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Norney, Shackleford, Surrey

Also known as Norney Grange.

Date: 1897

Client: Reverend William Leighton Grane

Listing: Grade II* (main house)


Image from The British architect, October 6th, 1899.

The entry in Pevsner's Surrey (with Charles O'Brien, Ian Nairn and Bridget Cherry, 2022) reads:

NW of the church [in Shackleford], a lodge emerges invitingly out of the woods at the S entrance to NORNEY GRANGE, by Voysey, 1897-8 for the Rev. Leighton Grane; the builder Frederick Muntzer as at Greyfriars (Puttenham). The house has typical long, low proportions and typical low-key materials (Westmorland slate, buff roughcast and violent yellow limestone). Big – indeed one of Voysey's largest houses and an early appearance in his oeuvre of an H-plan main house with symmetrical fronts, a major contrast with his proceeding Surrey work at Greyfriars and Lowicks. The design of the entrance front became more ambitious between first design and completion, evolving from relatively calm flat-fronted wings with windows in flush surrounds and a segmentally arched entrance bay to one in which the l. wing has become a two-storey polygonal bow breaking the eaves and carrying a plain triangular gable. The porch is monumental, with the entrance below a great arch framing a circular window, the shape of the arch penetrating the sloping roof behind. This was revised by Voysey at ground floor in 1903 for the next owner, when the smooth curved stone outer vestibule was added below the original semi-circular canopy and the strip of windows to the r. enlarged into a full-height opening. Secondary gables continue the service wing N without fuss. Round the S corner, single-storey square projections with quarter-dome roofs embrace the fireplace recess, which is continued upwards as a solid mass of roughcast banded with stone, the flat stack emerging above a segmental arch. A second bay to the l. is now joined to the first by a door, inserted in the alterations. The garden front is simpler and purely symmetrical, the main part of two more buttressed and bow-fronted wings below gables (a motif incidentally that had enjoyed dubious favour with speculative builders on semi-detached houses long into the 1930s), flanking a single-storey projection and covered veranda. Again, three smaller gables to the N set back from the main part. The N additions are of 1903, unfortunately obscuring the catslide of the N end but terminating in a pretty single-storey servants' hall.

Inside, one of Voysey's most thrilling interiors: a central double-height hall with panelling and square posts carrying exposed purlins, providing a frame for the stair running up to a gallery along the far side. This has a shallow bay at the centre and quarter-bow at one corner; the balustrade has Voysey's favoured closely spaced stick balusters. Circles and segmental curves are everywhere in the details. In the former billiard room, inglenook of a wide arch framing a chimney-breast faced entirely in veiny coloured marble, with the mantelshelf emerging from it in a tiny moulded curve. In the library a delightful brass fire-grate surround on the theme of 'Work' and 'Play' by Thomas Elsley. Terraced gardens, with a thatched stone SUMMERHOUSE at one corner, also by Voysey, 1897, with tall weathervane (cf. Lowicks). The SOUTH LODGE was built first and is enchanting, set at right angles to the road with the end sliding outwards on a deep jetty, propped at the corner by a polygonal stone bay and jettied again above a shallow curved oriel. The second, larger, STABLE LODGE is on a road to the E, completed in 1903.

Page last amended 20th September 2023