26 St Matthew's Road
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- 26 St Matthew's Road, Kingsdown, Bristol, BS6 5TU
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- Statutory Address:
- 26 St Matthew's Road, Kingsdown, Bristol, BS6 5TU
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- City of Bristol (Unitary Authority)
- Non Civil Parish
- National Grid Reference:
A town house in a row, constructed in the C18, with extensions and modifications in the early C19; some C20 alterations.
Reasons for Designation
26 St Matthew’s Road, Kingsdown, Bristol, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
Architectural interest: * as a well-preserved house of the second half of the C18, increased in size and altered in the early C19, which retains its good-quality internal decorative scheme from both periods; * the house demonstrates clear evidence of its evolution, with the opening-up of one of the principal rooms into a later wing, to create a large space with good interior features; * the C18 and early C19 interior features, including the large stair hall with open-string stair, fireplaces, joinery and plasterwork, are all of good quality and survive well; * the main elevation to the garden retains its C18 appearance, with a good classical doorcase and segmental arched windows, and the wing has a well-made bow window.
Historic interest: * as part of the C18 development of suburban Bristol, marking the movement of the professional and mercantile classes out of the industrial city centre to the emerging suburbs.
26 St Matthew’s Road appears to have originated in the second half of the C18 as a single-depth, single range house on a long plot stretching between Kingsdown Parade to the south, and the present St Matthew’s Road to the north. The house was constructed parallel to the road at the rear of the plot, with its main elevation facing the large garden extending to Kingsdown Parade, and adjoining 25 St Matthew’s Road (listed Grade II), with which it appears to be broadly contemporary. By the time that George Ashmead surveyed his map of the area in 1828, a wing had been added at right-angles to the main range, at the southern end; and the house had been extended to the rear to enclose the remainder of the plot up to the roadside, creating a roughly triangular extension. The interior underwent some associated remodelling, with the rear entrance doorway moved out into the new elevation to St Matthew’s Road, and the opening up of one of the principal rooms into part of the new wing.
In the early C19, and also shown on the 1828 map, a small, three-storey house (now 19 Kingsdown Parade) was constructed, the same width as the new wing, off Kingsdown Parade, taking up part of the former garden. There appears to have been some need to remodel the roof of the main range during the C19, perhaps due to fire or another event, as the present pitched roof structure only extends over two-thirds of the range, and the remainder is covered by a flat roof continuous with that over the triangular extension; the stair from the first floor of the main range now emerges onto the flat roof rather than within attic space. The 1885 Ordnance Survey map shows a small wing added to the north end of the main range (still extant) and this was extended further by a glasshouse, possibly a porte-cochère, since removed. By this date, too, a further building had been constructed along the Kingsdown Parade roadside on the south-eastern part of the plot. The windows in the St Matthew’s Road elevation appear to have been replaced in the C20.
A town house in a row, constructed in the C18, with extensions and modifications in the early-C19; some C20 alterations.
MATERIALS Painted, roughcast render to all elevations; concrete tile and slate roofs; some flat roofs.
PLAN A rough L-shape, with a main range running north east-south west parallel to the road, and a wing at right-angles; also a small addition extending from the northern end, and an irregular, roughly triangular infill section between the rear of the main range and the pavement at the northern extent of the plot. The main range has a cross-passage with principal rooms ranged to either side.
EXTERIOR The building is of two storeys, the main range of three bays, and the wing of four bays. The roadside elevation to St Matthew’s Road is set at an angle to the main range, fronting the pavement; this has a low, stone-coped parapet to the roof, and timber sash windows with exposed sash boxes. The left bay is blind; the parapet is ramped downwards from the higher, three-storey house adjacent in the row, hiding an enclosed staircase giving access to the roof, and then continues along the remainder of the elevation. The next bay towards the right projects at an angle, with a very small timber window in the ground floor of the first projection; it houses a wide, C18 doorcase with contemporary raised and fielded panel door to the ground floor, and a one-over-one sash window above. To the right, a tripartite window of one-over-one sashes, with another similar above, and to the right again, a one-over-one sash. The first-floor windows are set higher than that in the bay to the left. The far right half-bay is a small, single storey element with a small timber hatch covering a square opening with stone surround.
