight stair has winders at the top and is of pine, painted white. It has a panelled spandrel, closed string and a moulded handrail supported by wide flat balusters edged with astragal moulding. The newel post has a rounded top from which flow astragal mouldings and it is surmounted by a ball finial. There is one remaining bedroom fireplace which has a plain plaster surround and opening with the grape and vine design. The service corridor is differentiated by having brick walls, painted white. The kitchen was reorganised in 2003 but the alcove for the former range remains.

The small shed to the west of the modern bicycle shed, and the garage in the south-west corner of the garden were built around fifty years ago and are all excluded from the listing.

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 roadway 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 many architects who are now considered to be amongst the finest of the late Victorian/ Edwardian age, notably M. H. Baillie Scott who designed nine houses in west Cambridge, E. S. Prior, J. J. Stephenson, and Ernest Newton.

30 Storey’s Way, originally known as Gryt-Howe, was built in 1913 at a cost of £800 for Professor Edmunds, a medieval historian, and his two sisters. It was designed by Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott (1865-1945), an eminent Arts and Crafts architect who designed thirteen houses in and around Cambridge (nine of which are listed), mostly for academics who appreciated his ability to create artistic, yet practical houses for various budgets. Baillie Scott was the eldest son of a minor but wealthy Scottish aristocrat and attended the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester before deciding to pursue an architectural career. He was articled to Major Charles E. Davis of Bath and in 1889 made a wedding trip the Isle of Man where he established a successful domestic practice. In his own house, the heavily half-timbered Red House in Douglas (1892-93), he used a new way of planning – in which the large hall, or ‘house place’ as he called it, was separated from the drawing and dining rooms by folding screens – thus allowing a fluid, adaptable living space that became a hallmark of his work.

Baillie Scott’s designs received extensive coverage in 'The Studio' from 1895, resulting in prolific commissions from clients all over England as well as the Continent. In 1901 he moved his practice to Bedford, the home of the Pyghtle Works, for whom he designed furniture, and he soon took on Arthur Edgar Beresford as his assistant. Baillie Scott’s fame spread even wider after the publication of 'Houses and Gardens' (1906) in which he illustrated his work and explained his ideas on house planning and design, focussing on the importance of function and drawing out the character of materials. In 1919 he re-established his practice in London, now in partnership with Beresford, and in 1933 they produced an updated 'Houses and Gardens' with photographs and plans, including those of Gryt-Howe. Baillie Scott is well represented on the statutory List which contains around sixty of his buildings, almost all houses, including five at Grade II*, and the Grade I listed Blackwell (1899) at Windermere, Cumbria, his finest surviving work in England and a masterpiece of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Some modifications were carried out to 30 Storey’s Way in 2003 by William Fawcett and Diane Haigh, Architects, mostly to the former service area at the north end of the house. On the ground floor, the wall between the kitchen and scullery was removed, a single-storey extension under a pentice roof was built to enlarge the kitchen on the north-west gable end, and a window and door were put in the south-west kitchen wall to provide direct access to the loggia/ verandah. Along the north-east side of the house, the cupboard and room labelled ‘tools’ on the original plan were made into one room, and the larder and scullery have been converted into a bathroom. On the upper floor, the north corner of the roof was extended outwards by one metre to create a bathroom from the original W.C., and the original bathroom on the north-east side was converted into a bedroom. The former dressing room to the principal bedroom on the south-west side has been converted into an ensuite bathroom, involving the boxing in of the original fireplace. The bicycle shed, railings and porch on the north-east side are a recent addition, although the original plan shows that there was intended to be a bicycle shed in this position. The small shed to the west of this, and the garage in the south-west corner of the garden were built around fifty years ago, the former using an original door from the house; none of these structures are included in the listing.

Reasons for Listing

30 Storey’s Way, built in 1914 to the designs of M. H. Baillie Scott, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Design: as one of Baillie Scott’s smaller houses, it aptly demonstrates his belief that such dwellings should be designed as a ‘roomy cottage’ rather than ‘a mansion in miniature’;
* Architectural interest: inspired by the architect’s love of old buildings which lull and soothe the spirit, the low sweep of the roof with its tall chimney stacks and profusion of gabled dormers conveys a sense of shelter and warmth, and the plan form provides an easeful fluidity of living space;
* Materials: the essential nature of the building materials are drawn out by thoughtful handling, so that the plaster on the walls retains its characteristic texture of subtle modifications, and the flowers and foliage on the modelled plasterwork of the fireplaces (one of the loveliest features in the house) give the impression of having ‘been coaxed from their white bed’;
* Architect: Baillie Scott is one of the most accomplished and prolific architects of the Arts and Crafts Movement and has around sixty listed buildings to his name;
* Context: the house 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 is one of an important cluster of five listed Baillie Scott houses in Storey’s Way with which it has considerable group value.

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