The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Stewartby Common Room, Photo © Elain Harwood

40 Buildings Saved

24. Stewartby Common Room, Bedfordshire

Architect: Albert Richardson
Owners: Sir Malcolm Stewart Homes
Location: Stewartby, Bedford


This Common Room was built in 1955-6 to the elegant pavilion-style design of Sir Albert Richardson, as a community meeting place for Stewartby model village, including furniture designed by the architect. It forms the centrepiece of the Sir Malcolm Stewart Trust Houses, also designed by Richardson, a philanthropic retirement housing project created by the owner of the Stewartby Brickworks. A leading classical architect and public figure, Richardson was responsible for restoring churches by Wren and Hawksmoor in London after the war and for new buildings, including Bracken House, built in 1959 and the C20 Society’s first successful post-war listing.


The brickworks finally ceased production in 2008 – when two kilns and four chimneys were listed at Grade II. With the raison d’être removed, the site could have been in jeopardy.


The Common Room was largely untouched and was listed in 2016, following an application by the C20 Society.


The future use and maintenance of the Common Room have been safeguarded as an outstanding small-scale example of classical architecture devoted to public service.

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