Large, detached Arts and Crafts house designed by Arthur Nunweek in 1912.
MATERIALS: Uncoursed gritstone rubble cut into polygonal shapes with ashlared stone dressings, and a roof covering of red tiles mellowed to a reddish grey.
PLAN: Two storeys with attic and steeply pitched, hipped roof. The house has an asymmetrical, approximately rectangular plan with a narrow single storey service wing extending from the north-east corner which originally contained the wash-house, gas-house and coals.
EXTERIOR: The house is situated on a hill with the ground sloping steeply away from the west terrace. The principal rooms are arranged on the longer west front in order to have views over the Derbyshire Dales. The principal entrance is on the north elevation within a projecting, off-centre, two-storey, gabled porch which has moulded stone coping and kneelers, as do all the gables. The multi-panelled front door flanked by diamond-leaded margin lights is recessed behind a wide, shallow arch with a hoodmould which rises into a square in the centre to suggest a keystone. The elaborate wrought-iron light and bell pull survive. There is a two-light mullion in the left return of the porch and a centrally placed three-light mullion on the first floor. The windows on all the main elevations are stone mullions of two to six square-leaded lights with plain, wide lintels and hoodmoulds. To the left of the porch there are three-light mullions on both floors, and the projecting service wing has two-light mullions and exposed rafters at the eaves. To the right of the porch the two-storey, recessed gable is dominated by a large, projecting, chimney stack which rises from a semi-circular arch resting on corbels through the apex of the gable. Underneath is a single-storey projection with a hipped roof. The west elevation is divided into five irregular bays. The wide, recessed, central bay contains a covered entrance porch consisting of a panelled and glazed door flanked by three-light mullions, and on the left return another door leading into the drawing room, all with Art Nouveau-style leaded lights. A stone-paved terrace leads down two steps to the lawn. Above the porch on the first floor is a six-light mullion, and in the roof the eight-light dormer has timber mullions and flat roof, as do the other dormers. There are projecting gables either side of the central bay; that on the left has a canted bay window and five-light mullion above; and on the right a large, multi-paned window indicating the open hall which is divided by mullions and arched transoms into three rows of diminishing height, the central row containing stained glass depicting the date and owner's initials. The outer bay on the left has a two-light mullion on both floors and that on the right has five-light mullions. On the south elevation the gable end on the left has two single light windows on the left hand side on each floor. This gable is overlapped by another, slightly projecting gable which houses the inglenook in the dining room and contains the chimney stack which rises through the right pitch. On the right hand side of the elevation the original loggia has been built over and contains a four-light mullion. On the first floor there is a five-light mullion and a part-glazed door which leads out to the timber balcony with square balusters; above is a three-light dormer. The rear (east) elevation which contains the service rooms and leads into the service wing has an irregular arrangement of timber mullions with tooled stone dressings.
INTERIOR: The predominantly Arts and Crafts interior strikes an eclectic note with the introduction of neo-Classical decorative elements. The fittings and joinery are of a high quality and survive intact throughout the house. The oak doors are made of alternating wide and narrow planks, ledged and braced, with rectangular brass handle plates edged with bead-and-reel moulding. This moulding is also used on the brass-plated service bell in the west bedroom in the attic and on the panelled ceiling in the drawing room. The internal windows and glazed cabinets have Art Nouveau-style leaded lights and retain their ironmongery, as do all the windows. The small entrance hall has a beamed ceiling, exposed timber skirting boards and picture rail, and the front door retains the wooden box into which letters fall. On the left hand side of the hall a timber doorway with a semicircular arch flanked by small bay windows leads to the cloakroom in which the original rows of coat pegs survive. Opposite the front door are two square-headed doorways; that on the left leading to the kitchen and down to the basement which has its original fitted benches, and that on the right leading to the drawing room, double-height sitting hall (as it is labelled on the original plan) and dining room. These three reception rooms all have a parquet floor with black banding around the edge. In the drawing room the white painted timber coving and window seat in the bay, and the delicate, fan-like ceiling rose with scalloped edge impart a light, elegant character. The neo-Classical fireplace with marble hearth is set within a wide, shallow-arched, alcove supported by consoles. A five-light window with slender timber mullions pierces the party wall with the open hall. In contrast, the dining room returns to the more homely, vernacular Arts and