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Mistley Institute

A Grade II Listed Building in Mistley, Essex

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Latitude: 51.9453 / 51°56'43"N

Longitude: 1.0769 / 1°4'36"E

OS Eastings: 611565

OS Northings: 231900

OS Grid: TM115319

Mapcode National: GBR TNY.WMB

Mapcode Global: VHLCB.MC5J

Entry Name: Mistley Institute

Listing Date: 20 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1440369

Location: Mistley, Tendring, Essex, CO11

County: Essex

District: Tendring

Civil Parish: Mistley

Built-Up Area: Mistley

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Mistley with Manningtree St Mary and St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

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Village institute, built in 1911 to the designs of WD Caröe.


Village institute, built in 1911 to the designs of WD Caröe.

MATERIALS: red brick laid in English bond and roughcast render with dressings of red brick and tile creasing. The roughcast render on the front elevation and on the front and side of the cross wings has been replaced with smooth render. Roof covering of red clay tiles with bonnet tiles at the hips.

PLAN: the Institute has an approximately rectangular plan consisting of the main hall and two adjoining cross wings on the SE side which contain the kitchen, office and services.

The rear extension, built during the Second World War, is excluded from the listing.

EXTERIOR: the single-storey building is in the Arts and Crafts style. It has a brick plinth and a row of three angled chimney stacks with brick caps rising between the cross wings. The principal (NW) elevation consists of the gable end of the hall. This is lit by a large eight-light, segmental arched window which has a wooden transom and three mullions with wooden glazing bars. The window has a brick sill and a lintel formed of tile creasing which radiates outwards, and the whole is set within a brick panel that is almost full-height except for the gable head in which there is a louvred ventilation opening. To the left, the brick entrance porch has a hipped roof and segmental arched opening with a recessed double-leaf door. This has a single panel on the lower half and four panels above.

To the left of the porch, the recessed cross wings are lower in height than the hall and have hipped roofs. The fenestration mostly consists of wooden casements with a central mullion and wooden glazing bars with tiled sills which have a row of brick headers underneath. The front of the NW cross wing is lit by a single casement, and the return wall by a double casement. The adjoining SE cross wing is lit by a triple casement, and its rear elevation by a single casement and a uPVC window. Following this, the SE elevation of the hall has a projecting brick porch under a hipped roof with a double-leaf door in the same style as that on the front entrance. A single casement is on the right of the door, and on the left a short double casement set within a deep recess with a segmental brick arch. The long NW elevation of the hall has five segmental arched recesses, which give the impression of being divided by buttresses, and are lit by double casements. The gable end has the same window as that described on the front gable.

INTERIOR: the porch opens into a small polygonal apsidal hall which has a herringbone brick floor. The walls are of exposed brick with original coat pegs and a moulded wooden cornice. On the left of the porch is a small office which was not available for inspection but is said to have an original fireplace. On the right is the hall which has a canted ceiling with purlins at each angle. It is divided into five bays by arched braces resting on jowled posts. The hall is clad in late C20 vertical panels up to the height of the wooden band which runs around the room at door lintel height. There was originally a stage at the SW end which has since been removed, revealing some of the original stained wood panelling. The hall retains a herringbone parquet floor, two gas light fittings, moulded door frames and doors which mostly have a single panel on the lower half and glazed panels above. In the second bay on the left hand side, there is a wide inglenook which has a segmental brick arch and is lined with tiles laid on edge. The cross wings contain a kitchen with modern fittings and other services. Two doors at the rear end of the hall lead to the mid-C20 extension which is not included in the listing.


In the early C20 the Revd Norman, who belonged to a prominent local family, made plans for an institute in Mistley to provide a reading room and venue for lectures and local sports clubs. A covenant restricted the usage of the institute to members of the Church of England. The Norman family donated a piece of land to the NE of the Church of St Mary and St Michael, and a public subscription raised £125 towards the building costs which amounted to around £560.

The Institute was designed by William Douglas Caröe (1857-1938) who was a pioneer of building conservation. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge and articled to Edmund B Kirby before entering the office of the great church architect JL Pearson where he worked on the drawings for Truro Cathedral. This experience led to Caröe’s appointment as an architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1885, and ten years later he became senior architect to the Church Commissioners, an appointment he held for the rest of his life. Caröe designed and restored many churches as well as carrying out both domestic and commercial work. Many of his buildings are listed, such as the Offices of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Church Estates in Millbank, London (Grade II*).

Mistley Institute has undergone some changes. It was requisitioned during the Second World War and a rear brick extension was added to provide WCs and store rooms. About twenty or thirty years ago the interior of the main hall was cladded. It is not known if this replaced the original panelling or was laid over it. An opening has been made in the party wall between the hall and the service rooms, presumably to allow refreshments to be served from the kitchen. Within the last five years the roughcast render has been replaced with smooth render on the front and SE elevation.

Reasons for Listing

Mistley Institute, a village institute built in 1911 to the designs of WD Caröe, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: it is an interesting example of a village institute established with the purpose of improving the education and well-being of the local parishioners, as opposed to fulfilling the more limited social role typical of a village hall;
* Architectural interest: it has a subtle architectural quality in the domestic character of its design which imparts a welcome homeliness typical of the Arts and Crafts ethos;
* Interior: this distinguishes it from the more standard form and decoration typical of most village halls. The prominent arched braces in the main hall conjure up a medieval hall house with the suggestion of fellowship which is entirely suitable for a social space;
* Building materials: the combination of the rich red of the brick and roof tiles, the tile creasing and roughcast render, and the finely crafted inglenook fireplace with its fireback of tiles laid on edge, lend textural interest to the building;
* Architect: WD Caröe is a nationally important and influential architect whose work is well represented on the List;
* Group value: it has considerable group value with numerous surrounding listed buildings, notably the Grade I-listed and scheduled Mistley Towers opposite, and the Grade II-listed Church of St Mary and St Michael with which it has a strong historic and visual relationship.

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