Forest Gate's listed buildings (2)

Saturday 9 January 2016

This is the second of two articles featuring nine of Forest Gate's English Heritage Listed buildings. The first appeared last week (see immediately below), and can provide an introduction to this, thus avoiding unnecessary repetition. The tenth Listed building in Forest Gate was featured in our article on Forest Gate's First £2m house? (here).

Red House, Upton Lane - listed 1998

House, later converted into club. There was a building on this site in 1717 and c1760 brickwork to north gable and east front survives, but this building was extensively remodelled in the 1880's.

In 1933 it became a club, with the 1940's caretaker's flat raised to two storeys in the 1960's, erected on site of late C19 kitchen and services. The entire ground floor of the east elevation was converted into a single bar.

Principal west front of 1880s of red brick with stuccoed dressings; roof concealed by parapet and end brick chimneystacks. Two storeys and basement; six windows. Larger projecting bay to north under curved gable has four-light French windows and balcony with pierced balustrade over canted bay to ground floor.

Red House c 1907
Other windows are tall casements. Parapet has panels of pierced balustrading and elaborate urns. Moulded bands between floors and end quoins. Wide porch with cornice having central curved pediment with raised design and pierced balustrading to balcony supported on four rusticated Tuscan columns.
North front is mainly C 18 brickwork and east elevation has full-height bowed bay of the same date. Interior features remain of the 1880's.

Entrance hall has imperial staircase with elaborate wrought and cast iron balustrading with mahogany handrail and series of doors, some with carved surrounds. North ground floor room has marble fireplace with round-headed arch, bearded masked keystone and high relief panels of fruit.

South room has some Minton floor tiles. Both rooms have c1880 window shutters and plaster cornices. Roof structure is of 1880s.

Bell of 1762 in upstairs front office has been resited from a demolished cupola on the roof A Dutch merchant lived in a house here in 1717. Later it was the home of Mr Tuthill (for details of this important resident, see a later post), the manufacturer of early trade union banners and in 1933 it became St Anthony's Catholic Club. 

The building was in some disrepair by the 1990's, but with the assistance of English Heritage and Newham Council, it was given a thorough facelift around the time of listing.  The inside, however, is still in a rather poor state (certainly given its origins and history) and is kept going by the hard work of volunteers at the club. There has to be some doubt as to how long this shoestring funding approach can be sustained. What then? would be a massive problem for a whole host of organisations.

Rothschild's Mausoleum, Cemetery Road - listed 1984

Mausoleum 1866: Architect - Sir Mattew Digby Wyatt. A circular domed stone building with Renaissance detail. On principal axis of cemetery. Engaged Corinthian columns. Enriched wall surface between. Rectangular windows under cornice with elaborate iron grilles.

Evelina Rothschild's memorial,
 Jewish cemetery
Richly carved entablature and parapet. Parapet and fluted dome finished with vases. Mausoleum erected by Ferdinand de Rotherschild to wife Evelina.

Old Spotted Dog, Upton Lane - listed 1967

Timber-framed building, later a public house, dating in part to the late-C15 or early-C16 with subsequent phases of the late-Georgian, Victorian and post-WWII periods.

Exterior: The central range of the main frontage, a timber-framed two-bay hall with open crown post roof, is the earliest part of the building and dates to the late-C15 or early-C16. There are two doors, both with C19 joinery, leading into the building here and the tiled roof eaves come right down to their architraves; there is a brick stack to the right of this range too.

1838 sketch of Old Spotted Dog
This early core is flanked by two-storey cross-wings, also timber-framed, that to the right contemporary with the central hall and that to the left dating from slightly later. Both have jettied, weather-boarded upper storeys with horizontal sliding sashes in the gables and rough-cast rendered ground floors; both jetties rest on later supports, a brick return wall to the left-hand wing and iron posts to the right on the eastern return.

1903 painting, by H Smart,
 courtesy of Newham archives
The cross-wing to the left has a four-centre arched door and a large window with marginal glazing on the ground floor, that to the right just a window opening, with an entrance on the canted corner to the return. This return, facing east, has a late-C19 bay window on the ground floor and more sashes on the first. Further along the return is an extension, weather-boarded in keeping with the original, but dates to 1968 and lacks special interest. Above it the gables of the Victorian part of the building are visible, complete with bargeboards and finials.

The return to the west has two Edwardian porches and a brick chimney flue, also of a C19 or later date, as well as further sash windows. Beyond is the addition of the late-Georgian period, possibly a house originally, a stock brick range with a slate hipped roof, gauged brick arches to the sash windows and brick pilasters. The windows to the right have been altered or bricked in and the door altered too; it once had a canopy and porch.

A two-storey extension with metal casements dating to the second half of the C20 abuts this building to the north. Alongside this are a single-storey 1980s function room and a garage. None of these three parts of the building have special interest.

