The East Lodge at Christ’s Hospital School, built in about 1905 to designs by Sir Aston Webb, together with the attached re-sited gate piers and gates thought to date from between 1832 and 1836 installed at the same time.
Reasons for Designation
The East Lodge at Christ’s Hospital School, built in about 1905 to designs by Sir Aston Webb, together with the attached re-sited gate piers and gates thought to date from between 1832 and 1836 installed at the same time, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* the lodge is a compact and accomplished work by the distinguished architectural practice of Sir Aston Webb and Edward Ingress Bell;
* the striking design in Elizabethan style makes an apt announcement of the school, with its C16 origins and strong awareness of its own history;
* the earlier gate piers are richly carved with sculptural motifs referring to the school and its history, including figures of scholars in their distinctive uniform;
* the exterior of the lodge remains almost completely intact; the gate piers and gates survive as an ensemble together with their lanterns, and the circa 1905 flanking walls.
* as a noteworthy part of Christ’s Hospital School’s newly established Sussex complex, reflecting the desire for more spacious rural premises;
* the installation of the gateway from the old school’s Newgate Street entrance underlines the continuation of tradition between the two school sites.
* with the contemporary main school buildings, also by Webb and Bell, listed at Grade II*; the school is also home to the innovative arts centre and music school built to designs by Howell, Killick, Partridge and Amis in 1972-1974, incorporating Webb’s earlier band room and practice rooms. To the north of the East Lodge is the ‘Old Lodge’, listed at Grade II; to the west is a former barn dating from the late C16 or early C17, and to the south is Sluetts, part of which is a C16 timber-framed cottage.
Christ’s Hospital was founded by Edward VI in 1553 on the site of Grey Friars, Newgate Street, in the City of London, with the purpose of providing food, clothing, lodging and education for orphans and the children of the poor. Girls were admitted from the beginning. The school was financed by the City of London, with donations from the Church, businesses and householders. The original buildings were largely destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666, and many children were sent to Hertfordshire as a temporary measure; in 1682 a self-contained boarding school was established in Hertford. The rebuilding of the London school was completed in 1705, with the involvement of Sir Christopher Wren; further building took place from 1793 to 1829. In the late C19, the London site was deemed to be cramped and unhealthy, and a more spacious rural site was sought. A site of over a thousand acres was purchased from the Aylesbury Dairy Company near Horsham in Sussex, and preparations were made to move the school there. In 1902 all the boys from the London and Hertford schools transferred to the new site, and the school at Hertford became a girls-only school. In 1985 the Hertford site closed and the girls transferred to Horsham, with Christ’s Hospital becoming a co-educational school once again. Today the school has about 900 pupils.
The overall plan and principal buildings of the new Sussex school were designed by Aston Webb and Edward Ingress Bell, who won the competition for the work in 1894. Webb (1849-1930, knighted 1904) and Bell (1837-1914, and the less prominent member of the partnership), had been responsible for the Victoria Law Courts in Birmingham (1886-1891), and in 1891 won the competition to complete the Victoria and Albert Museum (built 1899-1901). Webb’s designs for public buildings would include the Grade 1-listed Admiralty Arch (designed 1905-1907) and the 1913 refronting of Buckingham Palace. (All the buildings mentioned above are listed at Grade I.) Webb and Bell's buildings at Birmingham University, listed at Grade II*, date from 1900-1909. The main school buildings at Christ's Hospital, based around a giant quadrangle and designed in a free Tudor style, were constructed between 1897 and 1904; some fabric was brought from the London school to be incorporated in the new buildings. The East Lodge post-dates the main school buildings by a few years; a drawing showing the building with some details still in development is dated April 1904. A still earlier, alternative plan for the site took the form of a linked pair of lodges to either side of an arched gateway. Working drawings for the existing scheme included gate piers built in banded brick to harmonise with the lodge; in the event, piers were brought from the main Newgate Street entrance to the London school, together with the gates. Designed by John Shaw (1776-1832), Architect and Surveyor of Christ's Hospital, or his son (1803-1870), also John Shaw, and also Surveyor, the gateway is thought to date from between 1832 and 1836. (The view in John Tallis’s ‘London Street Views’ (1838-1840) indicates that the gates were formerly hung from secondary inner piers, probably of iron.) The so-called ‘Old Lodge’ (listed at Grade II) which stands a short distance to the north of the East Lodge predates the school, and is present on the Ordnance Survey map published in 1898, but not on the map published in 1875.
