Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Richmond upon Thames (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 17850 71668



22/23/10046 Nos.1-8 Dryden Court



Stepped terrace of flats, each of the two blocks housing four flats. 1954-5 by Eric Lyons for Bargood Estates Limited, subsequently Span Developments Limited; Geoffrey Paulson Townsend developer, G Scoble project architect, Wates builders. Brick cross- and partition walls, concrete, 'thermalite' blocks and tile hanging to facades. Flat felted roofs. Brick stack near each end of each block. Two storeys. Each block is rectangular with central entrance and stairs, Nos. 1-4 standing forward. Nos. 1-4 of five bays, Nos. 5-8 of six, divided by brick strips. Main facades have full-width windows of three square windows per bay, some with top-opening timber casements, the storeys divided by tile hanging. Entrance (south) facade of Nos. 1-4 has timber screen to left of entrance, divided by horizontal panel in which the numbers of the flats are inset. The bays either side have two deeper windows divided at sill level, with window boxes, on each storey. Rear (north) facade has entrance way to ground floor, with vertical staircase window of two lights to first floor, and louvres to both storeys. Other bays in mirrored composition about this centre, the innermost window with central top-opening casement; blind lights in centre of end bays. Nos. 5-8 identical with extra bay to east, the two easternmost bays with identical 'end bay' glazing pattern. Staircases with steel balustrades, incorporating timber panels to first flight and to first-floor landing. Blue-glazed doors to store areas. Flats originally had wooden floors and some had sliding living room partitions, but have not been inspected. Dryden Court is an integral part of the Parkleys Estate, the first and largest of Eric Lyons's influential projects for Span. Eric Lyons and Geoffrey Townsend met in the late 1930s and renewed their partnership after wartime service. They developed a number of select private developments in the south-west London and Surrey borders, until in 1954 Townsend set himself up as a developer and was forced to give up his RIBA membership. This is their first mature work, and their first as Span Developments Ltd. It is on the site of a nursery, and the blocks of flats were carefully laid out so that existing trees were kept, and the nursery stock and its gardener were taken over as part of the development. It is laid out as a series of cul-de-sacs, with Dryden Court framing the entrance to the spine road of Parkleys, and many of the other blocks set out in pedestrian quadrangles. The combination of two and three-storey blocks is distinctive to Parkleys, while that of brick and tile hanging was repeated subsequently in Span works, particularly at Blackheath. Their mixture of old materials used in a modern manner makes for a particularly humane environment which was much admired. Lyons's squares and terraces were a modern vernacular answer to the Georgian tradition of central London, set in lush suburban landscaping but at such relatively high densities (about 80 persons per acre) that Span were frequently in dispute with the planning authorities. Parkleys was developed for first-time buyers, and Span was one of the first companies to promote the endowment mortgage. It is also the first example of the system of residents' management companies set up by Span which has kept most of their developments in such exceptional condition. Each leaseholder contributes to the funding of paid maintenance staff, and is a member of the management company that runs the estate. Eric Lyons was admired for 'bridging the gap' between speculative work and the creativity most architects of his generation only found in the public sector. 'Twenty years ago he would have been regarded as barely respectable, today he is important. He may even come to be looked back upon as a key figure' (Architectural Review, February 1959). The ability to work in such a close partnership with one developer enabled Lyons to pursue his own ideas in materials, layout and design. Yet the designs had to be simple. 'The architect has to design and organise so that buildings can be produced at the same cost as a builder's scheme providing the same accommodation' Townsend reminded the Architects' Journal (20 January 1955). The mid 1950s saw a great deal of speculative housing, little of it of architectural quality.

Listing NGR: TQ1785071668


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
'Architects Journal' in 20 January, (1955), 72
'Architectural Review' in February, (1959), 108-120
'Architecture and Building' in August, (1955), 289-94


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 15 Mar 2007
Reference: IOE01/16352/13
Rights: Copyright IoE Miss Patricia Philpott. Source Historic England Archive
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