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Latitude: 51.3335 / 51°20'0"N
Longitude: 0.7354 / 0°44'7"E
OS Eastings: 590649
OS Northings: 162933
OS Grid: TQ906629
Mapcode National: GBR RTD.6RT
Mapcode Global: VHKJL.PRN3
Plus Code: 9F328PMP+C5
Entry Name: Spicer Homes
Listing Date: 1 April 2009
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1393109
English Heritage Legacy ID: 505549
Location: Woodstock, Swale, Kent, ME10
Electoral Ward/Division: Woodstock
Parish: Non Civil Parish
Built-Up Area: Sittingbourne
Traditional County: Kent
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent
Tagged with: Architectural structure
366/0/10006 BELL ROAD
Former almshouses, now houses. Built in 1930, the architect John P Bishop FRIBA and the builders John P Bishop and Sons. Built in a Neo-Vernacular C17 style with Arts and Crafts influences.
MATERIALS: Good quality narrow, random bond, local brickwork with tumbling-in to the gables, tile-on-edge decoration to the plinth, and plain tiled roofs with brick chimneystacks with moulded tops and some hipped dormers. Original metal-framed casement windows throughout with original fastenings in brick surrounds, some with relieving arches, with sloping cills.
PLAN: An L-shaped plan with north and east ranges linked to a former water tower in the north east corner. Originally there were thirteen single storey almshouses and a warden's house of two storeys at the westernmost part of the north range, which has since become another of the homes. The former warden's house is larger and modified butterfly plan. The almshouses are of three distinct types, Nos 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11and 14 having projecting gables with entrances in the sides, Nos 8, 9, 12 and 13 having recessed loggias and Nos 2 and 5 plain fronts. Each almshouse consists of a bedroom, living room and kitchen.
EXTERIOR: No. 1, originally the warden's house, has gables with kneelers facing west and south and between them. facing south-west. a central full-height splayed bay. Under the first floor window is a large plaque inscribed "SPICER HOMES FOUNDED 1930". Below is a doorcase with flatleaded weather-hood with decorative iron ties connecting the hood and the wall. There is a two-light casement on the ground floor on each side of the doorcase. The west gable has a three-light casement to the first floor and a five-light canted bay with hipped tiled roof to the ground floor. The south gable has a four-light casement to the first floor and a three- light casement below. The principal front of the north range of almshouses faces south and Nos 2-6 have eight tripartite caseeemnt windows, one window to Nos 3, 4 and 6 in a projecting gable with kneelers, Nos 3 and 4 having a paired gable with a metal plaque with the amalgamated initials S and H, date 1930 and they have a more elaborate ribbed brick chimneystack. Beneath the plaque is a round-headed arch with keystone leading to the rear of the properties. Nos 2 and 5 have a hipped dormer and doorcase beneath it. Nos 3, 4 and 6 have entrances at the sides of the gables. Between Nos 6 and 7 is a splayed entrance with a keystone with impost blocks and plaque inscribed "THESE HOMES WERE ERECTED AS A MEMORIAL TO THE LATE JULIA SPICER, FORMERLY OF THIS TOWN, OUT OF MONEYS FORMING PART OF HER ESTATE, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH HER WISHES" and has the names of the two trustees, Walter R Elgar and F Austen Bensted. Behind is the corner two-storey square brick building with a pyramidal roof surmounted by decorative metal weathervane and plank door, which is set diagonally and contained the water tank on the first floor and storage below. The eastern range, comprising Nos 7-14 incorporates four gables to Nos 7, 10, 11 and 14 of which Nos 10 and 11 are paired, like Nos 3 and 4. Nos 8 and 9 and 12 and 13 incorporate a recessed loggia with four brick piers. A further plaque in the gable of No. 14 records the architect John P Bishop, the surveyor W Shapland Cowper and the builder Geo. Bowes and sons. The rear sides of the two ranges are of similar character to the front but plainer with casement windows and rear doors.
INTERIOR: The former warden's house retains the original dogleg staircase with stick balusters and the dining room retains the original wooden fireplace. There is a timber panelled internal porch. The other properties are likely to retain six-panelled doors, wooden fireplaces and low level built-in cupboards to the living room and built-in cupboards with double doors to the bedrooms. Originally the attics above the individual almshouses were linked but partitions were later inserted between the individual properties for fire regulations.
HISTORY: The almshouses were erected in 1930 as a memorial to Mrs Julia Spicer out of a bequest from her estate. They first appear on the Ordnance Survey map of 1938 and the footprint remains unaltered. At a later date they were acquired first by the local council and then by a housing association.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
* They are carefully designed asymmetrical Neo-Vernacular C17 style purpose-built former almshouses of 1930 built of good quality brickwork;
* The complex survives intact externally, including the casement windows with leaded lights, the internal plan forms are intact and there is some survival of original doors and fireplaces, and the staircase to the former warden's house;
* Almshouses are a rare building type in the area and there is only one other listed example of inter-war almshouses in Kent, that designed by E Guy Dawber in Rochester, of 1926 with further range of 1932;
* Although the architect, John P Bishop, is not well known these almshouses are of a comparable standard to three other listed Inter-War almshouses in England;
* Spicer Homes forms part of a group with the listed cemetery buildings across the road.
Spicer Homes are designated for listing at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* They are of special architectural merit as carefully designed asymmetrical Neo-Vernacular C17 style purpose-built almshouses of 1930, built in good quality narrow brickwork;
* The complex survives intact externally, including the casement windows with leaded lights, the original plan form and with some survival of original doors and fireplaces, and the staircase;
* Almshouses are a rarity in the area, and the only listed example of inter-war almshouses in Kent is a particularly early listing of 1926 with a range added in 1932;
* Although the architect, John P Bishop, is not well known these almshouses are of a comparable standard to three other listed Inter-War almshouses in England, one of which has not been attributed to a named architect;
* They form part of a group with the Grade II listed cemetery buildings across the road.
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