Dale Cross Grange with attached service buildings and entrance gates
Heritage Category: Listed Building
List Entry Number: 1459072
Date first listed: 25-Oct-2018
Location Description: NGR: SO9880473816
Statutory Address: 9-11 Mearse Lane, Barnt Green, Birmingham, B45 8HG
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Statutory Address: 9-11 Mearse Lane, Barnt Green, Birmingham, B45 8HG
Location Description: NGR: SO9880473816
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Bromsgrove (District Authority)
Parish: Lickey and Blackwell
National Grid Reference: SO9880473818
A house built for Frank Rabone in 1899/1900 to the designs of Crouch & Butler in the Arts and Crafts style. The house has an attached motor house and there are entrance gates by the road.
Reasons for Designation
Dale Cross Grange with attached service buildings and entrance gates, Barnt Green is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
Architectural interest: * a picturesque composition with excellent massing, careful proportions, good external detailing and adherence to traditional materials and craftsmanship, resulting in an Arts and Crafts design of considerable architectural merit; * the ensemble of house with attached service buildings and entrance gates is a group with clear quality and attention to detail in its architectural style; * it is one of the best and well-preserved Arts and Crafts designs by the noted practice of Crouch & Butler. Many of their buildings have already been recognised as being of special interest through listing; * the interior is notable for the quality of its detailing including: oak panelling and flooring to the ground floor principal rooms, living hall, stair and gallery; other joinery and features including doors with iron fittings. Reused C17/C18 decorative elements are carefully incorporated within an overall scheme that displays good craftsmanship and design interest; * although the house has undergone some alterations it retains a large proportion of the original layout and fabric, along with external features of quality such as the timber-framed portico with decorative carvings.
Historic interest: * the attached motor house with staff accommodation is an early example of its type, having been built by 1904 in the pioneering years of motoring. These service buildings embody a key element of C20 small country house design and well-preserved examples of this date survive in relatively few numbers.
Dale Cross Grange was designed and built in 1899-1900 for Frank Rabone by architects Joseph Crouch and Edmund Butler. Rabone was a partner in the silver firm of W & F Rabone who were established at Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham. He lived at the house until his death in 1918. Interior fittings include re-used C17/C18 panelling, chimneypieces and overmantels along with panelling and fittings that were possibly by members of the Bromsgrove Guild, who worked on other Crouch & Butler houses of the period.
Dale Cross Grange is shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1904 including an attached motor house with accommodation, and is marked as Dalecross Grange. Further outbuildings were added to the rear some time later and are shown on the Map of 1927, along with an additional bow window to the south-westerly corner of the house, and landscaping to the gardens. Alterations in the later C20 and C21 include the addition of a conservatory to the north-west corner of the main house and the replacement of many of the window units.
A house of 1899-1900 by Crouch & Butler of Birmingham for Frank Rabone.
MATERIALS: constructed of red brick laid in English bond and narrow-stud timber framing with ashlar dressings, roughcast rendering and tiled roofs with brick stacks. The ground floor rooms and hall are oak-panelled. The floors are covered in oak blockwork to the principal rooms and there is a tiled floor to the kitchen corridor.
PLAN: of two storeys with attics on multiple levels, built on a north-west/south-east orientation. The house is set out as two parallel ranges, each under a pitched roof, and a central cross-wing. Attached to the north east are service buildings, a motor house and staff accommodation in a courtyard arrangement.
EXTERIOR: built in the Domestic Revival style with timber-framed, red brick and roughcast elevations under steeply-pitched roofs with tall brick chimneystacks. The windows are timber casements with decorative leading, many of which are modern replacements. The informally-arranged façade is timber-framed to both the left bay and to the projecting gabled central bay. There is a broad brick chimney between them, which has a small leaded opening to the ground floor, an ashlar opening and off-set at first-floor level, and diamond stacks above. The central projecting bay has three small openings to the ground floor and an original large mullioned and transomed stair window above. There is a casement and ventilator to the attic gable. To the right the façade is brick to the ground floor and roughcast rendered to the first floor with the openings breaking through the eaves and a three-light dormer window to the roof. The central door entrance has an oak gothic portico under a tiled roof that has the carved inscription DULCE DOMUM to the lintel and further decorative mouldings. The panelled front door has an ashlar architrave and broken pediment, and to its right an iron bell-pull and iron boot-scraper set in the wall.
