Stables and stable quarters, 1886-87, by George Devey for BW Currie.
Reasons for Designation
The stables and stable quarters, 1886-87, by George Devey for BW Currie, are listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the stables and stable quarters form a prominent, picturesque group marking the approach to the manor, combining formality with irregularity, and enriched with architectural detail relating to the main house and other estate buildings, particularly the adjacent entrance lodge;
* Intactness: despite the loss of interiors, the exterior of the stable ranges remains largely unaltered; where alterations have been made they are generally sympathetic to the building and allow its original function to be read;
* Historic interest: the principal mansion, together with the other associated buildings and landscape illustrate the evolution of a mid-C19 to early C20 landed estate that comprises buildings by two significant and influential C19 architects, Clutton and Devey, and latterly Devey’s draughtsman Castings, laid out in collaboration with a major horticulturalist;
* Group value: Minley Manor exemplifies a landed estate set in a registered designed landscape, marked by a number of listed buildings of note which together form an exceptional and very complete group.
In 1855 the manor of Minley was bought by Raikes Currie (1801-1881), a wealthy banker and Liberal politician. He immediately commissioned Henry Clutton to build a country house on the site. His design for Minley Manor (NHLE 1258061) was initially modelled on the chateau at Blois (Hunting 1983, 98) and was at the time one of the first C19 country houses to be built in England in the French Renaissance manner, though under the influence of the English Gothic Revival. Typically for the period, Clutton rejected uniformity and symmetry, in favour of ordered but irregular elevations which, later augmented by Devey's alterations, were noted by Girouard for their ‘aggressive anarchy’. Clutton designed further buildings on the estate, including the Church of St Andrew (NHLE 1258200) and a number of lodges, before his eyesight failed and he ended his practice.
When Raikes Currie died in 1881 the estate was passed to his son Bertram Wodehouse Currie (1827-1896) who did not favour Clutton’s design and in 1885 employed George Devey (1820-1886) to make extensive alterations to the house and grounds. Devey, an architect and painter, began his own practice in 1846; he became a fellow of RIBA in 1856 and by the mid-1860s had established a busy country house practice. He worked for Bertram Currie in the 1870s at Coombe Warren, Surrey (NHLE 1080098) and at Minley remodelled the external elevations as well as interior spaces. To the grounds he added a replacement stable block, an orangery (NHLE 1339884) and a lodge (NHLE 1092280). Devey died the following year and his designs were executed by his chief draughtsman and successor, Arthur Castings (1853-1913). The stable block replaced Clutton’s earlier stables located in the service wing of the house.
Additional garden and ancillary buildings and landscape features were added when Bertram Currie’s son Laurence inherited the estate in 1896. Laurence died in 1934 and his son, Bertram Francis sold the entire estate to the Army in 1936.
The stables were originally laid out with stabling in the north and east ranges, with a hayloft above the east, and a coach house to the west range with servant’s accommodation to the upper storey. The building forms a picturesque group with the adjacent main lodge, which shares architectural details. The windows to the south elevation of the northern range were replaced with garage doors, probably in the mid-C20, and the interior divided into separate bays. The ground and first floors of the eastern range have been subdivided to form offices, and a steel spiral stair has been inserted. Circulation routes have been altered and a number of doorways blocked. Features related to the use of the buildings as stables have been removed.
Stables and stable quarters, 1885-86, by George Devey for Bertram Woodehouse Currie.
MATERIALS: red brick laid in English bond and limestone with limestone dressings and slate roofs.
PLAN: the stables are situated to the north of the entrance lodge and gates to Minley Manor. The buildings are irregular on plan and form three sides of a courtyard, the central range running south-west to north-east. Low walls enclose the courtyard on the south-east side. The original plans for the building (RIBA PB820/DEV  45 – 61) show that it was laid out with stabling in the north and east wing and a coach house in the west wing. Above the east wing stables were a loft, presumably for hay, while a full height second storey above the coach house appears to have been laid out as dormitories for staff.
EXTERIOR: the east and west ranges are of two storeys with tall pitched roofs, the gable walls creating a symmetrical front when entering the estate, contrasting with the informal, asymmetrical irregular composition of the facades. In the gable walls both have a pair of two-light stone mullion and transom windows, each in a pilastered architrave beneath a semi-circular pediment enriched with ball finials, the cills aligned on the string course. The principal gables facing the drive have raised parapets with crocketed stone copings and finials to the kneelers.
The courtyard façade of the eastern range, originally a hay loft above stables, is asymmetrically arranged with irregularly spaced mullion and transom windows. A semi-circular entrance arch to the former stables is of moulded stone with square Tuscan columns, above which is a limestone panel with a heraldic crest. To the right is a double-height aedicule with pilasters, chamfered jambs, relief moulding and a semi-circular pediment with ball finials to the sides and apex. There is a roundel bearing the initials BWC for the patron.
At the junction with the central range is an octagonal stair tower. It has two small casement windows in stone surrounds at first floor level, and is accessed externally from a short stair in line with the façade of the east range. The architrave to the door is stone: plain except for chamfered jambs and a moulded cornice. The upper storey of the tower is an open lantern beneath a flared octagonal roof clad in slate, surmounted by a weather vane.
The courtyard façade of the west range is stone-built on the ground floor, where there are five pairs of ledge and brace plank doors with strap hinges. The first floor has five two-light stone-mullioned windows with leaded casements, grouped in pairs and then singly.
The central range, originally laid out as stables, is single-storeyed. The courtyard façade has five double garage doors - on the basis of historic photos altered in the early C20. The dominant element is the carriage arch to the right. It is flanked by stone pilasters which rise above the cornice as finials, flanking a shaped pediment enriched with open, stone scroll brackets, ball finials and a semi-circular apex. On the left an arch opens onto a covered entrance where six-panelled doors with moulded muntins lead to domestic quarters. The roof vent is surmounted by an octagonal open sided cupola with a small ogival dome and facetted spire.
The rear and roadside elevations are similarly irregular in composition, and detail is pared back. From the north, the carriage entrance has a plain elliptical arch beneath a half-hipped roof with deep flanks, and to the right there are louvred dormers in the roof. The lower range to the north-east has a simplified stone parapet. At the north-west corner domestic quarters are in a single-storey gabled range and a two-storey range with a canted bay beneath a hipped roof which has metal casement windows in flush stone surrounds. Ground floor openings in the rear elevations have been inserted and altered.
INTERIORS: the octagonal tower has a stone winder stair, and at the junction of the west and central ranges is a domestic stair with rectangular balusters and square newels with facetted caps. Stable floors in the east and north ranges are lined in Dutch tiles. In the north range the inner face of the vent is visible in the ceiling.
Where interiors have been reordered and subdivided in the later C20, later C20/early C21 partitions and stairs are not of special interest and are excluded from the listing*.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: a tall brick wall with shaped stone coping adjoins the west stable block partially enclosing the courtyard. It drops to half-height, returning to the east block with a break for the entrance. There are square brick piers and a shaped stone feature at the junction between the high and low sections.
The courtyard is paved in black and white sett stones arranged in an octagonal and star-shaped pattern.
* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.