History in Structure

4 Water Lane

A Grade II Listed Building in Richmond upon Thames, London

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Latitude: 51.4594 / 51°27'33"N

Longitude: -0.3069 / 0°18'24"W

OS Eastings: 517721

OS Northings: 174744

OS Grid: TQ177747

Mapcode National: GBR 75.Z56

Mapcode Global: VHGR2.MLL1

Plus Code: 9C3XFM5V+Q6

Entry Name: 4 Water Lane

Listing Date: 13 October 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1430206

ID on this website: 101430206

Location: Richmond upon Thames, London, TW9

County: London

District: Richmond upon Thames

Electoral Ward/Division: South Richmond

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Richmond upon Thames

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Richmond

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

Tagged with: Building

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Small terraced house, thought to date largely from the early-C19, but probably incorporating earlier fabric. The mid-C20 single-storey rear extensions are not of special interest.


MATERIALS: brick (the brickwork to the front elevation is painted), laid in irregular Flemish bond. The rear elevation is rendered. There is a slate roof and brick stack.

PLAN: the internal plan has a single room to the ground-floor, first floor and garret, with the stair rising in the north-east corner. There is a shallow mid-C20 extension to the rear, spanning the width of the house, with a later toilet extension to the east; these extensions are not of special interest and are excluded from the listing.

EXTERIOR: the east-facing street frontage has a single window to both the ground and first floors, with a central dormer to the attic. The entrance, placed to the north, is narrow, with a cambered arch. The door, reached by a single step, is a C19 replacement. Both window openings have slightly cambered arches – the arch of the first-floor window is very slight. The ground-floor window has eight-over-eight unhorned sash frames set back within the opening, probably dating from the first part of the C19. An additional outer groove in the sash box appears to indicate that the window formerly had sliding vertical shutters, though this may be the result of the new window being placed within the old sash box. Indentations for hinges indicate that there were also at one time hinged shutters. The eight-over-eight sash frame in the first-floor window is probably also early-C19. The parapet is stepped forward. The gable window frame is C20, probably in an earlier setting. A section of particularly irregular brickwork below the ground-floor window may indicate the blocking-up of the cellar light. The rear elevation is rendered above the C20 lean-to. There is a vertical indentation rising through the west side of this elevation, which is reflected in the interior, and may relate to a partial rebuilding of this section. The stack, rising to the west between this and No. 6 Water Lane, appears to have been partially rebuilt, possibly in connection with rebuilding work at No. 6. This elevation of No. 4 has two small central window openings, lighting the stair enclosure on the first floor, and the garret. Both openings have replacement window frames, the upper one apparently being part of a sash frame adapted to the space.

The brick lean-to has a pantiled roof. The later toilet extension has a monopitched roof with a corrugated metal covering.

INTERIOR: the front door opens into the ground-floor room. The plain stone chimneypiece with timber shelf is thought to date from the early C19. To right of the fireplace is a two-door cupboard incorporating adzed C18 panels. There is a section of C19 vertical boarded panelling to the back wall, covering the indentation. The planked back door is probably C18 or early-C19, with a later small glazed opening and other alterations. The iron strap hinges and latch may be original, despite the use of later screws. On the north side of the door are carved the initials ‘MT’. The skirting here, and in much of the rest of the house, is probably early-C19. A strip of applied dado rail and one of picture rail on the north wall is late-C20. The stair, which is probably early-C19, rises in the north-east corner, enclosed by vertical boarded panelling with a beaded edging to the boards; there has been some replacement of panelling in the C20. Beneath the stair, on the ground floor, is a cupboard with its original door. Much of the stair panelling to the ground floor has been replaced, as has the door to the stair enclosure, possibly with re-use of the original hinges. The stair rises straight from the ground floor, with winders in the north-east corner. On the first floor, the stair enclosure forms an angled partition, with an opening into the first-floor room. In this room is an early-C19 timber chimneypiece with a beaded detail to the opening; the shelf may be a replacement. The fireplace retains a C19 Pantheon hob-grate. A moulded window surround has been added in the C19 to the main window opening in this room. An exposed beam and wall-plate in this room have been carved with chamfers and stops in the C20. On the attic floor, the stairwell is enclosed by a C20 balustrade. In the attic room, the roof structure has been covered, though the wall-plate is exposed, as is part of the altered eastern truss. There is a small C19 chimneypiece in this room, probably with a later shelf. The chimneybreast is decorated with mid-C20 magazine covers; this decoration was done in the late C20. The building’s cellar has been filled in.

The rear extension*, on the site of an earlier extension, contains the kitchen and bathroom, the partition between the two having been removed; the later toilet extension* is to the east.

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the aformentioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.


The development of the site on which the building now known as No. 4 Water Lane stands is not fully understood. The house forms part of a surviving row of four houses (now numbers 2-8 Water Lane, perhaps built as watermen’s dwellings; the south end of Water Lane meets the River Thames. Whilst rate book entries suggest that terraced housing was present on the site in the 1720s, and a map of 1771 shows houses lining both sides of Water Lane, the row has evidently undergone substantial alteration and rebuilding since that time. On stylistic grounds, the street elevation and much of the interior of No. 4 appears to date from the early C19, though the building may incorporate substantial earlier fabric; it is understood that tiles survive under the present floor, being one indication of an earlier phase. In the C19 the house is understood to have belonged to William Collins, owner of Collins’ Brewery (now the Slug and Lettuce pub, and listed as Warehouse on corner of Water Lane and Riverside), standing at the south-east corner of Water Lane; the house may have been used for employee accommodation and the building may have undergone changes in association with that use. A rear extension is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1867; this was replaced in the C20, and a further small extension was later added.

Reasons for Listing

No. 4 Water Lane, a house thought to date largely from the early-C19, but probably incorporating earlier fabric, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Date: as a building in which the great majority of the fabric pre-dates 1840;
* Historic interest: as a very modest dwelling in the centre of Richmond, thought to have connections both with the commerce of the nearby river, and the adjacent historic brewery;
* Interior: the interior, thought to date largely from the early C19, retains its single-room plan, with a corner stair enclosed by partitioning, as well as chimneypieces, windows, and skirting;
* Rarity: it is rare to find such a modest interior of this date, largely unchanged, especially in what is now an urban and developed area;
* Group value: with the former Collins’ brewery building, listed at Grade II, the White Cross Hotel, the Old Ship public house, and with other nearby listed buildings.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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