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Cotteswold House

A Grade II Listed Building in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.708 / 51°42'28"N

Longitude: -2.1916 / 2°11'29"W

OS Eastings: 386857

OS Northings: 201043

OS Grid: SO868010

Mapcode National: GBR 1MZ.YJ1

Mapcode Global: VH954.YBRJ

Entry Name: Cotteswold House

Listing Date: 10 September 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1420240

Location: Minchinhampton, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6

County: Gloucestershire

District: Stroud

Civil Parish: Minchinhampton

Built-Up Area: Minchinhampton

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Minchinhampton with Box

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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A detached house in Cotswold Arts and Crafts style, built in 1912 to designs by Ernest Barnsley (1863-1936), for E Palmer-Bowen. The wall separating the front and rear gardens, and the garage, are excluded from the listing.


A detached house in Cotswold Arts and Crafts style, built in 1912 to designs by Ernest Barnsley (1863-1936), for E Palmer-Bowen. The wall separating the front and rear gardens, and the garage, are excluded from the listing.

The house is constructed from locally-quarried Cotswold limestone with Cotswold stone slate roofs and stone-mullioned windows. The tiles to one of the rear slopes have been replaced.

The plan is irregular, with principal rooms to either side of a central entrance hall, a stair hall beyond and service rooms set within a rear range.

The building is of two storeys, with chamfered stone mullioned windows of one, two, or three lights, and rectangular leaded glazing; there are gables to all elevations. The service range to the east is slightly lower than the main range, and is set further back. To the main range, the principal elevation, formerly the garden front, has three bays of slightly different widths. The left and right bays are gabled and project forward, with the entrance bay set back between them. The double entrance doors are set inside a porch with a four-centred arched, chamfered opening, with a gabled dormer window above. There is a rectangular ridge stack between the central and right-hand bays, and at the left gable end, the external stack has two circular chimneys similar to those used by Barnsley at Rodmarton Manor. The attic has louvred ventilators. At the eastern end, the rear range projects eastward, and in the re-entrant angle between the two ranges, there is a curved projection recalling a newel stair (though in fact housing the downstairs lavatory). The main range ends in a gable with a trefoil ventilator, and there are further gabled dormers to the service range. The eastern end of the service range has a wide gable with slightly upturned eaves; two ground-floor windows with segmental-arched heads replace earlier doors. The irregular rear elevation has three gabled bays projecting to various degrees and of varying widths. A small half-glazed porch has been added around the kitchen door. A two-storey extension dating from the 1930s has been inserted in the re-entrant angle between the two ranges towards the western end.

The ground-floor rooms have exposed chamfered beams with broach stops. The doors are plank doors with moulded edges, studding, decorative strap hinges and elaborate door furniture, almost certainly made at Alfred Bucknell’s workshop in Sapperton, as are the window catches. The entrance hall has a blocked, splayed opening to the north which was formerly the main entrance. The principal ground-floor rooms have stone fireplaces with moulded openings and mantelpieces. The rear sitting room has a plain early-C20 timber surround with high uprights, and a plank-doored cupboard to the recess. The study has C20 finishes, as does the kitchen. The stair in the inner hall has chamfered splat balusters identical to those used by Ernest Barnsley and Norman Jewson elsewhere in the area; the curtail step has been slightly extended. The first-floor rooms have stone fireplaces with brick inserts which are similar to those to the ground floor, but on a smaller scale.


Cotteswold House, originally called Highcroft, was constructed on the edge of Minchinhampton Common in 1912. The house was designed by Ernest Barnsley (1863-1936). Barnsley moved from his native Birmingham to London in 1886, joining the firm of J D Sedding, where Ernest Gimson was already in training; his brother Sidney Howard Barnsley (1865-1926) made the same journey and joined Norman Shaw’s office. They thus came into contact with progressive exponents of the Arts and Crafts movement, in which they were to become important figures. In 1892, Ernest, his brother Sidney, and Ernest Gimson resolved to move to the country, and settled in the Cotswolds, first at Ewen near Cirencester, and later at nearby Pinbury Park. They set up their own craft workshops, first at Pinbury but later and more permanently at Daneway House in Sapperton, where the medieval and C17 manor provided suitable inspiration and showroom space for their furnishings, which were designed in a style which revived rural crafts and forms and created an Arts and Crafts movement in the Cotswolds in the period. Their work extended to architecture, in a Cotswold vernacular style which continued the tradition of gabled buildings with Cotswold stone slate roofs and tooled limestone dressings. The Barnsley brothers’ work as architects and designers is renowned; Ernest Barnsley designed the Grade I listed Rodmarton Manor for the Hon Claude Biddulph, and both Ernest and Sidney made good-quality alterations and additions to many other buildings in the area, many of which are listed due to the interest they derive from their connections with the Barnsleys, as well as numerous new buildings.

Ernest Barnsley was commissioned to build Cotteswold House, originally named ‘Highcroft’, by E Palmer-Bowen, a banker with Lloyds Bank in Swansea. Planning permission was sought by Barnsley for the house, which was completed in 1912. It was situated in its own large grounds on previously undeveloped land at the edge of Minchinhampton Common. The current main elevation was originally the garden front, and the house was approached from the west side. It was later (circa 1930s) owned by Dr Brown, after whom the approach road is named; the study was added to the western side to act as his consulting room, keeping the part of the house used by patients separate from the living area.

In the later C20, the grounds of the house, and further fields to the south and east, were sold off for building, and a small development of large detached houses was constructed on the former gardens to the south. The cul-de-sac thus created was named Highcroft, and the original house was renamed Cotteswold House. The garden front became the main front, with the smaller area of land to the north retained as a garden and the original driveway lawned over in favour of a new approach from the south. A small glazed porch was added to the north side in the same period, and in the early C21, the first-floor windows were changed for double-glazed examples with leading and window furniture to match the originals. The outbuildings to the north-west of the house were demolished and a late-C20 double garage constructed.

Reasons for Listing

Cotteswold House, formerly Highcroft, a Cotswold Arts and Crafts house built in 1912 to designs by Ernest Barnsley, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural quality: both externally and internally the house shows considerable care in its design both in its massing and elevations, and in the attention to small details, and this is borne out in the execution of its construction;
* Architectural interest: as a good example of the work of Ernest Barnsley, recognised as one of the most significant architects of the second wave of the Arts and Crafts movement;
* Interior: the house retains its good-quality, Arts and Crafts interior fittings almost entirely intact;
* Intactness: although there has been some alteration to secondary areas, the principal spaces remain generally as designed, with little disturbance to their essential appearance.

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