The garden elevation has the wing projecting to the left, and to the right, a small, single-storey, flat-roofed, stone-built extension housing one internal and one external room. The external room has a C19, part-glazed door with coloured margin glazing. The range has a parapet above a moulded stone string course. The windows in both ranges are mainly segmental-arched sashes with exposed sash boxes. The main range has three window bays to the first floor, all six-over-six hornless sashes; the ground floor has a C18 doorcase to the left, with pedimented hood on moulded brackets and an oval fanlight and C18 door. To the right, a large full-height multi-paned window with leaded hood carried on slender moulded brackets, the central section made as double doors. The pitched roof over the original main range is covered in concrete tile, and is surrounded by a flat roof over the extension towards St Matthew’s Road and forming a valley behind the rear parapet; a covered staircase rises above the easternmost bay to give access to the roofs.
The wing adjoins the main range at right angles. The right-hand bay, under a shallow, mono-pitched roof is bowed; the ground-floor is occupied by a full-height, tripartite bowed window with reeded mullions and hornless sashes. Above is a probably C19 window with segmental arches tops to the lights, the overhanging eaves carried on moulded brackets. The remainder of the range is of three bays, under a hipped roof covered in concrete tile. The right-hand bay has C19 French doors to the ground floor, and C20 doors above, with a small Juliet balcony. The remaining bays have segmental-arched, recessed horned sash windows, those to the first floor with one-over-one glazing. The gable end has a wide and shallow segmental-arched window.
INTERIOR The entrance from St Matthew’s Road gives access via an C18 door and classical doorcase, probably brought forward from the original main elevation of the main range, into the present porch, which has doors to the left to a WC, and to the right into the principal room within the triangular-plan extension. This room has a late-C20 classical fireplace, and C19 chair rails and skirting boards, with C19 panelled doors to a built-in cupboard. Two large corbels extend above the doorway into the main range, marking the extension to the front of the house. The single-depth main range has a through-plan, with a large, central stair hall, paved with very large flagstones; the opening formerly housing the front door directly opposes the back (formerly the front) door; the wide opening houses an C18 door, half-glazed, with etched and coloured glass to the margins, and an oval over-door light with coloured, floral and foliate glazing. The range has fluted door surrounds with square corners and paterae, and six-panelled doors. The present kitchen, to the north, has a plaster cornice with scrolling floral motifs; shutters and panelled reveal to the full-height window; a timber sink above panelled cupboard doors; and door to a small closet, now a pantry. The fireplace opening has been raised in height, with a new timber lintel, to accommodate a stove. The opposing bay of the original main range is now occupied in half its depth by an ante-room to the extension, and a drawing room, with wide floorboards, and anthemion cornice (introduced later). This original room is open into the wing, which has a higher ceiling height, the former exterior wall removed and supported on two fluted Doric columns. The southern section of the room, within the wing, has a full-height bow window with curved shutters and a fireplace with timber surround with fluting and paterae matching the door surrounds. Beyond this, two further rooms, one with a mid-C19 fireplace with plain timber surround; there is some evidence of reordering to this area, including the removal of part of one wall and the removal of a second fireplace. The open-string, dog-leg stair has a wide wreathed curtail step and three slender, turned balusters to each tread. The toadback handrail is ramped. A shallow dado rail runs opposite the handrail up the height of the flight. On the half-landing is a tall, arched niche marking the former site of a stair window, infilled following the addition of the extension beyond. The balusters and handrail continue to form a closely-set gallery along the landing. The landing has four-panelled doors to the rooms within the main range, which has flat-moulded pegged surrounds; those to the front extension are two-panelled. The room within the extension to St Matthew’s Road has a flat-moulded timber fire surround and a re-used C18 iron hob grate, and panelled cupboard doors. The main range is largely occupied by a large bedroom with panelling under the windows, which have window seats, and along one wall, incorporating cupboard doors. At the north end, an enclosed flight of timber stairs are set within an arched opening, and give access to the roof. They emerge on a flat-roofed section, with a door opposite the remaining section of the pitched roof. This roof is formed from slender trusses with collars and tie beams, and raking braces, with some queen struts. The first-floor rooms in the wing were not accessible at the time of inspection (2019).
Books and journals
Leech, Roger, The Town House in Medieval and Early Modern Bristol, (2014)
Know Your Place - Bristol, accessed 28.05.2019 from http://maps.bristol.gov.uk/kyp/?edition
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