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Coval Court

A Grade II Listed Building in Sunningdale, Windsor and Maidenhead

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Latitude: 51.3869 / 51°23'12"N

Longitude: -0.6375 / 0°38'15"W

OS Eastings: 494902

OS Northings: 166202

OS Grid: SU949662

Mapcode National: GBR F9J.TYL

Mapcode Global: VHFTT.WDTM

Entry Name: Coval Court

Listing Date: 10 October 2006

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393227

English Heritage Legacy ID: 506903

Location: Sunningdale, Windsor and Maidenhead, SL5

County: Windsor and Maidenhead

Civil Parish: Sunningdale

Built-Up Area: Broomhall/Windlesham/Virginia Water

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Sunningdale

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text


599-1/0/10015 CROSS ROAD
10-OCT-06 Coval Court

Detached house, early C20 attributed to MH Baillie Scott, in the Arts and Craft style.

MATERIALS: Pebble dash rendered brick, tile roofs; timber casement windows.

PLAN: Broadly L-shaped with the main part of the house oriented north-west to south-east, with an added north wing.

EXTERIOR: There is no principal façade as all elevations are designed to be of interest although the north-east part of the house, the location of the service accommodation, is not as good architecturally. The exterior appears typical of Baillie Scott's work at this time, when he was governed by the principle of simple and unadorned exteriors with steep dominating roofs broken by as few small openings as possible. The roofs are steep, sweeping down to the ground floor in places and punctured by tall and plain rendered chimneys. They provide interest in their contrasting styles (hips and gables) and angles, with the addition of a stair turret to the north-west, all contributing to the organic feel beloved of the Arts and Craft Movement. Windows are plain timber casements with leaded lights and have no window cills; another device favoured by the architect to avoid the disruption of the building line. Projecting bay windows to the south-east and south-west elevations are the exception to this rule, deliberately employed to encourage view lines into the garden and to link the interior and exterior. The front door is to the north-west and is a solid broad planked and studded door with a central arched light covered by a grill and decorative door furniture. Baillie Scott paid great attention to detail in his designs, such that doors and iron furnishings, usually commissioned from the local blacksmith, are unique to each building. There is also a back door into the service end to the north-west and French doors lead from the drawing room into the garden. The latter appear to be a later addition, presumably when the verandah was added in the mid C20. Small areas of the exterior have different treatments, such as the half-timbered and smooth rendered south-east elevation of the north wing. Half-timbering is a device used by Baillie Scott, but smooth render is not typical of his work, perhaps suggesting that this façade has been remodelled, although the wing is an early addition to the house (see below). Small areas of tile hanging, on the north-west elevation on a hipped dormer window and on the north-east elevation adjacent to the stair tower, also add interest.

Coval Court has had some additions and alterations since first erected. The house has been enlarged with a northern wing added to enhance the accommodation. This was completed very early in the life of the building (pre-1915 on the evidence of historic mapping) and is in a complementary style; probably by the same architect. The house may have experienced some limited re-modelling at the same time, possibly including the re-decoration of the dining hall. A mid C20 verandah has also been added, wrapping around the southeastern corner of the house; also a store at the north-west corner of the house, to the north of the original store and pantry, probably of about the same date. This has resulted in rather awkward entrance arrangements to the back door of the house. The verandah and store extension are not of special interest.

INTERIOR: The accommodation is over three floors. The entrance hall has in-built panelled cupboards with original ironwork. This opens into spacious and decorative living accommodation comprising a drawing room, dining hall and what is now known as the billiard room. The drawing room has a decorative plaster ceiling, which is divided into diamonds with foliate panels. A repeated foliate design is also used on the beams and cornice. There is a moulded fire surround with a modern fire inserted, a window seat in the east wall, as well as French windows (which are a later addition) leading into the garden. The dining hall has a similar decorative plaster ceiling, but the walls are in wood panelling with paired Tudor-style arches forming its north wall and dividing it from the adjacent hall and stairs. Evidence within a cupboard between the dining hall and the kitchen suggests that the panelling is an early addition and that the walls were originally in a burgundy paint colour scheme. There is an original brick fireplace with a round arched opening. The billiard room is also wood panelled (with diminishing sizes of panels) and there is a further broader arch dividing the room and another above the inglenook fireplace in the west wall. This inglenook is decorated with Delft tiles. The central fireplace is a replacement. The ground floor exhibits a range of attractive original iron window and door furniture, as well as iron lanterns in the dining hall and billiard room. The service rooms are all grouped towards the north-west of the house and comprise a kitchen, pantry, laundry and store room. There is also a toilet and a boiler room, both accessed from the garden. The kitchen is the most altered having modern units and flooring. However, the pantry and laundry have Belfast sinks, the latter with an integral scrubbing board. The scullery, which had a Belfast sink and Delft tile splash back, was removed circa late 2006 to enlarge the kitchen accommodation.

