A listed Manor goes back to the future

JCA Team:
Peter Cave, Rory Duncan, Adrian Dadswell, Kim Rietveld
Project Design Team:
Johnston Cave Associates
(Architects & lead designers)
David Osborne Associates 
(Structural Engineers)
Charles Gilchrist Garden Management
(Landscape design)
Grant White Designs
(Interior design)
Principal contractor:
Gates Builders Ltd, Buckingham
Project type:
Alterations & extension to listed building
Project year: 2005

The age of bell-bottoms, wide collars and and ‘modern’ buildings has not really stood the test of time. In retrospect It was a period of carbuncles, inappropriate building techniques and even worse repairs. 

And so it was with our clients’ 1804 Grade II listed Manor House which had ‘benefitted’ from extensive 1970’s modernisation. Our client wanted something that represented it’s original form rather than something out of Saturday Night Fever.

With some hard thought about the original setting and our client’s need for a comfortable country house, we set about demolishing the 1970’s outshoot to the north side of the house and replaced it with a single-story wing containing the principle entrance and large family kitchen. 

We balanced it on the south side with an identical wing housing a swimming pool with relaxation and changing facilities. Then we connected the two on the west (garden) side by extending and broadening the terrace at a scale more in keeping with the property. 

We designed new outbuildings for garages and stores to create a courtyard at the main entrance with an archway through to the new driveway and entrance gates onto the main road in the village. 

The walled gardens to the south east of the house were repaired and restored for vegetables, flowers and general pleasure, complete with greenhouses and hen house. The parkland was re-landscaped, re-planted and populated with garden features and buildings, including standing stones, bridges, jetties, statuary and follies to provide a more harmonious, and picturesque connection between the house and the landscape, very much in the English garden tradition. 

Required repairs were made to stonework and sash windows, the roof was re-slated, the lead valley and parapet gutters were replaced and much internal work was done to erase the 1970’s. 

Throughout, traditional materials, locally sourced where possible, with traditional details and construction, were used for the repairs and the new work. These helped to give the whole scheme a coherent unity of appearance and purpose, and a concordance with its immediate landscape and in its place in the village. 

Very much a case of back to the future.