Dwelling house of 1914 with early 20th century alterations and additions. Brick and tile hanging, two storeys with attic, sash and casement windows. Range of outbuildings in brick and tile, some contemporary with earlier house on the site. Stone pillars to gateway. Built on land, formerly part of the Littleover Hall estate, sold in September 1855 by the Beard family of Littleover to George Darby, draper. He built Oaklands Villa sometime before March 1866. By October 1914, the house was completely rebuilt to the designs of Arts & Crafts architect Percy Heylin Currey of Currey & Thompson of Derby Market Place. The design arrived at was done in such a way that the house could be extended should. Alderman Mary Eleanor Grimwood Taylor (Mrs. Richard Darbee) Mayor of Derby in 1971-72, was born there 7th August, 1915, and left the house in March 2008. The house was expanded as soon as post war restrictions allowed, work being completed by 1924, the original scheme being adhered to by the same architect. The entrance was removed from the south front and the two reception rooms expanded to a common wall, except for a small part of the entry. A new entrance hall was formed on the west side behind the drawing room, with a wide, galleried staircase hall, the stair itself being done in typical Arts-and-Crafts style. On the east side, opposite the hall, a new reception room was formed. To the north of the hall was a further extension with cloakroom, washbasin and lavatory, then a pantry and service stair.
The original canted bays were replaced by full height gabled square bays, with a third on the east side, all with three light sash windows. Two new dormers, facing south were installed to light new staff quarters in the roof. The exterior was finished off by being hung throughout in fish-scale and rectangular tiles. The new main façade was now slightly irregular in that the central gabled bay was off-centre and the roof treatment was different in that the original Victorian hipped roof remained.
The outbuildings were rebuilt and joined to the house to incorporate a motor house as well as the more usual offices; these all face Blagreaves Lane, and are similarly covered in banded tiling. The gardens were re-landscaped by William Barron & Sons both in 1913 and 1924, the formal array of stone urns once in front of Oaklands Villa’s door being scattered around the demesne, which was separated from the six acres of arable and pleasure grounds remaining with a traditional iron fence. The family’s timber gazebo survives, here, too, as does the platform of the tennis court which replaced the formal garden. Literature: Craven, M. in Newsletter of Derby Civic Society 87 (5/2008) 24-27. (1)