The Spinneys, Brand Lane, Woodhouse, Loughborough, LE12 8TY (Grade II)

Geo: 52.7178, -1.2046
Date ListedTue 16th July, 2019
CategoryStatutory Listed Building
AddressThe Spinneys Brand Lane, Woodhouse, Loughborough Woodhouse LE12 8TY
GradeGrade II
WardForest Bradgate
Conservation AreaWoodhouse School Lane

Arts and Crafts house built in the late C19 or early C20.

MATERIALS: brick, rendered or painted, all in white, with roughcast render between the sections of applied timber-framing. The dressings are of ashlared stone, and the roof covering of Swithland slate laid in diminishing courses is from the nearby Swithland quarry.

PLAN: The Spinneys is a large detached house situated in grounds at the end of a long drive off Brand Lane. It has an irregular shape on plan consisting of the family rooms at the north end and the service rooms at the south end, partly arranged around an open yard, now enclosed, with a late C20 conservatory adjoining the west side.

EXTERIOR: the house is in the Arts and Crafts style and is characterised by irregular elevations with gabled bays, half-timbering and horizontal fenestration. The entrance is on the east side which presents an L-shaped elevation consisting of a tall range projecting forward on the left, containing the service rooms, and a long principal range containing the reception rooms. This two-storey range is under a steeply pitched roof with a red brick ridge stack just left of centre, and a taller, faceted stack with an oversailing cornice rising through the right (north) gable end. On the main range, from the left, a projecting gabled bay with a parapet and kneelers has a diagonal buttress on the outer edge. The front door is reached via a set of five splayed stone steps, forming a segmental arch shape which is echoed by the deep, moulded stone arch above the front door. This has six panels with three vertical glazed panels above and an original decorative bell plate with VISITORS in raised lettering. The stone surround of the front door flows seamlessly into the three-light stone mullioned window to the left. This has straight-edged mullions and leaded lights. The first floor of the gabled bay is lit by three small casement windows in stone surrounds with dripmoulds. All the fenestration has leaded lights, some of which have been replaced. The gabled bay is balanced at the other end of the range by a two-storey canted bay window with a stone-coped parapet, lit on both floors by five-light stone mullioned windows. In between, the ground floor is lit on the left by a two-light wooden casement, whilst the first floor is decorated with close studding and is lit by a flat-roofed, four-light dormer positioned above the eaves. On the right return (north gable end), is the projecting chimney stack, on either side of which is a close studded jetty pierced by single windows. The projecting range on the left of the principal elevation, which contains the servants rooms, is gabled with a stone-coped parapet and kneelers, and a wide brick ridge stack. The first floor is lit by a canted oriel window with four-light timber mullioned windows, below which is a leaded panel embossed with a Tudor rose motif. Directly underneath is a three-light casement. The right return has a gabled bay at the right end, lit by three irregularly placed casement windows in wooden frames with dripmoulds.

The west-facing garden elevation has, along the left half, a jettied first floor with close studding, and a four-light, flat-roofed dormer positioned above the eaves. The ground floor is lit by two four-light casement windows divided by a stone-capped buttress, and a small single-light window in a stone surround. Next to this is a projecting gabled bay which has plain timber bargeboards and close studding in the gable head, underneath which is a canted four-light oriel window supported by wooden brackets. The ground floor is lit by a four-light casement window with a drip mould. Following this is a recessed staircase bay with an entrance and paved area, reached via a straight flight of five stone steps, sheltered by a flat canopy. The door has a single horizontal panel with glazed panels above, and to the left, a large twelve-light window lights the lower landing inside. Above the canopy, a four-light window lights the upper landing. The elevation terminates in a projecting gabled bay that rises above the roof line. It is dominated by a two-storey, flat-roofed segmental bay window which is lit on both floors by narrow casements with a continuous wooden sill. The ground-floor windows are taller and have small wooden canopies, above which is a continuous lintel.

The south elevation has a simpler treatment which befits its status as the service quarters. An L-shaped single-storey range under a steeply pitched roof forms two sides of what was originally an open service yard with plank and batten doors. The yard has been roofed over to create a garage and the opening on the south side has been widened for access. Adjoining this to the west is a C20 conservatory. The elevations above are gabled and lit by casements with mostly two-lights.

INTERIOR: the plan form and many of the decorative elements survive with a high degree of intactness. The polite (family) rooms retain cornices and skirting boards of simple design, along with picture rails/ plate shelves. The remaining joinery, the wide nine-panelled doors and wall panelling, is unpainted and has a rich, warm hue. The doors have brass lock cases and finger plates adorned with a circular design of a female profile within a wreath-like border.

The front door opens into the L-shaped entrance hall which has a parquet floor laid in a herringbone design and wall panelling of small square panels which incorporates the plate shelf and recessed doorways into a coherent architectural scheme. The ceiling has a spine beam and joists; the only one in the house to be given this treatment. Three reception rooms are arranged in a sequence along the west side overlooking the garden; the drawing room is also lit on the east side by the canted bay window which looks out over the drive. This room has a panelled window seat, and plasterwork on the ceiling forming an intricate interlaced pattern in shallow relief. The fireplace is situated within a wide, stone-lined recess with a wooden surround which extends to the plate shelf and has a panelled overmantel. The grate opening now holds a gas fire, as do the fireplaces in the other two reception rooms. These have a similar design with slight variations: the fireplace in the dining room has tapered jambs and that in the smaller room has built-in shelves on the right hand side.

The principal staircase has a bay to itself. Four steps lead up to the balustraded lower landing which provides access to an outside patio overlooking the garden. The stair has a wide closed string, square newel posts with flat caps, and a moulded handrail supported by alternate paired stick balusters and splat balusters pierced by a heart motif. The balustraded upper landing is supported by square piers in the same style as the newel posts.

The first floor has a more simple decorative treatment. None of the fireplaces remain but there are eight-panelled doors, panelling beneath bay windows, some built-in cupboards, and possibly an original wash-hand basin.

The service rooms, grouped in the south-east part of the house, consist of the kitchen, pantry and what was most likely the former scullery which is lined from floor to ceiling in tiles with a blue and white pattern and has a wide opening with a wooden surround. The separate butlers pantry also survives, complete with one wall of built-in cupboards and shelves. The nearby dining room retains the serving hatch. The back servants open well stair has a panelled soffit, closed string and splat balusters pierced by a heart motif.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: on the north side of the house are two flights of stone steps with low red brick walls which have a band of vitrified brick along the bottom edge. The walls and low brick piers have stone coping and are surmounted by large stone ball finials.
Books and journals
Davey, P, Arts and Crafts Architecture, (1995)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, (2003)

The description above describes the salient features of the building as it was at the date of listing. It is given in order to aid identification; it is not intended to be either comprehensive or exclusive.

Statutory Listing covers all parts of the property and its curtilage, ie all internal and external elements whether described or not.