1873 – Down Hall, Harlow, Essex

Architect: F.P. Cockerell


Now a country house hotel. Perspective view including ground plan, published in The Building News, July 4th 1873. “This mansion, the seat of Sir H. Selwin Ibbetson, Bart, MP, occupies tho site of tho former house, once tho residence of Prior, tho poet, of which, however, nothing remained of the smallest architectural interest. Building materials of a good character being wanting in the neiglibourhood, and tho site being upon an excellent gravel, it was determined to build in concrete. Tho whole of tho walls are therefore of concrete, and wore carried out by Messrs. Drake & Co., under the general contractor. The quoins, cornices, and columns, dressings of openings, Ac, areall in Tisbury stone, and it has been especially sought to avoid giving tho forms of stonework to any of tho concrete work. Tho plain surfaces, which alone are treated as concrete, are divided into panel.s, tho stiles being plain Portland cement and tho panels rough cast with fine sea shingle. The decorative panels and horizontal friezes are executed in sgraffito. A reference to tho plan will explain tho internal arrangments which offer no special features except tho entrance hall, which being of very largo area and only of tho same height as tho reception-rooms, and therefore requiring to be broken up. is treated as a Pompeian atrium, the columns offering great facilities in the construction of the upper floor.

Tho work has boon carried out by Messrs. Haward Bros., of 18. Old Quebec-street, the foreman being Mr. Faithful ; there was no Clerk of Works. The sgratlito decorations were executed by Mr. Wormleighton. frm Cartoons by Mr. Wise (both of South Kensington). the designs having been furnished to large scale by Mr. F.P. Cockerell, tho architect.”