48 Selly Wick Road
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
- Statutory Address:
- Selly Park, Birmingham, B29 7JB
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- Statutory Address:
- Selly Park, Birmingham, B29 7JB
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. The former service court to the east and the 2019 extension to the rear (north) are excluded.
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:
* 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.
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.
A rear extension was added to the kitchen and former service rooms in 2019, and the service court partially rebuilt at the same time. The balcony was built over at the same time to create a further first-floor room.
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, was 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 uPVC windows, and a further room added above, with an additional gable to the main elevation. The rear elevation has a large, flat-roofed extension to the ground floor, which is excluded from the listing. There is 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 is the former service court, which is excluded from the listing.
INTERIOR: the interior has extensive, wood-grained joinery, with the circulation areas and principal rooms having skirting boards, picture rails and panelled doors. The windows have elaborate, scrolling catches in Arts and Crafts style. The principal rooms to each floor have moulded plaster cornices. The majority of the fireplaces appear to survive to the principal rooms, each different. The entrance hall is treated as a room, with a neo-Georgian 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 with shell heads to either side, and a side light with stained glass. The room terminates in a deep canted bay with windows on all three sides. The dining room has a rubbed-brick fireplace and deeply-swept timber cornice rising to meet the decorative ceiling joists. The deep bay window has a segmental arch over, with the window continuing upwards behind. The surviving part of the former kitchen has a Regency-style reeded timber fire surround with tile inserts. 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, at first-floor level to create a galleried landing. 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. A door from the landing with a decorative blind box over gives access to the new dressing room, formerly the balcony over the garden room.
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. The adjacent brick walls are excluded from the listing.
Books and journals
Ballard, P, Birmingham's Victorian and Edwardian Architects, (2009)
Brodie, A, Directory of British Architects, 1834-1914: Vol. 2, (2001), 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.
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