Crafts style with its beamed ceiling, and exposed oak skirting board, cornice, picture rail and window seats. The centre-piece of the room is the ornately panelled inglenook with fitted settles on either side, principally oak with darker wood veneer. It has a corbelled cornice with double paired corbels at both ends and strapwork on the jambs. The fireplace has a square-headed opening and a splayed surround and hearth of pale blue tiles with a cast-iron grate and brass hood decorated with stylised foliage. The mantelpiece has five large modillions and the overmantel has square-within-a-square panelling which continues on the sides and ceiling of the inglenook. The dining room has a pair of fitted oak cupboards with a canted, glazed upper section. The show-piece of the house is the open hall which is surrounded on three sides by a gallery with an arcade of Tudor arches and square balusters, the central one in each group embellished with geometric decoration. The soffit and the main ceiling have beams, and the vertical panelling on the east wall has fitted bookcases with the same Tudor arches and a sliding opening to the kitchen. There is a tall, curved, fitted corner cupboard with delicate, brass strap hinges and upright handles. The hall is dominated by the elaborate, oak panelled inglenook with fitted benches either side. The recess is defined by a Tudor arch and corbelled cornice, above which is a series of Tudor-arch panelling with diamond motif, and geometric patterning on the jambs. The overmantel above the plain, square-headed fireplace repeats this design and is flanked by fitted, glazed cupboards and shelves. On the corbels either side of the mantelpiece are fitted lights with brass stands in the shape of sinuous female fauns. In the south-west corner the stair rises to the gallery round a solid, panelled core with quarter pace landings. It has a moulded handrail and a square-plan newel post with a shallow pyramid finial at the top of the flight. The gallery leads to the four bedrooms on the first floor, one with a dressing room and balcony, which all remain intact with the exception of the fireplaces. On the east side of the gallery a wide opening with a plain lintel and paired brackets leads to the back staircase and second floor rooms, the lower status of which is indicated by the use of soft wood for the joinery and plain ironmongery. On the original plan there are two bedrooms, a work room and a store room. The work room is panelled in pine, and the doorway in the west wall which leads to the roof space has been widened into an arch in order to bring the roof space into use. The large bedroom on the west side has a low platform underneath the long dormer, and a neo-Classical fireplace on the south wall which was possibly introduced at a later date.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The Gables is approached by a steep, stone-paved drive with a central band of a darker hue, and is lined by stone boulders. The drive narrows into a path as it leads up to the main entrance which is flanked by stone-edged flower beds. The gardens are laid out to the south and west of the house on steeply sloping ground which is used to create terraces and boulder-lined serpentine walks, and characterised by walls of gritstone rubble. The upper and lower levels of the garden are linked by a steep flight of stone steps with coped walls of rubble gritstone. The steps terminate at a wide arched recess to the sides of which rise short flights of stone steps leading to the main west terrace.
HISTORY The Gables was built in 1912 for a Sheffield industrialist called Holland to designs by the Sheffield-based architect Arthur Nunweek (1877-1945). Nunweek was articled to Messrs W. and J. B. Bailey of Bradford and was assistant to Messrs Lancashire & Son of Sheffield before setting up an independent practice in Sheffield in 1907. None of his other buildings are listed. The Gables has been subject to very little alteration and, as a result, the doors, windows, interior fittings and panelling have survived almost wholly intact. Comparison with the original plans and elevations show that the only alterations have been to the loggia on the north elevation, and to the ground floor service rooms which originally comprised a kitchen, larder, pantry and dark room. The layout and planting of the garden has also survived largely intact with the exception of the grass tennis court on the west front which has been covered with a hard surface. A garage was built on the north side of the house around the mid-C20.
Brodie, Antonia, ed, et al, Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (2001)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION
The Gables, an Arts and Crafts house designed by Arthur Nunweek in 1912, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
• Architectural Interest: for the quality of the Arts and Crafts design which is characterised by the distinctive use of local building materials, the varied elevational interest, and the diverse, individualistic treatment of each room
• Craftsmanship: for the consistently high quality of craftsmanship displayed in the interior fittings and joinery
• Intactness: for the survival of the original interior fittings, joinery and ironmongery, and of the plan form which has undergone only minor alterations to the service rooms