SOUTHALL MANOR HOUSE
Heritage Category: Listed Building
List Entry Number: 1079419
Date first listed: 08-Nov-1949
Statutory Address: SOUTHALL MANOR HOUSE, THE GREEN
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Statutory Address: SOUTHALL MANOR HOUSE, THE GREEN
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: Greater London Authority
District: Ealing (London Borough)
National Grid Reference: TQ 12470 79400
962/4/8 THE GREEN 08-NOV-1949 SOUTHALL MANOR HOUSE
II* House. Late C16 (1587 date carved in window pediment on W front). Built by Francis Awsiter. Altered and extended C18, c1821, late C19 and c1920.
MATERIALS: Timber framing with C20 roughcast infill. Brick plinth. Later extensions in brick. Clay tile roof. PLAN: House rectangular in plan, on N-S axis, comprising central two-storey hall, flanking cross wings of unequal width and projecting staircase compartment attached to SE of hall. To N, placed E-W at slight angle to house, is a rectangular two-storey range ('the N wing'), thought to have been a 'kitchen lodgings' range, possibly detached originally. The two buildings were linked by a narrow two-storey range ('the link range') attached to and parallel with the rear of the N cross wing, possibly a slightly later addition. This plan largely survives, but C19 extensions have blurred the external distinction between the two elements. N wing extended westwards in C18; this extension was truncated c1920. Pitched roofs. EXTERIOR: Front (W) elevation: Five bays, the four southern bays of which constitute the front, least-altered, elevation of the late C16 house. Although some of the framing and windows have been replaced, the carved decoration appears largely original. Close-studded timber framing; timber mullioned windows with transoms to bay windows. Carved decoration to some of the windows and framing, principally in N cross wing. This has a first-floor jetty carried on moulded bressumer on console brackets carved with grotesque heads. Ground and upper floor each has a five-light mullioned and transomed bay window with single lights to returns, central console below with carved decoration and shallow triangular pediment above; tympanum of upper window has carved date 1587. These are flanked by narrow windows of three or four lights. Four-light gable window. Head of gable has herringbone framing and central post carved with various devices. Central hall block has full-height canted bay with gable overhanging angle of bay, and a deeper, full-height gabled porch with side windows to ground floor, C20 Tudor-style door, four-light upper window; to S of porch is small three-light first-floor window. S cross wing has full-height canted bay window and bracketed gable similar to hall block, with small two-light flanking windows to ground floor. The N bay of this elevation, separated from the house by a narrow C19 brick infill block, is the truncated extension to C16 N wing, remodelled c1920 in Tudor style imitating the main house; mock timber framing with gabled mullioned windows. Upper gable end of original N wing is visible above this extension. N elevation: Three eastern bays are the N wing of the C16 house, the two narrower end (W) bays, separated by a chimney stack, are the later truncated C18 extension, all remodelled in late C19 to form irregular five-bay elevation; cross gables and decorative timber framing added at this time. Nail-studded door with moulded planks and flanking moulded timber windows are early and may date from the original construction. End bays in grey brick with red brick dressings. Rear (E) elevation. Rear elevation of C16 house largely obscured by accretive C19 brick extensions of irregular height and depth. Elevation from N to S comprises five bays: the first is the gabled end of N wing rebuilt in brick, and extensions of three, two, one and one storeys. Gabled rear wall of C16 house, rebuilt or encased in brick, partly visible above extensions, as is the pitched roof of the C16 link block. At the S end there are two niches containing terracotta relief figures of Hindu deities, date unknown but considered to be of some age. All external chimneys stacks are C19 and C20, some with Tudor style octagonal or diagonal shafts.
