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Bridge House

A Grade II Listed Building in Condover, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.6447 / 52°38'40"N

Longitude: -2.7449 / 2°44'41"W

OS Eastings: 349698

OS Northings: 305480

OS Grid: SJ496054

Mapcode National: GBR BJ.6JXY

Mapcode Global: WH8C0.TS3C

Entry Name: Bridge House

Listing Date: 3 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1437448

Location: Condover, Shropshire, SY5

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Condover

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Condover

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

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A house, designed by the architect Mervyn Seal for himself and completed in 1958.


A house, designed by the architect Mervyn Seal for himself and completed in 1958.

MATERIALS: the building has plum-coloured and brindle brickwork, laid in stretcher bond, the upper storey is largely timber-framed, hung with slates and a flat, felted roof.

PLAN: two storeys. The ground floor, which is partially set into a hillside at its southern end, contains service rooms, a reception room, a shower room, a garage and a carport. Bedrooms and living rooms are at first floor level, to take advantage of the views, with the bedrooms to the north of the staircase hall and the living rooms to the south. Sheltering wing walls of full-storey height extend to the east at the northern end by the garage and to the south, where an original L-shaped shelter wall extending to the south and then to the west to wrap around two sides of the terrace has been partially absorbed into the later extension, forming a study and pergola at this end of the building.

EXTERIOR: the entrance front has walling of brindle bricks to the right of the ground floor, where the building line is slightly recessed. Walling at left is of plum-coloured bricks and extends across both floors. At right of centre of the ground floor is a void which forms a car port. To the right of this is a garage with up-and-over door and a shelter wall projects forward from the far right corner. At left of the void is the entrance which has a glazed screen and door. A deep middle rail, which is common to both door and screen, has the original, projecting lettering for 'BRIDGE HOUSE'; letter box cover; bell push and door handle. To left of this the brindle brick walling has a slit window to the top of the ground floor. At left again walling is of plum brickwork and extends upwards over both floors with a slit window to its top at first floor level. The first floor projects slightly over the ground floor at right. Walling is clad with hand-cut slates and the two windows are both of full height. A deep, projecting, fascia with exposed, panelled soffits extends around the whole building.
The north wall is blank to both floors and has brindle bricks to the ground floor with the shelter wall extending to the west. The first floor overhangs slightly and is clad with hand cut slates. The corners are recessed and painted white.
The garden front looks out over the landscape of Condover Hall. It has brindle brickwork to the ground floor and a slate-hung first floor, as before. The right hand side of the ground floor is partly masked by a flight of steps which lead up to the pergola and terrace. The ground floor has slit windows to the top of the wall of the garage at left and the entrance hall to right of the car port. A glazed door with deep mid rail leads to a lobby and at right of this the slit window has had its sill dropped to create a deeper window, in a sympathetic style to the original. At first floor level there are three bays of full height glazing at left, for the bedrooms. At right of centre is a three-light window and at far right a window of full height turns the corner. Recessed at right again is the recessed addition which has four full-height glazed panels with sliding doors at centre. The projecting pergola continues the line of the painted fascia board at eaves level.

INTERIOR: the essentials of the original plan form remain, with the exception of an added bathroom in the space of the third bedroom and the extension of a study at the southern end in line with the rest of the house and using a side wall of the former sheltered terrace. Walls are clad with pine boards which run vertically at ground floor level around the entrance hall and horizontally at first floor level along the eastern wall. The staircase has mahogany treads and no risers and is supported by a single beam, from which metal tubes extend to support the mahogany handrail. The cloakroom and ground-floor reception room at ground floor level have variegated marble flooring which appears to have been salvaged from elsewhere. At first floor level the tops of external and internal walls have slit lights, which also appear above doors as fanlights, adding to the impression of a connected flow of space. The dividing wall between the stair landing and the dining area is glazed with horizontal strips of frosted glass. To the west of the dining area is the kitchen with a countertop breakfast bar arrangement opening onto the dining room. Double doors at the southern end lead through to the living room, which has a fireplace to its north wall (originally with a stone rubble surround, but now plastered).
Original, fitted wardrobes in the bedrooms, with internal drawers and hanging space, are placed along the eastern wall, leaving the west walls free for windows facing over the parkland view.

Pursuant to s1 (5) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the small glass house and the attached pergola at the northern end of the west side of the house are not of special architectural or historic interest.


Bridge House was designed and built by Mervyn Seal for his own use from 1958-9 while he was working in the Architects' Department of Shropshire County Council. He lived there in 1959, before he returned to Devon to settle in Brixham and private practice. In 1960 the design won an award in the Ideal Home small house scheme. The house has had new kitchen and bathroom equipment fitted, including the conversion of one former bedroom to a bathroom. An extension was added to the southern end, where the ground rises, to create a further reception room with glazed doors leading to a terrace with pergola. At ground floor level a former coal store has been converted to a shower room and the original dark room to a laundry room. The building has had four owners in total.

Reasons for Listing

Bridge House, Condover, Shropshire is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural quality: the house is one of the earliest domestic works by the noted architect Mervyn Seal and designed for his young family. Despite modest means it uses the dramatic potential of its setting and carefully exploits the flow of space throughout the interior and on into the landscape;
* Degree of survival: the building has undergone little alteration to its original plan and the few changes have been sensitive to the existing pattern of the building;
* Detailing: the careful use of materials and details relates the building to its setting and provides a connectedness between different elements of the design and allows this relatively small house to appear unconfined.

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