Extending from the north-east corner are the red brick motor house and staff accommodation buildings. To the centre, facing south east, are wide double timber doors in a jowled carriage arch (with strap hinges on the interior face) set within a deep, broad timber-framed gable with a cornice and an attic casement above. To the right roof slope is a twin diamond-shafted brick stack. To the left of this range of buildings is a door to the kitchen with two small openings to the pantry. To the right of the carriage arch is a later-C20 bow window with a dormer above.
The south-east flank of the house is brick to the ground floor and timber framed above with twin gables and brick stacks set within the valley. A bow front to ground floor left is of early-mid C20 date and has three stone steps to the lawn. The corner to the garden front has an angled brick buttress.
The garden front is asymmetric and of brick with roughcast render. To the right of centre is a gabled bay with a tall mullioned and transomed hall window and a panelled door under a domed hood to the right. There are single-storey square projecting bay windows to each side and cast-iron rainwater hoppers with 1900 dates. The roof slope to the left has a dormer window. Attached to the left is a modern single-storey brick and timber conservatory.
The north-west flank has a shaped gable with an AD 1899 datestone and a three-light casement below. There are wide triple brick stacks and chimney beasts to each side of the gable window and a tiled pitched roof below. A single-storey brick wing extends from the left of the elevation and the modern conservatory is to the right.
Attached to the left is the single-storey red brick service range that forms a courtyard group with the motor house and staff accommodation. The main entrance to the courtyard is through the gabled carriage arch with staff accommodation to the left and a motor house to the right. Attached to the north are a flat-roofed brick garage and a greenhouse with low brick walls and a chimneystack, both of approximate 1920s date with later alterations. The motor house and courtyard have stone and brick-laid surfaces. The accommodation is arranged over different floor heights and has some plain early-C20 joinery including a stair but no other historic fittings.
INTERIOR: the oak-panelled vestibule has a door to a lower level cloakroom and a further room which now serves as a bar with a modern oak servery and seating area. The vestibule opens into the living hall, also oak-panelled and with narrow-studded walls at upper level and a substantial cross-beam at ceiling level. At the north-east end is the staircase with a balustraded balcony and stud wall to either side. Below is a plain stone fireplace with an altered left mantel end and a servant bell to the right. The oak overmantel is of C17/C18 date with decoration including biblical scenes, heraldry and Germanic text. The panelling to the right walls also appears to incorporate reused decorative work. There are panelled doors to the dining room, drawing room and study. The dining room has an inglenook with a moulded stone fireplace and a timber chimney piece including overmantel composed of C17/C18 re-sued elements, possibly of Flemish origin. The overmantel is particularly richly decorated. There is also decorative panelling to each side of the inglenook and plain oak panelling to the other parts of the room and window reveals. A concealed door in the panelling leads to the kitchen corridor. The kitchen areas have some original doors with chamfered decoration and fittings. The drawing room has a reset ornate timber chimneypiece and a C18 style panelled ceiling with late-C20 decorative plaster infill.
The main staircase has twisted balusters and square newels. The window to the half-landing is of 1899 with decorative leading and iron catches. The first-floor bedrooms have dado rails and plain cornices. The rooms to the upper floor are set across varying levels and, as across the house, have original panelled doors with iron furniture.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: a pair of broad timber gates with gate posts and cast-iron strap hinges stand at the entrance to the driveway.
Books and journals
Ballard, P, Birmingham's Victorian and Edwardian Architects, (2009), 464
Pevsner, N, Brooks, A, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, (2007), 124
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building but not coloured blue on the map, are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act. However, any works to these structures which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require Listed Building Consent (LBC) and this is a matter for the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to determine.
End of official listing