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Front Range of Broadoaks Motor House

A Grade II Listed Building in Woking, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.3382 / 51°20'17"N

Longitude: -0.4958 / 0°29'45"W

OS Eastings: 504873

OS Northings: 160979

OS Grid: TQ048609

Mapcode National: GBR 0Q.KN9

Mapcode Global: VHFV3.CM7G

Plus Code: 9C3X8GQ3+7M

Entry Name: Front Range of Broadoaks Motor House

Listing Date: 15 September 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1435484

Location: Byfleet and West Byfleet, Woking, Surrey, KT14

County: Surrey

Electoral Ward/Division: Byfleet and West Byfleet

Built-Up Area: Woking

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: West Byfleet

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Front range of a courtyard-plan motor house, built c1905.


Front range of a courtyard-plan motor house, built c1905.

MATERIALS: the building is of red brick construction with limestone dressings; the bricks are laid in Flemish bond. Windows are a mixture of timber-framed and metal-framed casements, with square leaded quarries. Roofs are of red clay tile.

PLAN: the building has a long, narrow footprint (being the front range of a square, courtyard-plan complex), and faces west.

It is single storey, with a central two-storey frontispiece. This has chauffeur’s accommodation over a central carriageway, flanked to either side by single-storey wings. The scale and finish of the rooms suggest they were mainly given over to the needs of resident and visiting staff (with the open-plan north and south ranges, not included in the listing, given over to garaging and repair of the vehicles).

EXTERIOR: executed in an Arts and Crafts style, the building has hipped and half-hipped roofs with exposed rafter feet and decorative brick cogging on the north and south half-gables. Ground-floor window openings have segmental arches formed of a double row of headers, with sills and tympana of layered clay tile.

The building is centred on the two-storey frontispiece, which has swept corners and projects forward of the flanking wings. The arch of the central carriageway is dressed and buttressed with moulded limestone and flanked by two small windows. Above, a row of six lights are set within a dressed stone frame, and flanked by two further openings – originally both windows, one has been replaced with a door giving access to a metal fire-escape stair. The composition rises to a shaped, gable-ended, clock-tower, which breaks through the eaves of the hipped roof. The roof too has swept corners and, to either side on the return, drops into a catslide to form a pair of roof dormers over the single-storey side wings. Two tall brick stacks with stepped heads rise over the dormers. The side wings have half-hipped roofs and the windows are leaded timber casements. The windows in the south wing have been replaced, but the openings are original – their smaller proportion and greater height, combined with a small vent in the roof, perhaps suggesting there could have been stabling for horses within.

INTERIOR: the chauffeur’s accommodation on the first floor is simply finished, but retains original joinery. There is a central unheated room over the arch, and two flanking rooms with Arts and Crafts style cast iron fireplaces (the fireplace to the north has been removed from the opening, but remains in the room). Within the carriageway, although not currently fixed in place, are the original carriageway doors; these are of timber and have a concave head, so when shut as a pair, they form a curve opposing the arch above them. The doors each have six fielded panels and decorative studwork. Several of the ground floor rooms are lined in maroon glazed tiles, and the one to the far north is lined with vertical, three-quarter-height, match-boarding and has a parquet floor. This room has a shallow wall-mounted cupboard with glass doors. The purpose of the cupboard is unknown, but its construction and decorative joinery indicates that it is original. A quantity of service pipework runs within the adjoining room and outer lobby; the crudeness of its installation points to it being a later addition.


The motor house at Broadoaks is one of several ancillary buildings originally constructed to serve this small country house on the edge of West Byfleet in Surrey. Broadoaks (listed Grade II), was built in 1876 to the designs of Ernest Seth Smith (1852-1940) for his elder brother, Charles Edward Seth Smith. The building was substantially extended in 1905-6 under the ownership of the wealthy Scottish businessman, industrialist, and Liberal politician Sir Charles Tennant, and his wife Marguerite. Tennant died in 1906 but Marguerite remained at the house, and was joined the following year by a new husband, Major Geoffery Lubbock. The house was sold in 1911 to the Charrington family, and then in 1946 to the Ministry of Supply. The house remained in government ownership until the early C21.

Mapping evidence indicates that a number of the ancillary buildings in the grounds of Broadoaks were constructed between 1897 and 1914, including the motor house and the east lodge (which are almost certainly contemporary with one another), the model dairy (listed Grade II), and two summer houses in the garden. What is not known is whether these were all built as part of a single programme or, more likely, added gradually in the period of 17 years between the dates of the mapping, and across the Tennant/Lubbock/Charrington ownership.

The period between 1897 and 1914 was one in which car ownership grew enormously. From fewer than ten registered car owners in 1895, to 150,000 by 1912; by 1914 there would have been few families with country houses that did not own at least one motorcar. Early examples of purpose-built garaging for cars are comparatively rare, as in many cases the cars would have been stored in pre-existing coach houses. Coach houses were often progressively converted from their original function to one given over almost entirely to the motorcar. Some country houses had purpose-built facilities to accommodate both modes of transport simultaneously, whereas others had motor houses, or motor 'stables', built from the outset to house just cars, offering all the attendant spaces and facilities needed to keep this new, and sometimes temperamental, form of transportation in working order. The motor house at Broadoaks is believed to be purpose-built for motorcars, but may have also had limited accommodation for horses.

Its use in the second half of the C20 by the military led to a number of alterations behind the front range, including the roofing-over of the central courtyard and the reconfiguration of the outer window openings. After a period of disuse, the roof over the north range has entirely collapsed, as has part of the roof over the east range (2016).

Reasons for Listing

The front range of the motor house at Broadoaks, built c1905, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the building is a stylish Arts and Crafts composition, finely detailed and executed in high quality materials;
* Historic interest: the show-piece component of an early purpose-built motor house, the building reflects the rise of motoring as a particular element of country house life in the Edwardian period;
* Group value: the building is one of a number of high-quality ancillary buildings at Broadoaks, which contribute to the overall special interest of the site.

External Links

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