Gatekeeper’s lodge. Built in around 1841.
Reasons for Designation
The former gatekeeper’s lodge to Wanstead Infant Orphan Asylum, built in about 1841, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as the gatekeeper’s lodge to one of England’s foremost infant orphanages, which received the highest patronage and illustrated changing attitudes to child welfare in early Victorian England, before being transformed into the largest stand-alone crown court centre in the country in the late C20.
* as a gatekeeper’s lodge and bailiff’s residence built in about 1841, which survives well with a largely unaltered exterior;
* as a carefully-detailed building in high quality materials, which forms a good composition and reflects the architectural quality of the former orphanage building (Snaresbrook Crown Court in 2019).
* with the Grade II-listed former Wanstead Infant Orphan Asylum built in 1841 to 1843 and the Grade II-listed former indoor swimming pool built in about 1880.
The gatekeeper’s lodge was built in around 1841 as part of Wanstead Infant Orphan Asylum (Grade II, National Heritage List for England entry: 1358004). Originally the bailiff resided at the lodge with his wife, who was the gatekeeper. The orphanage was founded by the Congregational minister and philanthropist, (Sir) Andrew Reed and designed by the architects (Sir) George Gilbert Scott and William Bonython Moffatt in Jacobean Revival style. Albert, the Prince Consort, laid the foundation stone on 24 June 1841 and the orphanage was constructed by the builder William Jay of London Wall. It was designed for 500 children. The orphanage was formerly opened on 27 June 1843 by King Leopold of the Belgians, Queen Victoria’s uncle. Queen Victoria served as the first of several monarchs to become Patron. Several further buildings were later added to the site: an infirmary in the 1850s (demolished), an assembly hall in 1862, an indoor swimming pool in 1880, a gym in 1898 (demolished) and a dormitory block in 1934. The orphanage became the Royal Wanstead School in 1939. During the Second World War it was occupied by British troops and Italian prisoners of war, the children being evacuated. After the 1944 Education Act, the school changed from a grammar school to a secondary modern. A drop in pupil numbers and income led to the closure of the school in August 1971. The charitable role was carried on as the Royal Wanstead Foundation, now (2019) the Royal National Children’s Springboard Foundation. The school building was subsequently leased by the Department of the Environment to become Snarebrook Crown Court and £1.6m of conversion work was undertaken in 1973 to 1974, with further alterations in 1978 to 1981. During the conversion, a new entrance drive was constructed off Hollybush Hill to the south of the old school gates. The lodge was subsequently used as a private dwelling. It currently (2019) stands unoccupied and empty.
Gatekeeper’s lodge. Built in around 1841.
MATERIALS: coursed, squared and hammer-dressed Sneaton stone with Bath and Caen stone dressings, tiled roof coverings and a London stock brick chimney.
PLAN: a single-storey gabled lodge with attic rooms built to a T-shaped plan.
EXTERIOR: the gatekeeper’s lodge is situated at the former entrance drive to Wanstead Infant Orphan Asylum, now Snaresbrook Crown Court. It is of a single-storey with attic rooms and is three bays long by three bays wide. A plinth of two stone courses carries around the building. The north front, facing the driveway, comprises from left to right: a projecting gabled bay containing a two-light metal-framed casement window with lozenge glazing under a Tudor arch and a stone coping to the gable; a single-light window; and then a canted bay window. The lodge has a tiled roof with a central corbelled chimney stack of several flues set in a cruciform arrangement. The lower part of the chimney is built of stone but the upper part is of London stock brick separated by a string course. The east elevation, facing Hollybush Hill, has from left to right: the gabled cross-range range, which is two bays wide; and then the main gable end of the lodge which is a single bay wide with two-light casement windows to the ground floor and attic and a stone coping with moulded kneelers to the gable. The cross-range has a projecting entrance porch under a hipped tiled roof which contains a three-light casement window and a glazed timber doorway with side lights. In the attic is a two-light casement window. The south elevation has the gabled cross-range at its centre, which has two windows to the ground floor and a window to the attic. The west elevation has from left to right: a two-light casement window to the attic and a stone coping with moulded kneelers to the gable; and then a square-headed doorway flanked by windows to the cross range.
INTERIOR: the lodge is entered at the east via the porch in the cross range, which has a tiled floor. There is a tiled hallway and two rooms to the ground floor entered through flush timber doors, which have wooden floorboards, skirtings, picture rails and ceramic tiled fireplaces. Next to the stairs is a pantry. A quarter-turn staircase with stick balusters and a wooden handrail leads to the attic landing. The attic has two rooms entered through four-panelled doors with brass door knobs, which have wooden floorboards, skirtings and fitted cupboards.