INTERIOR: Fittings and decorative detail date from from several phases, including some reused panelling on doors. Main house: Porch has plaster dentilled cornice, probably C18, and twisted baluster-type features to the side windows. Lower hall has timber wall panelling, moulded and chamfered beams forming coffered effect, chimneypiece on E wall; although somewhat restored, these features date from the original construction or soon after. Chimneypiece flanked by enriched pilasters; overmantel of five bays divided and flanked by coupled columns on an enriched shelf and supporting an entablature; middle panel bears Awsiter coat of arms and strapwork (the initials 'RA' probably refer to Robert Awsiter, father of Francis). Modern partition to right of fireplace leading through to rear stair. Paired doors leading to north crosswing are probably C19. Ground floor of N cross wing has moulded and chamfered cross beams. Stone chimneypiece on N wall with moulded four-centre arch is probably early C19, likewise plaster cornice. Ground floor of S cross wing has C16 exposed ceiling beams with quasi-Classical decoration, repeated in cornice to W window bay; this bay has a moulded chamfered beam. Spaces between beams have late C18/early C19 neo-Classical raised plasterwork. Room extended on E side; this part has no features of interest. Rear stair in original position but rebuilt late C19/early C20 in neo-Jacobean style with candlebra balusters and obelisk finials to newels; stair panelling is also of this date. First-floor room of S cross wing has chimneypiece with moulded stone four-centre arch and wooden overmantel; probably late C18/early C19 in imitation of C16 style.
Link range: ground and first floors have late C18/early C19 stone chimneypieces similar to others described; C18 stair (in original position but extended to attic in C18) with barley-twist balusters and early C17 style newels with obelisk finials.
N wing: Ground floor: E room (probably former kitchen area) remodelled late C18/early C19, now subdivided by modern partitions. Large stone four-centre arch chimneypiece on E wall with flanking paired moulded pillars (these may be original); early-mid C19 decorative plaster cornices. Original axial beam. First floor: W bay has coved ceiling and axial beam carried on scrolled brackets. Ground floor W room (part of C18 extension) has elegant late C18 marble chimneypiece in Adam manner.
Roofs largely intact throughout and show that the house and N wing were built in a single construction phase. Roofs to house and N wing are of same constructional form in oak with staggered tenoned purlins, common rafters with straight collars, and raking queen struts linking collars and tie beams; roof to link range is elm. Roofs to link range and N wing retain some lath and plaster partitions.
HISTORY: Built in 1587 by Francis Awsiter, a City merchant and alderman living in the locality, who acquired the manor of Southall in 1602. Thought originally to have been a house called The Wrenns, built 1500 by John Cannon and acquired by Awsiter in 1587; Awsiter stayed on at The Wrenns after acquisition of the manor, rather than moving to the existing medieval manor house of Southall, Dorman's Well. If so, The Wrenns would appear to have been demolished and rebuilt by Awsiter. It is possible that The Wrenns became known as the Manor House after Dorman's Well was demolished, probably in late C17. The manor was owned by the Awsiter family until 1756, when the manorial rights were sold to Agatha Child, widow of the banker Francis Child of Osterley Park, although the house itself was owned by the Awsiters until 1821. Following a succession of owners, it was bought by Southall-Norwood Urban District Council in 1913, and the grounds opened as a public park. It was repaired in 1970 and leased to the Southall Chamber of Commerce.
The 'kitchen lodgings' range evolved as a building type from the smaller medieval detached kitchen, continuing to place the kitchen away from the house while providing extra accommodation for family or guests. Although several of these buildings have been recorded in England, Southall Manor House is rare, if not unique, in that both the house and kitchen lodgings range still survive.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: A good example of a late C16 hall and cross wing plan house with considerable rarity for the surviving contemporary kitchen lodgings wing. Although it has undergone numerous alterations, the original plan is clearly legible, most of the roof structure survives as well as a number of C16 and later features of interest. It has added rarity as a survival of a C16 Middlesex gentry house in an area whose rural character was transformed into dense suburbia within the space of a few decades.
SOURCES Royal Commission on Historical Monuments England, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex, 1937, pp 99-100 Victoria County History, A History of the County of Middlesex Vol 4, 1971, pp 43-45 Evelyn M Barnett, The Chronicles of a Manor House English Heritage, Southall Manor House, Ealing: An Historical Assessment, 2005
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 200935
Legacy System: LBS
Books and journals
Barnett, E M, The Chronicles of a Manor House, (1974)
Cockburn, J S, Baker, T F T, The Victoria History of the County of Middlesex, (1971), 43-45
Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Middlesex, (1937)
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