On the contrary, the Victorian sections, visible above ground floor and identifiable through their stock brick elevations with red brick dressings, timber sash windows, decorative bargeboards to the gables and slate roofs, do contribute to the interest of the building. 

Interior: In the single room of the central hall, the roof is partly-exposed. This is a crown post with lateral head braces and the timber is hand-sawn but without particular embellishment in the form of chamfers, stops, or other carving. To the right, set under the tie beam, is an inserted stack with hearth, timber bressummer, iron grate and oven. To the left, the wall has a later opening in its upper part looking through to the roof trusses of the cross-wing.

A serving bar and back bar along the back of this room appear Victorian in date, as is some of the other joinery; other elements are modern. The floor is paved with York flagstones. The cross-wing to the left has a crown post roof with studs and braces to the walls.

The ground floor ceiling is supported by Victorian iron colonettes and contains later fireplaces and panelling. The cross-wing to the right has a tie beam and moulded wall plate but no other elements of the roof are visible. There is a simple late-Georgian timber fireplace in the upper room in this wing, some plain partitioning of the same date in another and a sash window in a third room which may indicate the old end wall of the range.

On the ground floor the principal beams in the ceiling are moulded and there are various items of panelling and other joinery including fireplaces dating to no later than the C19. Inside the later sections to the rear, both late-Georgian and Victorian, there are no fireplaces, bar counters or staircases of historic interest as the building was refurbished in the second half of the C20 and much of the fabric dates to this period. 

The interior of the Victorian section of the pub is characterised by a medley of timber-framed structures including one section that appears to be a jettied external wall of a timber-framed building, but that does not relate in its location to the late-medieval parts of the building. Some of the timbers are old, others newer, and most are painted with brown paint.

A photograph of 1967 shows a gap in the external wall in this area and the timbers do not appear to be present; photos from 1968 show the interior as it is now. It is likely that most of the internal fabric in this part of the pub was assembled from timbers, perhaps salvaged from elsewhere, in the refurbishment of 1968. It lacks special interest.

History: Originally a house, the Spotted Dog was later converted to a pub, possibly in the early-C19 when it appears on Clayton's map of 1821 labelled 'The Dog'. On an earlier map, by Chapman and Andre of 1777, it is not given a name, despite other public houses nearby being marked, so it was presumably a private abode at that time. A range (which appears domestic and may have originally served as the publican's house) was added in the late-Georgian period, before 1840. 

In 1839 the proprietor was a William Vause whose family held the lease until 1917. Vause advertised his business to Londoners in search of resort: a C19 poster survives showing the building and boasting of its 'spacious dining room and billiards' and 'good accommodation for cricket and other field sports'.

Vause poster advertising
 Spotted Dog, see above text.
The billiards room may have been a modification of the late-Georgian range; it appears on later photographs with a timber lantern on the roof, which may have lit the games room. At that time the Spotted Dog overlooked playing fields to the west and gardens to the north. Under the Vauses, the old pub was enlarged further, probably in the decades between 1867 and 1896 when its footprint alters on the Ordnance Survey maps. 

The area around the Spotted Dog changed dramatically in the late-C19 and early-C20, and by the outbreak of WWI the claim on the Victorian poster that the pub was located in 'one of the most pleasant parts of Essex' was no longer true, not least because from 1888 the Spotted Dog has been in the County Borough of West Ham.

Terraced houses lined nearby streets, the cricket field became the home of Clapton FC (the club remains there to this day) and the pub sold off some of its gardens. The pace of change accelerated in the second half of the C20 and further additions and alterations were made to the building, including major internal refurbishment and extension in 1968, before it fell out of use at the end of the C20.

Reasons for designation: The Spotted Dog public house is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* a well-surviving, if simply constructed, late-C15 or early-C16 house comprising central hall and flanking two-storey cross wings, these with weather-boarded jetties;
* interesting interior including exposed timbers, hearth with bressummer, other fireplaces and historic joinery including a Victorian bar and back bar;
* particular poignancy as a rare-surviving late-medieval building in this area, evoking the rural character that could be enjoyed here until the middle of the C19, when this part of old Essex was lost to the expanding capital.

As a working pub, early 21st century
(see here for a previous, more general history of the Old Spotted Dog)

There are, in addition to the Forest Gate buildings highlighted above, a number of Listed buildings in Manor Park which relate to articles we have previously featured on this site. Among these are seven in the various cemeteries within the post code - mainly the City of London, plus the Manor House (featured recently in our potted history of Manor Park).

Additionally, the Earl of Essex pub, now standing empty and in search of a developer, which featured in Ben Drew's film Ill Manors and the Coronation Cinema, which for a while was a snooker hall and now a (mainly) Asian banqueting hall, just around the corner.

We are deeply indebted to English Heritage for their efforts in attempting to preserve key aspects of our architectural history.  We acknowledge and are most grateful for their Listed Buildings website (here), from which we have taken most of the material (though not the photos) in this article.  We recognise their copyright of the material.

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