SS5147 BROOKDALE AVENUE
853-1/6/25 (South side)
Private hotel, originally a private house. 1881 by WM Robbins,
late C20 additions on north and west sides.
MATERIALS: Red brick with details in wood, terracotta and
cream coloured brick. Roof covered with darkened red tiles,
some of 'fish-scale' pattern; south side tarred. Crested red
ridge tiles; 2 ornate iron finials on projections to north and
east. 2 red brick chimneys on south side, both with moulded
caps of cream brick.
PLAN: eccentric, basically L-shaped with main east-west range
having south range at right-angles to it. Canted bay projects
on north side, another of triangular plan at east end; small
block in south-east angle of the L, this having
single-storeyed, 4-sided bay projecting from its east side.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys with garret; single-storey projection on
south side. Exterior (4 windows-wide on north side) is in
Gothic style with a large Renaissance gallery at the east end.
Windows in ground storey are mostly narrow with moulded jambs
and pointed arches, the latter, moulded in red and cream
brick, springing from moulded imposts.
The upper storey of the south wing has a similar, larger
window of 3 lights with wooden mullions and transoms, the head
of the arch containing wooden Gothic tracery.
The majority of windows have plain sashes, but the 3 upper
storey windows flanking the canted bay on the north side have
2-light wood casements. Above the 2 left-hand ones are 2
dormer windows, each with 3 wood mullioned lights and a pent
roof. Many of the windows contain multi-coloured leaded glass:
these include the pointed heads of those in the ground storey,
the casements and dormers on the north side, the upper sashes
of 3 small segmental-headed windows in the upper storey of the
block in the south-east angle, and the whole of the large,
south gable window.
The most striking feature of the building is at the east end,
in the upper storey: a large, open, 5-sided, wooden gallery
projecting on wooden brackets. Its roof is supported by 4
turned posts, between the feet of which runs a railing with
turned balusters on a carved base, the heads of the balusters
linked by small, cusped arches.
The flat wall at the rear of the gallery is of panelled wood
with a 5-sided projection in the centre, the upper parts
Fronts are finished with a coved eaves cornice, the canted bay
on the north side having deeply projecting eaves on large
curved wooden brackets. Set against the eastern chimney on the
south side is a small brick gable with moulded bargeboards and
a decorative terracotta panel. The south range and the small
block adjoining it on the east both have panelled bargeboards.
There are 2 decorated rainwater pipes on the north side and 3
more on the south side.
On the north side, behind a late C20 glazed verandah, is the
date 1881 and a monogram of the initials of WM Robbins.
The main late C20 alterations consist of the verandah
(single-storeyed) on the west side and a 2-storeyed red brick
addition at the south end. The block in the south-east angle
has a bow window of mass-produced type in the ground storey.
INTERIOR: Details include an ornate central entrance stair
hall, with tiled floor, doors with sunken panels and attached
flanking columns, and a rear left-hand open-well stair with a
full-height newel column and turned balusters; cornices and
fireplaces. Robbins built the house for his own occupation and
is shown living there.
An interesting example of a notable local Victorian
architect's own house, designed in a robust style mixing both
Gothic and Queen Anne elements.
(Devon Record Office, 2309B/T35/1-27; Ilfracombe Local Board
of Health: Planning Register (on microfilm): 8: FILE 37;
Hussell AT: Ilfracombe Chronicle 13.8.1937: 8; Ilfracombe
1984: Lamplugh L: 22).
Listing NGR: SS5143247469