Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1392866

Date first listed: 31-Mar-2005



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

District: Reading (Unitary Authority)

National Grid Reference: SU 72466 72296


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


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



934/0/10070 ALLCROFT ROAD 31-MAR-05 Hillside

II Large house, now flats, dated 1880 by Morris and Stallwood for W I Palmer of Huntley and Palmer, extended and dated 1898, by the same architects. Grey brick, slate roofs with red tile cresting, extensive red brick and terracotta dressings.

Entrance front. Right hand section, dated 1880. Three asymmetrical bays, two and a half storeys and basements, with single storey porch set forward. Moulded brick storey bands and cornices, some bays with small dentil cornices, some with a moulded plaster frieze. Gauged brick window and door arches, most with enriched keystones. Symmetrical left hand bay of a pair of rectangular ground floor windows under shaped rubbed brick arches and heads. Cambered first floor windows flanked by small rectangular lights set between red brick pilaster strips rising through two storeys terminating in ball finials. These frame upper floor window set beneath small richly moulded red brick pediment all clasped by moulded timber eaves. Terracotta panels to upper floor, beneath moulded plaster frieze. Central bay has near symmetrical two bay porch, defined by pilaster strips surmounted by ball finials, each bay beneath small, enriched, red brick pediment. Left hand oriel window with heavy glazing bars, some coloured glass panes survive. Semi-basement window below. Right hand entrance under similar arch leads to outer lobby with doorway to left under gauged brick head. Door of raised and fielded panels has hefty brass door furniture. Grey brick rear wall within red brick arch contains oculus, lighting basement stairs. Polychrome tile floor. Shaped stone steps within splayed red brick parapet wall, terminating in square piers with ball finials. Upper floor in three bays defined by shallow pilaster strips under frieze of moulded sunflowers. Cambered headed small paned sashes flank rectangular two light small paned casement under fanlight. Symmetrical pedimented right hand wing has single rectangular small paned sash to each floor in deep red brick architrave beneath dated terracotta tablet in the pediment. Tall slender grey brick stacks with red brick strips and horizontal bands.

Left hand, symmetrical, two and a half storey two bay addition, and shallow stair bay to right, with service entrance. Red brick frieze and dentil cornice to each floor. Plaster frieze beneath eaves. Rectangular small paned sashes in red brick architraves. Paired ground floor windows have continuous red brick apron. First floor windows enhanced by pilaster strips. Terracotta aprons beneath paired upper floor sashes, each pair under pediment, with grey brick face with terracotta rosette, and rich red brick dressings, all clasped by moulded timber eaves. Tall grey and red brick stack with moulded cap. Service entrance under shaped parapet, with angle pilaster with ball finial, beneath tall small paned sash stair window, set directly below the eaves.

Right return. Two bays, of two and two and a half storeys. Continuous storey mouldings and dentil cornices, terracotta panels at first floor. Left hand pedimented canted bay in red brick has sash windows with small paned upper sashes. Ground floor windows under shaped gauged brick heads. Right hand wing defined by red brick plaster strips terminating in ball finials, has aedicular red brick niche at first floor flanked by tall sashes. Richly moulded red brick pediment with grey brick frieze, flanked by shaped grey brick panels linking to pilasters. Pair of narrow, small paned lights.

Garden front. Asymmetrical, in five bays, with similar details as front. Continuous dentil cornice across first floor, and, at upper floor across all but original two and a half storey bay; plaster frieze to right hand extension. Original house has two storey canted bay to left, each face with small pediment. Near symmetrical two and a half storey right hand bay set forward. Ground floor entrance to right under round arch. Pediment to upper storey above two-light small-paned casement, flanked by pilaster strips rising from floor below and terminating in ball finials. All other windows are sashes, the upper sashes with small panes, in moulded timber architraves, under slightly cambered gauged brick arches at ground floor, flat, moulded arches at first floor. Extension in two bays. Two storey canted bay to left with moulded red brick parapet. Windows similar to original build. Upper floor similar to entrance front.

Left return Broad pedimented bay with services behind screen wall at ground floor. At first floor, pair of timber canted bays with sashes, the upper sashes small paned, flank small central casement. Dentil cornice. Tripartite small paned lights to pediment above terracotta apron dated 1898, small oculus above.


Only public areas visited.

Inner porch. Raised and fielded panelled dado. Polychrome mosaic floor. Richly moulded architraves to oriel window, most panes with yellow/ochre painted glass panels. Inner door. Lower raised and fielded panels, upper glazed panels, the margin lights retaining yellow/ochre painted glass.

Hall. Raised and fielded panelled dado. Frieze of deep panels with carved rosettes. Deep moulded ceiling ribs with drop finials. Doors of five raised and fielded panels, picked out in paler wood, in moulded architraves with rondels at the angles, under flat topped shaped canopies on moulded brackets. Heavy brass finger plates and locks. Chimneypiece in eared architrave with fluted frieze, under possibly later pediment with shaped brackets to the sides. Passage with similar dado leading to pair of doors, with glazed upper panels with painted glass similar to front door, under rectangular overlight. Deep arched ribs with moulded panels and turned feet. Open well closed string stair. Deep, moulded string, at landing with triple panels. Square or turned newels with turned finials, turned balusters, moulded rail. Dado with vertical fielded panels. Upper gallery on slender turned columns supporting broad central arch and narrower outer arches, all beneath frieze repeated from hall. Inner face has plain frieze and dentil cornice. Architraves of stair windows have rondels at the angles. Upper floor doorways in architraves with rondels at the angles, and carved drapes falling from them. Doors of five raised and fielded panels with brass door furniture. Lincrusta dado between moulded skirting and rail. Simpler doors in upper floor passage and added wing, with moulded panels in moulded architraves. Ground floor common room. Room includes end bay of original house, with garden door, under lower plaster ceiling in rich timber frame. Panelled dado. Simple plaster ceiling above rich moulded frieze. Richly carved chimneypiece with scrolled pediment above mirrored panels. Polychrome tile fire back and hearth. Basement stairs, below main stairs, are similarly panelled to hall with turned baluster screen to hall. Basement has polychrome encaustic floor tiles to original house.

Back stairs, square newels with ball finials and stick balusters.

The house was built for W I Palmer of Huntley and Palmers. It is one of the most opulent buildings of this period in Reading, which has a rich diversity of late C19 housing. Morris and Stallwood were prolific and accomplished local architects, well tuned to tastes and trends in public and private building, suited to a wealthy client wishing to invest in a building of the highest quality. The building is owned by Reading University and subdivided into flats. Only public areas are accessible and this description is based on visible rooms. Other rooms are said to contain chimneypieces and cupboards. Although the grounds have been built over in part, the house retains its entrance drive, gatepiers, gates and railings and some of its garden giving it its original sense of scale, space and context.


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

Legacy System number: 492538

Legacy System: LBS

End of official listing