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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: 1393851



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

County: Kent

District: Maidstone

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Bearsted

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 22-Jun-2010

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 508010

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

Yes list at Grade II


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



144/0/10013 WARE STREET 22-JUN-10 Little Snowfield

GV II House. Designed c.1912 by the architect Andrew N Prentice (1866-1941) for Baroness Orczy and her husband Montagu Barstow for occupation by her mother. Kentish Vernacular style. Some late C20 alterations. The late C20 south west single-storey extension is not of special interest.

MATERIALS: Ground floor of red brick in Flemish bond with blue headers, first floor tile-hung with some close-studded timber-framing with rendered infill to the garden front. Steeply-pitched tiled roofs with two red brick chimneystacks. Wooden casements with leaded lights.

PLAN: Cruciform, because of projecting centre to entrance and garden fronts. The original interior plan comprised a central staircase-hall to the north-west, drawing room to the north-east, dining room to the centre of the south-east side and service end to the south-west, four first-floor bedrooms and attics.

EXTERIOR: The north-west or entrance front has a projecting central staircase bay of two-storeys, and attic with large half-hipped gable with wide eaves below and asymetrically placed casement windows of two, three or four-lights. The left side doorcase has an oak studded plank door. The later C20 single storey addition in matching materials is attached at the south western end. The north-eastern side has a two storey six-light canted bay window under an overhanging eaves. The south-west elevation was originally the garden front. It has a steeply-pitched hipped tiled roof with two symmetrically-placed tall brick chimneystacks with moulded cornices and two gabled dormers with bargeboards and timber-framing. The principal feature of this front is a central projecting gable with plain bargeboards, the upper floors timber-framed with close-studding and jettied. The attic has a two-light window, the first floor has a six-light canted bay with moulded cornice supported on carved wooden brackets and the ground floor has a canted bay window of six-lights, the central four-lights later adapted into French windows. There are no further windows on the first floor. The right side ground floor has a two-light window. The left side of the ground floor has a narrow plank door with moulded architrave and ornamental hinges. The four-light window adjoining is a later insertion. The south-west side, the service end, is plain with a two-light ground floor window.

INTERIOR: The staircase hall has a well staircase with stick balusters, moulded handrail and square newel posts with moulded cornices, a series of four-panelled doors and tiled floor. The drawing room has a wooden bolection-moulded fireplace lined with white marble and a round-headed china alcove with keystone, pilasters and serpentine shelves. The central ground floor room, originally the dining room, has a wooden moulded fireplace lined with tiles. The former kitchen was later converted into a dining room and retains no original features. The first floor has two bedrooms containing wooden bolection-moulded fireplaces lined with tiles and with iron grates and a narrow cast-iron fireplace with diamond motifs.

HISTORY: Little Snowfield was designed circa 1912 by the Architect Andrew N Prentice (1866-1941) for the mother of Baroness Orczy. Baroness Orczy (1865-1947) and her husband Montagu Barstow had bought a large existing house to the south west, Snowfield, in 1906, probably on the proceeds of "The Scarlet Pimpernel", which had become an instant best seller when published in 1905. Snowfield was re-modelled by AN Prentice in a Neo-Georgian style. Also circa 1911 AN Prentice built a garden house at Snowfield in matching style to his additions at the main house.

The specification of works for Little Snowfield, dated 1912, required only the best materials "The whole of the glass to be the best - free from bubbles, specks, waviness and all other imperfections - sprigged where necessary, and well puttied and back-puttied." Other specifications included "paint to be composed of best white lead, pure boiled linseed oil, spirits of turpentine and colouring pigment." The sum of £20 was allotted for two lavatories, one bath, one basin and a copper-linied sink in the pantry. The heating system cost £56 and the servants bells £5. The house was set in wooded gardens of one acre.

In 1918 Baroness Orczy's mother returned to Hungary because she thought that her presence as an enemy alien was causing harm to her daughter and son-in-law. Unfortunately she became a captive of the Bolsheviks. It is thought that Baroness Orczy moved from Snowfield to Little Snowfield in 1919 and lived here for two years before she and her husband moved to the Villa Bijou at Monte Carlo, Monaco. Broness Orczy returned to England after the Second World War but died in Brown's Hotel, Mayfair.

SOURCES: Gray, A Stuart, Edwardian Architecture (1985) 294, for works of AN Prentice (1866-1941). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Entry for Baroness Orczy by Charlotte Mitchell. (2004). Specification of works of September 1912, quoted in March 2003 article in the Daily Telegraph.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: * Architectural interest: as a rare Kentish Vernacular style house by this architect in brick, tile-hanging and close-studding, built to high specifications. * Interiors: good survival of original joinery and other features. * Group value: formed part of the estate of Snowfield (Grade II) and was designed by the same architect as the main house for the same client. * Historic interest: designed for and occupied by the mother of Baroness Orczy, author of the Scarlet Pimpernel novels. It is possible that Baroness Orczy lived here for two years from 1919 after her mother returned to Hungary.

Selected Sources

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

National Grid Reference: TQ 79923 56040


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End of official listing