Listing success – an unusual croquet shed
A croquet shed, sundial, and other garden structures in the grounds of a Raymond Erith house in Northamptonshire have been listed at grade II.
The main house, called The Pediment, was built with a relatively small square plan and the dominating pediment was designed in the spirit of an eighteenth century architectural folly, planned inside and out with microscopic detail. The setting in a two acre garden lends itself to the concept of a country house and estate in miniature.
The importance of the architectural quality of The Pediment, built in 1956-7, and association with the continuing patronage of the architect Raymond Erith’s client Elizabeth Watt, has been recognised since 1988 in its Grade II listing.
Now the landscape features, all by Erith, such as parterre and sundial, mini temple, urns and and pond are all included in the listing description. The croquet shed was considered so highly original and imaginative that it has been listed at grade II separately in its own right.
Raymond Erith is famous for his understanding and execution of architecture in the classical tradition, which meant that many of his commissions involved the restoration or re-modelling of old houses, such as the reconstruction of 10 and 11 Downing Street (1959-63). The Pediment is a rare example of his new private house commissions of the 1950s. Both the house and garden survive largely intact.
The Twentieth Century Society supported an application to update the description to include the garden and its structures added between 1959-73. These were commissioned by the original owner, and represent a record of the architects developing style. They are now rightly protected and appreciated as an ensemble with The Pediment.