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A Grade II Listed Building in South Hinksey, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.7229 / 51°43'22"N

Longitude: -1.2624 / 1°15'44"W

OS Eastings: 451045

OS Northings: 202943

OS Grid: SP510029

Mapcode National: GBR 7XZ.ZLZ

Mapcode Global: VHCXV.2YGL

Plus Code: 9C3WPPFQ+52

Entry Name: Overshot

Listing Date: 12 May 2000

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1380312

English Heritage Legacy ID: 480296

Location: South Hinksey, Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire, OX1

County: Oxfordshire

District: Vale of White Horse

Civil Parish: South Hinksey

Built-Up Area: Boars Hill

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: South Hinksey

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Tagged with: Building

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1697/7/10006 Hinksey Hill
12-MAY-00 (South side)


Private house. 1937 by Godfrey Samuel and Valentine Harding for the art historian Ellis Waterhouse. Book stack added c.1960-65. Light red brick clad in cedar weatherboarding to south (garden) elevation. Steel columns in hallway provide additional support. Low-pitched copper roof with deep eaves and end stacks. L-shaped plan. Two storeys, with later book stack of timber construction set over double garage, which has stores to rear, adjoining service rooms in wing. The principal rooms are in the four-bay main range.

The building is in the modern movement idiom, but using traditional materials. Sliding timber windows to south elevation. Balcony to south-east first-floor morning room, with set-back loggia under. Timber casement to north (entrance) elevation, with large square-paned hall window adjoining inset timber door, itself with glazed margin surrounds. This hall fa?ade, with its large, geometric windows and steel columns, was deliberately conceived as a modernist showcase for the building. Strip windows to corridor above. Timber doors to garage.

Interior with oak floors (except to former maid's room, which has pine), window sills, cupboards and library shelves, forming an unusually coherent composition of high quality joinery. Hall with built-in window seat. The library was the principal room in the house, with shelving, built-in drawers and fireplace. Dining room has sliding door to hall, hatch and cupboards, with two-way cutlery drawer, connected to kitchen. This was formerly the kitchen and pantry, but these are now united, although built-in cupboards and walk-in larder survive, the latter with pattern of openings in the exterior brickwork allowing ventilation. Staircase with metal balustrade. First-floor sitting room with balcony, fireplace and fitted oak bookshelves, with sliding door to adjoining bedroom, also with bookcase as well as fitted cupboards. Tiled bathrooms. Corridor with groin vault extended to added book stack set over garage, filled with bookcases.

Godfrey Samuel and Valentine Harding were founder members of Tecton, working with Berthold Lubetkin between 1933 and setting up their own practice in 1936. The house perfectly reflects the movement away from exposed reinforced concrete and flat roofs in favour of expressing the same tenets of simple elevations and functional planning using more traditional materials. This movement emerged in Britain in 1936-7 with the work of these architects, F R S Yorke, Mary Crowley and a handful of other young graduates from the Architectural Association. They thus created a modern architecture appropriate to the British climate. Anthony Chitty, Samuel Harding's AA contemporary and also formerly a member of Tecton wrote that 'Tecton gradually became aware of the fact aht modern construction and finishes had less margin of safety against weather, decay, etc. than more "traditional" materials and therefore required more money spent to produce as lasting an object. By 1936... some of us felt our work too bald, to ill-finished and in need of enrichment with colour, shadow, modulation and even applied ornament.' The house offers a model for 1950s design, and was much imitated a decade after its construction. It is also significant that an eminent art historian, specialising in the history of the Baroque, should choose to build a house in the modern style, commissioned from two of the most fashionable young designers of the day to specialise in private house design. The house is an interesting reflection of intellectual interests found in the 1930s, and is remarkably little altered, save for the added book stack.

F R S Yorke, The Modern House in England, 1939
Architectural Review, March 1939
Jeremy Gould, The Modern House, Society of Architectural Historians, 1977, p.23

Listing NGR: SP5104502943

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