The Gardeners' Bothy and trellis arches to its east


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Penn School, Penn, High Wycombe, HP10 8LZ


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Statutory Address:
Penn School, Penn, High Wycombe, HP10 8LZ

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

Buckinghamshire (Unitary Authority)
Chepping Wycombe
National Grid Reference:


A gardeners’ bothy of mid-late C19 date, perhaps designed by David Brandon or A Vernon.

Reasons for Designation

The Gardeners’ Bothy and trellis arches, Rayners House, Penn is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the building has an intentionally eye-catching design, which complements the design of the principal house, Rayners House.

Historic interest:

* the building forms part of the country house and estate which Philip Rose established at Tylers Green.

Group value:

* with Rayners House, Penn which is listed at Grade II.


The estate around Rayners House was originally two farms which were bought by Philip Rose in 1845; Rayners Farm and Colehatch Farm. Rose had been born in Wycombe and became a successful City solicitor. His partnership was responsible for the legal work on behalf of the Great Northern Railway, and Rose himself invested in the company. Personally, he also became a friend of Disraeli and both helped to found the Brompton Hospital for Tuberculosis patients. Disraeli’s house, Hughenden Manor is close to Rayners and Rose looked after his legal affairs from 1846. In 1874, when Disraeli became prime minister, he made Rose a baronet.

The essentially bare farmland was gradually turned into an estate with gardens and the planting of belts of trees during the latter part of the C19. The first part of the house was built in 1847 with additions made in the 1850s and a substantial remodelling in 1867-1868 by David Brandon. Garden buildings including the greenhouses to the north-west of the house were added by the second baronet. Bricks were made using clay dug from the estate.

The house was initially used as a summer retreat from London by the family, but it became a more conventional country estate which eventually extended to 550 acres. The second baronet died in 1919 and the estate passed to his grandson, whose trustees decided to sell. It was bought in 1920 by the London County Council who turned the house into a school for deaf children. It remained as a school, with a large classroom block and gymnasium added to the east in the mid C20. The school closed in 2016.

The Gardeners' Bothy appears to date from the second or third period of expansion at Rayners and may be the work of David Brandon or A Vernon, both of whom made designs for Rose.


A gardeners’ bothy of mid-late C19 date, perhaps designed by David Brandon or A Vernon.

MATERIALS & PLAN: flint stone with red brick dressings and a plain tile and fishscale tiled roof. The building has two floors with two rooms to each floor.

EXTERIOR: all windows have cambered heads and red brick surrounds. A moulded brick string course encompasses the building between the floors.

The western entrance front has a projecting gabled wing at left with a tripartite window at ground-floor level and a two-light window above. The gable above is half hipped and has a sceptre finial to the apex. To the right and on line with this is a lean-to porch with Tudor arch and a small first-floor window. At right again and slightly recessed is a two-light ground-floor window.

The northern side is blind, save for a small ground-floor window at left. To the centre is a large chimney stack which runs upwards diagonally from right to left and has stone offsets to its upper body. The stack has been decapitated.

The east front has a projecting gabled wing at right with a central doorway to the ground floor, a portion of brick walling surrounds this and is set with a series of metal hooks in the shape of a pointed arch, intended to anchor wires for a plant support frame which extended to the east and connected at its further end to a brick archway. At first-floor level are two lights and the gable above them is half hipped with a sceptre finial, as before.

The south front has a projecting gabled wing at left which is blind. To the right is recessed walling with a door to the ground floor which has a Tudor arch. Extending to the left of this front is a length of garden wall with an arched gateway close to the bothy which has a stepped head.

INTERIOR: the rooms to each floor are plain with original panelled doors that have chamfered edges and a fire surround to the ground floor.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: to the east of the bothy, and on line with the pointed archway on its east front which was intended to hold wires for a plant support frame, are a series of three, freestanding brick archways which also originally acted as ends to the frames. These are decorative and have pilaster buttresses at either side of a central pointed arch and panels of encaustic tiles. Their tops are stepped, with moulded bricks which form a dentiled cornice.


Books and journals
Green, Miles , Tiddy, Jo, Mansions and Mud Houses, (2007), 28


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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