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List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1389370



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

County: Surrey

District: Mole Valley

District Type: District Authority


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 07-Sep-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Aug-1990

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 488027

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


1293/3/166 THORNCROFT DRIVE 07-SEP-51 (North side) Thorncroft Manor (Formerly listed as: DORKING ROAD Thorncroft Manor)


Manor house, now offices. 1772, by Sir Robert Taylor, for Henry Crabb Boulton; enlarged and altered. White painted render (probably on brick) over a flint plinth (probably formerly rendered); slate roof. L-shaped plan formed by a rectangular double-depth main range on a north-south axis with an integral wing to the rear of the north end. Two storeys over a high basement, 5 bays, symmetrical, facing east. The basement, of slobbered flint, has windows with flint surrounds roughly keyed for former rendered finish, and altered glazing. The central entrance, up 9 steps with rusticated ashlar side walls and simple latticed wrought-iron railings, has a wide Roman Doric doorcase with engaged columns distyle in antis, triglyph frieze with guttae and mutules (these unusually furnished with sets of guttae), and pediment with similar mutules, a round-headed doorway with double doors, and narrow sashed side windows; above the pediment is a small 2-light casement flanked by single-light casements; otherwise, the ground floor has tall 8-pane sashed windows with ornamental blind-hoods, and the 1st floor has 9-pane sashes; dentilled cornice and hipped roof with 3 inserted dormers and 2 ridge chimneys. The ground floor of the 4-bay left return wall is mostly covered by extensions, and the 1st floor has two 6-pane sashes flanked by blind windows. The 6-bay right-hand return wall has a full-height canted bay in the 3rd, and fenestration matching that of the front. The rear of this wing has a round-headed doorway to the right, under a semicircular porch approached by a flight of 9 steps protected by elegant wrought-iron bar railings terminating in wreaths; one 8-pane sash to the left and three 9-pane sashes above. Interior: entrance hall with (inter alia) a coved alcove in each side flanked by coved roundels containing busts, an Ionic screen distyle in antis, dentilled cornice, and a fine open-well stone staircase with moulded soffits to the steps, and 2 slender twisted balusters per tread; to the rear of the screen, a doorway with pedimented architrave, leading in to the principal reception room of the wing, which has wall panels, marble fireplace, and dentilled cornice; off the service passage to the left of the hall, a doglegged staircase with closed string and barley-sugar balusters (perhaps surviving or re-used from earlier building on the site). Subsidiary Features. To the rear an extension was added in 1974-6 to the designs of Michael Manser and Partners, job architects Vladimir Bogdanovich and Mark Ashmead, with Frank Dewar, that linked the manor house and stable block while making the minimal physical or visual impact on the eighteenth-century fabric. Steel frame, clad in mirror glass set in neoprene gaskets on raised brick and cobble plinth. Three storeys, the upper floor set back and canted to reflect the sky. Projecting rendered lift shaft at rear of main building never used. Interiors open plan around a central service core, designed to be flexible and not of special interest. A very elegant conservation solution to the difficult problem of adding offices to a historic country house. 'Manser's refusal to compromise is manifest by a quiet clean, visual statement that sits comfortably alongside Taylor's manor house and Brown's landscaped park, confounding the Surrey planners' worst fears' (this attribution to Lancelot Brown however remains unsubstantiated). (Building Design, 29 April 1977, p.17). The addition won an RIBA commendation in 1977. History: Thorncroft was one of the two feudal manors of Leatherhead from Norman times, held by Merton College, Oxford, from 1266 to 1904; the house, rebuilt in timber in 1497, was occupied in the C16 and C17 by Robert Gardiner, Sergeant of the Wine Cellar to Elizabeth I; but was taken down and re-built in this form in 1776.

References: LDLHS History(passim); J.W.Lovatt The Manor of Thorncroft: a Short History (1977); M.Binney, Sir Robert Taylor: from Rococo to Neo-Classicism (1984) p.33.

Listing NGR: TQ1654355866

The listing was enhanced in 2016.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
'Proceedings of the Leatherhead and District Local History Society' in The Leatherhead and District Local History Society, (1987)
Phibbs, J, ‘Thorncroft Manor’ in ‘A list of landscapes that have been attributed to Lancelot 'Capability' Brown’ , accessed 12 January 2016 from

National Grid Reference: TQ1654155864


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End of official listing