Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

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

Runnymede (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SU 99091 65710


SU 96 NE LONG CROSS ROAD (North, off) Long cross 772/3/10011 Barrow Hills GV II Country house, currently an ,Officers' Mess. 1853 by W W Pocock, architect, for himself; much enlarged and rebuilt c1905-12 byA E Taylor, ARIBA, TW Heath & Son, Building & Decorator and Robertsons Ltd, Buildings, for j A Mullens. 1928, drawing room remodelled and designed by Basil lonides for Sir William Berry. Yellow stock brick, that to the original house handmade, with stone dressings. Red tiled, gabled roofs with tall, brick, diagonally set, grouped chimney stacks; bargeboards. jacobethan style. 2 storeys, basement and attics. Irregular fenestration of transom and mullion tone-frame casements mostly retaining original glass and fittings; each gable with a window, mostly of 3 lights. Western, main entrance front with tetrastyle portico having strapwork balustrades between the pedestals and forming a balcony above the cartouche enriched entablature; approached by steps. This bay flanked by canted bays with double-height bay windows having crenellated parapets. To the left, a courtyard entrance; right hand flanking bay has an oriel window at 1st floor and traceried window on the ground floor. Main, garden front has a symmetrical west end of projecting ground floor bays with small pediments forming and flanking a verandah with balustrade and double-curved steps to the terrace. Entrance with mosaic floor depicting a beribboned laurel wreath encircling a bird's head. The next ground floor bay to the right is an aviary lined with tufa forming stalagmites and stalactites. Then 2 bays with bay windows, the left with crenellated parapet, the right having a timber framed gable. East facade of symmetrical design with central, projecting ground floor chimney breast with single pitch roof and full height narrower chimney with diaper work terminating with 3 diagonally set stacks. Interior: the main rooms open off 2 halls and a corridor, the entrance hall being a projecting bay set at an angle. Entrance hall is oak-panelled in jacobean style to two thirds height with an exposed beam ceiling and enriched cornice. Large, pilastered chimneypiece and pilastered doorcase with strapwork cresting. Curved stairs with strapwork balustrades lead through 2-leaf panelled oak doors with copper furniture into a panelled passage-way with ogee-panelled plasterwork, barrelled ceiling including Tudor roses. A screen leads into the panelled main stair hall with a chimneypiece of brown marble topped by a band of brightly painted bas-relief medieval hunting scenes; on the breast above, a beribboned laurel wreath. Dogleg stair with jacobean style balusters. Passageway continues across the front of the house, the main rooms leading off to the right. The drawing room is a very fine and important example of the interior decoration of Basillonides being his own interpretation of an early C18 scheme, using detail from gesso furniture. The woodwork is cedar with gilded carvings. Ionic pilasters support a deep, enriched ceiling cornice and form part of the doorcase with enriched pulvinated frieze and pediment; panelled door. Fireplace with dark green marble surround and carved and gilded mantelshelf. On the opposite side of the room, a round-arched shelved niche with radiating feather motif gilding at the top and a carved and gilded Medusa head. Originally the pilasters were separated by plain, taffeta panels and the fireplace bays panelled with soft grey coloured glass; carved and gilded Medusa head electric light sconces originally adorned the walls. The Jacobean style former smoking room has good oak fitted shelving and cupboards; patterned plasterwork ceiling with pendants. Dining room in C18 style with fine mahogany feature of fielded panel doors flanking and appearing as one with the panelled buffet having a circular over-mirror with carved seraphim flanked by enriched Ionic columns. A full-height, mahogany panelled and ceiled inglenook has flanking Ionic columns and chimneypiece, with circular over-mirror, carved with seraphim and festoons in the style of Grinling Gibbons; green marble fire surround. From this inglenook, a window looks into the rear of the aviary. Ceiling of moulded plasterwork panelling with deep festoon enriched frieze. The former ballroom, in Jacobean style, is oak panelled to two thirds height and has a large carved and panelled oak inglenook fireplace with a green marble fire surround; small windows flank the pilastered chimneypiece and the mantelshelf has the date 1906 carved on it. Ornamental plasterwork ceiling and frieze. Lower hall with Art Nouveau stained glass window panels and copper door furniture. Most lst floor rooms retain good fireplaces and features from different periods. Of particular note is the former boudoir with large C18 style inglenook with windows to the left of the fireplace and door to right leading into a dressing room. Main bay window with fitted painted timber seat; enriched plaster ceiling. A bathroom has panels of Art Nouveau tiles in red, black, cream and buff colours. History: the original house was a Gothic villa, built on a 100 acre estate, and much influenced the plan of the remodelling. Sir John Mullens was a partner in the London stockbroking firm of N Marshall & Co, Lombard Street and remodelled the house as his upper middle class family home set in a country estate. c1912 he brought a team of Japanese landscape gardeners to Barrow Hills to make a then famous Japanese Garden in the grounds; part of this survives in the form of highly realistic concrete "stone" rocks on a hillside with a pumped stream, pools and waterfall over a cliff to a pond and pergola. Sir William Berry (later knighted as Lord Cambrose of Long Cross), newspaper proprietor and one time Editor in Chief of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times, bought the property in 1920. In 1937 ownership passed to the British Greyhound Association who sold it in 1950 to St George's College, Weybridge. Realising that the Ministry of Supply was acquiring much of the surround land, the college sold Barrow Hills to the Ministry in 1952; the following year it became an Officers' Mess and subsequently a Test Track was built in the grounds, destroying much of the Japanese Garden. Publication: Country Life, 16 Feb 1929, pp235-237; Country Life, 17 Oct 1936; Barrow Hills Mess, An Outline History by Col. H W B Mackintosh, published privately 1984; The Rebuilding of Barrow Hills 1906-1912, an Open University dissertation by Lt. Col. D W Ronald, 1981.

Listing NGR: SU9909165710


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Mackintosh, H W B, Barrow Hills Mess, An Outline History, (1984)
'Country Life' in 16 February, (1929), 235-237
'Country Life' in 17 October, (1939)


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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