1 - 4 Brook Cottages


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Gambril Lane, Falfield, Wotton-under-edge, GL12 8DP


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Statutory Address:
Gambril Lane, Falfield, Wotton-under-edge, GL12 8DP

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

South Gloucestershire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Two pairs of estate cottages, in a Tudor Gothic style, built between the 1850s and 1880s, on the Tortworth Estate for the Earl of Ducie; possibly by Foster and Wood of Bristol.

Reasons for Designation

1-4 Brook Cottages, two pairs of mid-C19 estate cottages for the Tortworth Estate, are listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest: * as two mirror pairs of estate cottages in a Picturesque Tudor Gothic style, of good quality in architectural style; * the cottages are neatly detailed, with good proportions and massing, and make good use of traditional materials.

Historic interest: * for their construction as part of the mid-C19 improvement of the Tortworth Estate, in whose ownership they remain.

Group value: * with the numerous other listed lodges and estate cottages on the Tortworth Estate, which share constructional elements in a Picturesque Tudor Gothic style, forming a loose but recognisable estate style.


Brook Cottages were constructed on the Tortworth Estate, probably around the middle of the C19. They are not shown on the tithe map of 1840, but are present on the first edition Ordnance Survey map published in 1880. It is thought that they were erected as labourers’ cottages serving the then nationally renowned Whitfield Farm, Falfield, on the Tortworth Estate, home of the Earl of Ducie. Whitfield Farm, south of Brook Cottages, was laid out between 1839 and 1842 by agricultural improver, John C Morton, becoming the agricultural centrepiece of the estate in the mid-C19. As part of the development of the farm, subsequently known as Example Farm, first the existing small farmstead was demolished, all the old hedgerows were cleared, and large rectangular field areas were laid out for ease of cultivation. A complete field drainage system was created, including the straightening of the drainage ditch which runs north to south immediately in front of Brook Cottages, and from which they take their name. New roads and bridges were made, new fences and walling were constructed, and finally a new farmstead was built and equipped. A footpath ran alongside the drainage ditch from Brook Cottages to the buildings of Example Farm to the south.

The cottages have been attributed by Verey and Brooks (see sources) to the architectural firm of Foster and Wood of Bristol, and dated to around 1857, though no corroborating information has yet been found. They share some of the diverse picturesque characteristics of other workers’ cottages on the estate built from the 1840s to the 1870s, which were designed by various architects including SS Teulon (largely working here in the 1840s) and George Devey (mainly in the 1870s).

Brook Cottages remain part of the Tortworth Estate. They have undergone little alteration since their construction, apart from updating the interiors of the kitchens and former sculleries, and the replacement of their glazing with double glazing in the early years of the C21.


Two pairs of estate cottages, in a Tudor Gothic style, built between the 1850s and 1880s, on the Tortworth Estate for the Earl of Ducie; possibly by Foster and Wood of Bristol.

MATERIALS: local stone rubble with freestone dressings, plain tile roofs with decorative ridge details, and brick stacks.

PLAN: each of the two pairs is a mirror pair, with two principal ground floor rooms, to front and back, and a small scullery/utility room to the rear of the entrance.

EXTERIOR: each pair is of four bays and one and a half storeys, with shared central diamond-set ridge stacks and a deep hipped roof to the two inner bays; the outer bays are set back slightly, with lower, half-hipped roofs, with projecting gabled porches formed from uprights with moulded braces rising from a dwarf wall, the roof carried on scissor bracing and a central spinial with moulded pendant. A buttress with two offsets marks the centre of the shared elevation. The inner bays have a window to each of the ground and first floors; the ground-floor window, under a relieving arch, is stone mullioned and transomed, of six lights; the first-floor window is of two lights, stone-mullioned. All the glazing has been replaced with double glazed units set into the stone surrounds. The returns have a window to each of ground and first floors, a small, square single light to the ground floor, with a two-light stone mullioned window in the half-hipped gable. The return wall of number 4 is rendered. The projecting rear wing to each cottage is half hipped, with a central entrance door (that to number 4 is a uPVC replacement) and a two-light double-glazed uPVC casement window in segmental-arched openings to each of the ground and first floors. Number 3 has a small, late C20/early C21 single-storey conservatory; numbers 1 and 2 each have small lean-to additions in the same position.

INTERIOR: the interiors have some four-panelled doors, splayed window openings and moulded architraves and skirting boards. Number 4 has a wood-burning stove within the fireplace of the principal ground-floor room, which has no fire surround. The window reveal extends downwards to create a window seat. The rear kitchens and bathrooms have no detailing. A winder stair lit by a narrow fixed light window rises to a small first-floor landing, with doorways to the bedrooms set diagonally. There are some exposed roof timbers, all unchamfered.


Books and journals
Brooks, A, Verey, D, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire II - The Vale and the Forest of Dean, (2003), 361
Wade Martins, S, The English Model Farm, Building the Agricultural Ideal, 1700-1914, (2002), 160, 161, 213
Tithe map, Falfield, 1840


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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