48 Selly Wick Road


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
48 Selly Wick Road, Selly Park, Birmingham


Ordnance survey map of 48 Selly Wick Road
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Statutory Address:
48 Selly Wick Road, Selly Park, Birmingham

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

Birmingham (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


An Arts and Crafts style detached house, built in 1913 to designs by William Alexander Harvey and H Graham Wicks.

Reasons for Designation

48 Selly Wick Road, Birmingham, an Arts and Crafts house of 1913 by William Alexander Harvey and H Graham Wicks, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest: * as a good Arts and Crafts design demonstrating clear quality in architectural style, designed by William Alexander Harvey, a well-known regional architect of considerable reputation who designed the buildings of Cadbury’s Bourneville model garden suburb, and his partner H Graham Wicks; * the house is a good example of the Birmingham Arts and Crafts style of building, with excellent massing, good quality and traditional materials, careful proportions, limited external detailing and adherence to traditional methods and craftsmanship; and the typical Arts and Crafts relationship to its garden, embraced by an open loggia and large roof terrace; * the interior retains its architectural set pieces, with a good inglenook fireplace, broad stair, quietly detailed fixtures and fittings, and use of tile and timberwork; most areas of the house have been little altered and survive well.


48 Selly Wick Road, also sometimes known as Boscobel House, was built in 1913 for a Mrs Higgs, whose name is shown on the building’s plans, preserved in the Birmingham Archives. The house was designed by W Alexander Harvey and H Graham Wicks. William Alexander Harvey, FRIBA (1874-1951), a prominent architect influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, best known for the houses and public buildings he was commissioned to design from 1895 at the model garden suburb of Bourneville for the Cadbury family of chocolate makers. Harvey set up his own architectural practice in 1904, and from about 1911, was joined in the firm by his nephew, H Graham Wicks, ARIBA (b.1887), with whom he designed 48 Selly Wick Road. The house was constructed on the Selly Park Estate, a suburb which developed from the 1850s onwards. The garden appears to have been laid out at the same time, divided into compartments in Arts and Crafts manner, with a formal, circular pond.

The footprint of the house is almost unaltered since its completion, though there has been some minor reordering of the smaller spaces off the former kitchen, which in the later C20 or early C21 was converted to a family room. Between 1913 and 1939, garaging was added in front of the service courtyard, filling in the angle between the house and the service range, preserving the existing service court beyond. Later in the C20, the archways of the open loggia were glazed in. The garden boundary wall was rebuilt in the early C21, though the gateway arch was retained.


An Arts and Crafts style detached house, built in 1913 to designs by William Alexander Harvey and H Graham Wicks.

MATERIALS Red-brown brick, with tile roofs.

PLAN The house is built on a pinwheel plan, with the principal rooms ranged around a central entrance hall, and service rooms ranged around an enclosed courtyard formed behind garages to the east of the house.

EXTERIOR The house is in a Tudor Arts and Crafts style, of two storeys, and is roughly L-shaped, with the entrance front facing south and the garden front facing west. The house is built almost entirely of hand-made reddish-brown brick, longer than standard bricks, laid in English bond, with rubbed brick detailing. The tile roofs are noticeably sprocketed. The moulded rectangular stacks have diaper brickwork to their tops. The windows are dark-coloured timber casements with rectangular leaded glazing (except that to the left of the entrance which has diamond glazing, shown on the original drawings), those to the ground floor in part mullioned and transomed, and those to the first floor generally of one, two or three lights. The south (entrance) elevation has two parallel, contrasting, gabled blocks. The entrance itself, to the left bay, has a round-headed doorway and a small oriel window above, the gable faced with waney-edged boarding. The projecting wing to its right has a hipped roof and a full-height bay projecting above eaves level as a parapet, faced in Cotswold stone slates. The garden front has one block, with a hipped roof. The corner of the L-shape, at the south-west, is filled by a single-storey garden room, originally an open loggia with large, round-arched openings to either elevation, the arches now infilled with multi-paned windows. The coped walls rise above the flat roof to form a balcony, accessed through a half-glazed timber door from the first-floor landing. The rear elevation has a large bow window to the ground floor, added later but in matching style, and a small canted bay with a hipped roof to the right, accommodating a deep fireplace recess; the stack rises above with two offsets. To the east of the house, a pair of garages, that to the right projecting, with a hipped roof, set in front of the service court, which retains its storage and boot rooms.

INTERIOR The interior has extensive, warm oak joinery, with the circulation areas and principal rooms having oak skirting boards, picture rails and panelled doors. The principal rooms to each floor have moulded plaster cornices. The majority of the fireplaces appear to survive, each different. The entrance hall is treated as a room, with a corner fireplace with timber surround and tiled insert, and double doors to the adjacent drawing room. This room has a deep fireplace recess forming a cosy corner, with a timber fire surround and arched niches to either side. The dining room has a rubbed-brick fireplace and deeply-swept timber cornice rising to meet the exposed ceiling joists, which have moulded edges and painted foliate decoration along their length. The garden room, formerly an open loggia, retains its stone flag floor. The open-well stair has a solid timber balustrade topped with a moulded handrail, which is ramped as it rises; the balustrade continues as to create a galleried landing at first-floor level. The stair is top-lit by a compartmental, rectangular ceiling lantern. The bedrooms have a variety of early-C20 timber fireplaces with tile inserts, and the principal bedroom has segmental-arched recesses to either side of the fireplace.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES The plot is accessed from the street through an ENTRANCE ARCHWAY, built in the same brick as the house, with a round-arched opening and pitched coping covered with three rows of tiles and ridge tiles. The eaves and springers are marked with horizontal tile courses. The iron gates shown on the original drawings have been replaced with a later-C20 or early-C21 example.


H Graham Wicks, in Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, Vol 2, (L-Z), p.984
House for Mrs Higgs at Selly Hill, W Alex Harvey & H Graham Wicks Architects, May 1913: architect’s plans and elevations: Birmingham city council building plan no. 24386 (1913). Detail showing garden front etc.; Birmingham city council building plan no. 24386 (1913). Detail, south (entrance front); Birmingham city council building plan no. 23486 (1913)


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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