Lodge, dating from about 1905, built by Sir Aston Webb and Edward Ingress Bell for Christ’s Hospital School in an Elizabethan style, together with the attached gate piers and gates designed by John Shaw or John Shaw Junior and dating from somewhere between 1832 and 1836, but moved and installed here at the same time.
MATERIALS: red brick laid in English bond with roughcast sections, and ashlar dressings of Portland and Bath stone. The roof is tiled. The stone-mullioned windows contain metal-framed casements with leaded lights.
PLAN: the two-storey lodge has an octagonal plan, with longer sides facing the cardinal points (the building stands at right-angles to the drive (The Avenue), which runs roughly north/south at this point). At the centre of the western elevation is a double-height projecting bay, with the entrance porch at ground-floor level.
EXTERIOR: the ground floor and the shorter sides of the building are of red brick banded with stone, whilst the first floor sections are rendered. Projecting pilasters define the edges of the shorter sides, each of which is capped by a triangular stone pediment with a roughcast face, supporting an obelisk finial. The architect’s plans show the pediments flanked by pairs of ball finials, no longer, if ever, in place. The pyramidal roof rises to a tall square chimney with projecting panels and a moulded stone cap. There is an eaves cornice of diagonally-set brick. The entrance, on the south side of the porch, and approached by three stairs, has a segmental-arched doorway set in a stone doorcase with carved spandrels and a flat moulded timber hood. The original door with its multi-paned glazing remains. Each of the projecting sides contains two vertical mullioned and transomed windows – one at ground-floor level and one at first-floor level. Of the longer sections, those facing the road are blind at ground-floor level, with the northern section having two mullioned windows, set horizontally, and separated by a down-pipe. On the south side are brick openings – a large round-headed arch to the east leads to the former wash-house, and a narrow segmental-arched opening leads to the former scullery, which also connects with the lodge internally; both spaces are now in use for storage.
INTERIOR: the building is divided roughly in quarters internally, with the stair rising in the south-western section, following the angle of the walls. The simple balustrade is thought to be original, having square newel posts with square moulded finials; the balusters have been boxed in or removed. An archway leads from the porch into a central passage which runs from east to west; there is a short passage in the same position on the first floor. The interior, thought always to have been simple, has been through modernisation and refurbishment, and retains few decorative historic features, though a number of doorcases remain, together with some skirtings, moulded timber window cills and elaborate wrought-iron window-catches. The historic character of the building largely consists in the idiosyncratic plan and room shapes, with the lowest part of the roof structure being exposed, and in the windows with their heavy mullions. All chimneypieces have been removed, though the centrally-located chimneybreasts remain; there is a C20 replacement chimneypiece in the ground-floor’s north-eastern room, originally the kitchen. The former larder, in the south-east corner, is now the kitchen. Upstairs, the wall between the two eastern bedrooms has been removed. Above the porch is a bathroom, in the original position, but with modern fittings; the original WC in the south-west corner has also been replaced.
MATERIALS: Portland stone piers, with Bath stone capitals, the short flanking walls of Bath stone, and brick banded with stone. The gates are of iron.
PLAN: the gate piers are set on either side of The Avenue, with narrow flanking walls, and an outer pier to the west.
DETAILS: the chamfered piers are square in section, each standing on a plain chamfered plinth, and with a tall, elaborately carved ‘capital’ in three stages. The first stage of the capital has a roll-moulding above which is the chamfer-stop. The main stage has a figure of a child to each corner, dressed in the distinctive Christ’s Hospital uniform. To the south face is a Tudor rose in relief with a coronet above; to the north face are the Christ’s Hospital arms, beneath a traceried tented canopy rising through the third stage, topped by a three-dimensional fleur-de-lys. There are fleur-de-lys to the east and west faces. At the bottom of each face is a banner bearing lettering, now largely illegible, but thought possibly to represent the text, ‘Fear God / Honour the King / Love the Brotherhood’. There are crenellations around the top of the second stage. Above, the smaller third stage is also stop-chamfered, with a fleur-de-lys to the south face. The piers are surmounted by cast-iron lanterns with ogival glazing and crouching lions to the feet. At the top of the eastern lantern is a figure of Edward VI. The gates are double-leaved with dog-bars; the bars have alternate fleur-de-lys and spear-head finials. The central, closing, finial is a Gothic pinnacle. To either side of the piers are narrow flanking stone walls; to the west is an outer pier of the same height as the wall, of brick banded with stone. Walls and pier are topped with a moulded stone coping; the coping of the pier is enriched with a dentil course.