The dog-leg staircase is in the centre of the house between the dining room, billiard room and kitchen. It has plain balusters and a storey-height square newel post. The first floor houses a number of bedrooms and bathrooms. There are three marble sinks with marble splash-backs; two are by Royal Doulton and the third by John Bolding & Sons, Grosvenor Works, London. The main bathroom has a marble floor. There are two fireplaces on the first floor: one in the master bedroom is of marble with a wooden surround and inserted gas fire; the other, in the north wing, is also in marble with an inserted gas fire. The former pebble-dashed external wall can be viewed internally at first floor level, confirming the addition of the north wing. A very steep stair provides access to three attic rooms above. Two have similar small fireplaces of typical Baillie Scott form, with surrounds decorated with a trio of circular rose medallions and iron grates; one has a glazed red-tiled hearth. Original window and door furniture is also found on the upper floors although there has been some replacement, particularly where internal glazing units have been fitted to windows necessitating the removal of the window latches.

HISTORY: Coval Court is believed to have been built by MH Baillie Scott at some time between about 1900 and 1904. Baillie Scott was an eminent architect of the Arts & Crafts style, an English aesthetic reformist movement which was at its height between approximately 1880 and 1910. The movement influenced not only architecture but also garden design, decorative arts and crafts, and furniture design, and was a reaction against a perceived soulless machination and a return to quality craftsmanship in an affordable manner. Baillie Scott was a prolific architect in this genre with over 300 designs to his name, although not all of these were realised. Baillie Scott initially lived and practised on the Isle of Man with his earliest commissions dating to the 1890s. Between 1902 and 1914 he practised from Fenlake Manor, a small cottage outside Bedford, and it is during this period that he was at the height of his reputation, having matured his style, and where he produced some of his most characteristic work.

Baillie Scott designed a number of properties in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in the early C20 including Greenways (1906), Elvetham Lodge (c1906-9), a house in Devenish Road (c1906-9) and made alterations and additions to the Ridgemont Estate (c1909). It had been assumed that his first property in the area was Heather Cottage in 1904-6, although Coval Court may pre-date or be contemporary with this house. (An inventory for the lease of the Coval Court land dated December 1904 describes a newly built house here.) Heather Cottage (now demolished) was a bungalow, which had an integral Baillie Scott garden design, and was built on a plot adjacent and to the south-west of the Coval Court site. Regrettably there are no published or unpublished drawings or documents relating to Coval Court although architecturally it is typical of his work. However, it is worth noting that the architect left virtually no documentation other than his published works, as a serious fire destroyed the contents of his Bedford office in 1911 and further damage was caused to the contents of his later London office during the Blitz.

SOURCES: MH Baillie Scott (1906), Houses and Gardens: Arts and Crafts Interiors
MH Baillie Scott and A E Beresford (1933), Houses and Gardens
D Haigh (1995), Baillie Scott: The Artistic House
JD Kornwolf (1972), MH Baillie Scott and the Arts and Crafts Movement

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: Coval Court, Cross Road, Sunningdale is a detached Arts and Crafts House of early C20 date. It is listed for the following principal reasons:
* Of special architectural interest as a detached house in the Arts & Crafts style with interesting exterior massing and plan, and with good surviving historic interiors of some quality, including panelling, decorative plasterwork, a number of fireplaces and decorative iron door and window furniture;
* A house which is attributed to the architect MH Baillie Scott, one of the most eminent Arts and Crafts architects, from his most respected period of work.

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

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