HEADLEY COURT AND ATTACHED FORMER STABLES, Headley Road, Headley
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- RefNo: 9891
- Reference Number: SHHER_9891
- Site Name: HEADLEY COURT AND ATTACHED FORMER STABLES, Headley Road, Headley
- Grid Reference: 519691 155491
- Description: Country house and attached stables, currently an Officers' Mess. Completed 1899, by Edward Warren for Walter Cunliffe; built on the foundations of and including some walls of earlier buildings. Jacobethan style. Red brick with stone dressings. Tiled roofs with Flemish gables, dormers and tall brick chimneystacks, some with blind arcading, others diagonally set and grouped. L-shaped plan to house. 2 storeys, attics and cellars. Irregular fenestration of mostly stone-cased transom and mullion windows with small panes. Entrance façade with a projecting double-height portico having a triumphal arch stone case below a 3-light window flanked by pilasters and terminated with a shallow stone-coped pediment. To the right a full height canted bay window. Left hand return has a stone classical doorcase to an entrance set at the base of a full height chimneystack, approached by semi-circular steps; flanking 4-light windows. Western wing set at right angles to entrance front with two projecting bays, one rising above the eaves and having a hipped roof. Right hand return has a canted bay window supporting an openwork stone balcony to a 6-light window set within a Flemish gable. South front in similar style a double-height bay window, a similar canted bay window beneath a Flemish gable and a double-height semi-circular bay window.
North-east stable yard façade with polygonal lift tower which has staggered windows; to the left, a buttressed racquet court by which the iron door from the condemned cell of Newgate Prison; to the right a Flemish gabled projecting wing with a top floor canted oriel window.
Running at right angles east from this wing is the original garden wall, fronted in this courtyard with a later single storey wing, attached to the stables. These have Flemish gables to all the 1st floor small-paned windows. On the rear wall, facing into the garden is a timber frame and brick garderobe, supported on stone corbels and having a single pitch tiled roof; the wall also has a double-arched seat niche. Both the house and stables have some old enriched lead rainwater heads, pipes and tanks, the oldest of which is dated 1728.
Interior: the interior has a great variety of 17th century panelling rescued from demolished buildings and high quality late 19th century woodwork. Of particular interest are the double height, panelled inner entrance hall lit by a full height bay window and having an oak Jacobean style chimneypiece, open well stair and 1st floor gallery. The stairs originally had carved angels on the newel posts. A subsidiary hall with painted 17th century panelling depicting flower and berries and having a guilloche frieze; probably Dutch.
The former drawing room, now the ante-room, has limed chestnut Elizabethan jewel panelling and chimneypiece from Hinchingbrooke Hall and a very fine Jacobean style plaster ceiling by Laurence Turner.
The panelled former dining room, now the Cunliffe Room.
The former smoking room, now the Mess Bar, is panelled and has a carved chimneypiece with arcading on caryatides. The elaborate ceiling in this room is also by Laurence Turner and depicts Tudor roses, fleur-de-lys and rabbits, the latter in recognition of the family name. It was originally white but at some later stage painted in bright colours by a railway coach and carriage painter from the North Eastern Railway (source of the Cunliffe wealth) who left his signature of a ladybird in one corner and a bee in the opposite corner.
The former billiard room, now the dining room, oak panelled with patterned, carved pilasters, frieze, doorcases and chimneypiece; a 17th century door traditionally referred to as "Pepys Door".
The oak back-stairs with lift-shaft was originally used to haul coal.
On the 1st floor most rooms retain panelling and features. Of particular interest is: the Cromwell Room having fine panelling and chimneypiece from the house in St Ives that belonged to Cromwell's sister, Robina. The door to the wardrobe is the main door from the bedroom in the original house. The attics housed the schoolroom and nursery. Of particular interest is: the former day nursery with open-beamed roof, Baroness Cunliffe deciding to leave it unceiled. The former schoolroom, above the Cromwell Room, has a ceramic tile map depicting the North Eastern Railway.
History: Walter Cunliffe, later 1st Baron Cunliffe and the Governor of the Bank of England, was given the original farmhouse estate of some 300 acres in 1880 by his father on the condition that he would make a career in banking rather than become a farmer. The family fortune had been made by Walter's grandfather, James Cunliffe, with his development of the North Eastern Railway on which Stevenson's "Rocket" ran. 1940-45, the house was requisitioned as a Canadian Forces Headquarters. After the war it was purchased by the Trustees of the Royal Air Force Pilots and Crews Fund, raised as a memorial by the Chartered Auctioneers and Estate Agents Institute, and leased to the RAD as a rehabilitation centre. Edward Warren, articled to G F Bodley, was an all-round architect with equal ability to design churches, colleges, mansion flats and country houses. He worked mainly in a later 17th century or early 18th century style and was Master of the Art Workers' Guild in 1913. Laurence Turner, brother of the architect Thackery Turner, was renown for his carving in wood and stone and undertook many prestigious commissions. He also executed ceilings in Hampton Court. (Also see SMR 9892-9901)
Publications: Country Life, 6 July 1912, pp18-25. A Privileged Child by Ann Wedderburn-Maxwell, 1985 private publication.
Listing NGR: TQ1969155491
- Form: EXTANT BUILDING
- For more information contact: Surrey Sites and Monuments Record
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