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Arkholme

A Grade II Listed Building in North Middleton, Rochdale

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.5568 / 53°33'24"N

Longitude: -2.1966 / 2°11'47"W

OS Eastings: 387072

OS Northings: 406702

OS Grid: SD870067

Mapcode National: GBR FW39.7Q

Mapcode Global: WHB93.7V7N

Entry Name: Arkholme

Listing Date: 4 October 2007

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391983

English Heritage Legacy ID: 503613

Location: Rochdale, M24

County: Rochdale

Electoral Ward/Division: North Middleton

Built-Up Area: Middleton (Rochdale)

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Middleton St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Manchester

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Middleton

Description

335/0/10070

TOWNCROFT AVENUE
1, Arkholme

04-OCT-07

GV
II
Photographic Studio of 1901 by Edgar Wood, adapted to a house in 1905.

MATERIALS: brick and reinforced concrete construction with roof tiles; stone capping to parapet and chimneys; weather-boarded bay windows.

PLAN: east-west rectangular range with a projecting wing to the north and two to the south.

EXTERIOR: North Elevation: two storeys and three bays constructed of brick under a steeply pitched tiled roof. The entrance bay to the left is projecting with a flat roof of reinforced concrete. The stone-capped parapet has a pair of diaper crosses and it is slightly raised in the centre. The main entrance contains a boarded door with four-light panes above and is protected by a large wooden canopy with diagonal struts and a simple wrought iron stay. There is a small casement with a simple red brick arch to the left and a four-light first floor casement. A large ten-light casement window at ground level to the right lights the main studio, which would have relied on natural north light and above this, there are two three-light casements set immediately under the eaves; all windows are flush with the walls and all have leaded glass. A single storey garage attached to the right is a 1950s addition and is not of special interest.

South Elevation: formed by a full width flat roofed extension to the main house with a parapet wall capped in stone; brick chimney to the right hand bay. It has two storeys and two bays with a large ground floor canted bay and similar smaller bay to the right. At first floor there is a six-light oriel window and a three-light casement flush with the walls. Traces of an original, now blocked, first floor casement window are visible. The windows on this side are mostly 1950s insertions, intended to give the building a southerly aspect. A single storey flat roofed service range projects from the right with an original doorway, now blocked, and two inserted doorways. Attached to the south elevation there is a small terrace defined by low brick walls with brick pillars and stone cappings either side of a set of circular steps (not in situ) formed of paving slabs.

East Elevation: angular with a steeply pinched central gable and flat roofed extensions to either side; scattered leaded fenestration including a stair window and a double height canted bay window with art nouveau motifs.

West Elevation: angular with a pitched roof to the left and a flat roof to the right with a central chimney stack. A large external chimney obscures most original fenestration.

INTERIOR: the wall surfaces are mainly green distemper with cream ceilings, which is thought to be the original photographic studio d├ęcor. A small cloakroom immediately to the left of the entrance lobby contains an original toilet and cistern. The entrance hall retains the form of the former waiting area, now with full height lincrusta panelling, and the main studio is entered to the right through large double doors. A stair rises in the corner of the waiting area to the first floor and is also decorated with lincrusta panels. The main studio has a central fireplace in Sicilian black marble with an alcove to the right and a blocked alcove to the left containing a later cupboard. The present dining room has a simple plaster briar ceiling rose and modern fireplace. The kitchen and scullery in a single storey range to the rear retain what are considered original wooden cupboards with glass doors, which probably held photographic chemicals. A cellar below, now accessed from the understairs cupboard was heated and is believed to be the location of an original dark room.

The first floor has four main rooms, accessed off a central narrow corridor with a partially coved ceiling; in the 1920s these rooms were used as two bedrooms, a maid's room and a dressing room. The smaller of the rooms have original corner fireplaces and coved ceilings. Documents show that a lavatory was added in c.1920; this has a wooden cistern and contemporary sanitary ware.

HISTORY: This building now known as Arkholme, but formerly called The Studio was constructed as a photographic studio in 1901 for the Jackson photographic business. It was designed by the nationally renowned architect Edgar Wood (1860-1935) and is his first overtly modern design and the first of his buildings to use flat reinforced concrete roofs. Wood was born and educated in Middleton, Rochdale. After qualifying as an architect in 1885, he established a practice in Middleton and then subsequently at Oldham and Manchester. The studio represents an early example of Wood's pioneer modernism phase in which he experimented with austere facades and reinforced concrete; some of his buildings during this time are considered examples of very early Modern architecture. During his career, Wood designed many highly regarded buildings including the Grade II* listed Long Street Methodist Church, Middleton (1899), the Grade I listed First Church of Christ Scientist, Manchester (1903-7), Grade II* listed Halecroft (1890) and the Grade II* listed Durnford Street Infant's School

In 1905, The Studio became the home of Charles Jackson and was subsequently occupied from the 1920s until 2007 by the Taylor Family who carried out few alterations during this time. Limited decorative refurbishment occurred in the 1920s which included the modernisation of the electrical system throughout the building, the addition of lincrusta panelling in the hall and stairs, and a new first floor lavatory. A small lean-to building was demolished in c.1930 and a new garage erected. In the 1950s the fenestration of the south elevation was altered by the addition of two ground floor bay windows, the blocking of a first floor casement and the insertion of an oriel window. A new projecting external chimney stack was also constructed for the installation of a central fireplace in what had become the dining room.

SOURCES: Clare Hartwell, Matthew Hyde and Nikolaus Pevsner, Buildings of England. Edgar (1860-1935, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2005 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/61675, accessed 5 July 2007]; Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary by A. Stuart Gray.

REASON FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: This early C20 photographic studio, now a house is designated for the following principal reasons:

* It displays a high level of architectural interest in terms of its
form and materials
* It is a transitional and early example of modernism by the celebrated
architect Edgar Wood, which anticipates his later more developed work
* It has a virtually intact original interior and plan
* The early use of reinforced concrete flat roofs shows innovation
in construction
* Relatively intact examples of photographic studios are not common and
this is an interesting example
* It has group value with four adjacent houses also by Edgar Wood all
of which are listed in Grade II

Reasons for Listing

This early C20 photographic studio, now a house, is designated, for the following principal reasons:

* It displays a high level of architectural interest in terms of its
simple form and use of materials
* It is a transitional and early example of modernism by the
celebrated architect Edgar Wood, which anticipates his later
more developed work
* It has a virtually intact original interior and plan
* The early use of reinforced concrete flat roofs shows
innovation in construction
* Relatively intact examples of photographic studios are not
common and this is an interesting example whose form
reflects its function
* It has group value with four adjacent houses also designed
by Edgar Wood all of which are listed in Grade II

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