Hawkers Yard Plot 1 – Wentworth
5 bedroom link detached house
The presence of nearby listed buildings and the picturesque character of Northend prompted a “polite” traditional approach in design terms, and the conceptual basis stems from the vernacular form of such “edge of village” locations. These are often characterised by narrow back lanes and courtyards, an informal, fragmented layout with buildings of contrasting heights, shapes and materials, some glimpses though to open countryside, but at the same time a degree of visual enclosure from the buildings and connecting stone walls.
The variety in such areas would be due to the mixture of higher status village houses of more formal appearance, simple cottages, and utilitarian uses such as blacksmiths workshops, and this “hierarchy” of forms has been used to help create the desired effect here. The existing listed cottage is used as the fulcrum for the curving access lane and courtyard which acts as the backbone around which the houses are grouped, with no two being exactly in line with each other. Most importantly, the plan form of the houses has been carefully designed so that their roofs lie at juxtaposing angles, scales and pitches, vital to the “picturesque” composition.
Of equal importance to the variety of form and massing, is the restrained palette of materials which ties the visual scene together. These are not used randomly, but reflect the hierarchy, for instance coursed rubble and tall sash windows on the Victorian “villa” style numbers 1 and 5, stone surround casement windows on the less formal houses and simpler random rubble without surrounds at the cottage end of the spectrum. Crucially, all materials are high quality in themselves, real natural stone ashlar and rubble, clay tiles or natural slate roofs, all employed with the correct detailing and proportions.
The delightful village of Northend, an extension of Batheaston, is conveniently situated approximately three miles to the East of the City of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has an excellent primary school and offers a selection of day to day amenities to include shops, a Post Office, doctors’ surgery and dentist.
The site and surroundings
The site lies at the foot of Solsbury Hill and on the edge of the village with views over the beautiful St Catherine’s Valley. It is within the Green Belt and Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, providing long term protection for the nearby countryside from further development.
A green “buffer” strip runs along the north east boundaries of the gardens and leading down to the brook, with a requirement for it to be managed in perpetuity as a landscape and ecology protection area, which can never be built on or be taken over as private garden.
Situated on the slope of Solsbury Hill, the summit with its renowned views is not much more than half a mile on foot, the site rightly feels on the edge of the village and there are pretty country lanes and footpaths to the east, north and west.
There is a regular bus service (approximately every 20 minutes from 7am to 7pm weekdays) to Bath City Centre from Elmhurst, a few minutes walk from Hawkers Yard.
The adjacent grade II* listed Eagle House with its rather magnificent sculpture on the parapet overlooking the site was designed by the pre-eminent Bath Georgian architect John Wood the Elder as his own house.
By 1900 it was in the ownership of Colonel Linley Blathwayt, whose wife Emily, a friend of Emmeline Pankhurst, was closely connected with the suffragette movement. Women were invited to stay as a form of refuge after being released from prison following hunger strikes and the house became known as “Suffragettes Retreat”.
Colonel Blathwayt created an arboretum in the field next to Eagle House and encouraged each suffragette to plant a tree to commemorate their prison sentences and hunger strikes. Sadly this was destroyed in the 1960’s and all that remains is a lone magnificent Austrian Pine.
In cognisance of the historic link between this locality and the suffragette movement Charlcombe Homes has named each of the houses after a suffragette who stayed at the Eagle House and planted a tree in the arboretum.
The joinery works were started by the Hawker family soon after the First World War and was run by three generations of the family. The story is that it was one of the many small factories where production of fighter aircraft parts was dispersed during WW2 to reduce the risk of bombing. It then became a joinery works producing high quality timber products and the business continues via a modern factory facility in Frome, celebrating its centenary in 2019.
The variety of shapes, detailing and materials, and the differing immediate surroundings give each house an individual “personality” from the outside, which extends inside with layouts and changes in level dictated by making best use of the orientation and slopes.
All are two storeys, detached, with a mix of 3, 4, and 5 bedrooms, but the traditional appearance belies the wholly modern interior layout, in particular the generous open plan kitchen/dining area forming the heart of the home, connecting directly with the private garden.
The larger houses include a garage, and all have at least two off road parking spaces in addition. All houses have good size gardens with paved terraces or decks looking out over the garden to the trees and countryside beyond, and numbers 5,6, and 7 have courtyards providing private space at the front.
Panelled or boarded front doors below stone canopy or timber porches lead into entrance halls with cloakrooms and coats cupboards and go through to the kitchen/ dining/garden room at the back of the house, the modern evolution of the “farmhouse kitchen”, this is where most family time is likely to be spent. The glazed doors provide visual and physical connection reflecting the modern desire for al fresco living. The full range of contemporary styled kitchen fittings include island units and double door fridges.
The living room provides a very deliberate contrast with the family kitchen, having a cosy, more enclosed feel focused on the traditional fireplace, but nevertheless at around 20 feet (6.0 metres) in length is also large by normal standards.
The five-bedroom houses also have another good size room, which could equally be a family room, playroom, large home office, or cinema room.
All houses have a separate study and utility room with plenty of storage space, both of which many people consider the most valuable rooms in the house in removing the clutter from the living spaces.
The stair leads up to a spacious landing, including a linen cupboard, that provides access to the bedrooms, all of which are easily large enough for double beds. The master suite is substantial in size affording a quiet sitting area away from the family bustle. The four and five bed houses have master bedrooms furnished with large wardrobes with full interior fittings and have ensuites with
paired basins, a large shower enclosure, and a steel bath.
Four and five bed houses have a second ensuite bedroom, also with a large shower, and the remaining bedrooms share the family bathroom complete with separate shower and steel bath.
Northend, Batheaston, Bath BA1 7HN
From the City Centre follow signs to the A4. Continue along the London Road to the roundabout junction with the A46 Bypass. Continue straight over and into the village of Batheaston. Take a left turn signposted to Northend and continue through the village. Hawker’s Yard will be found at the far end of the village on the right-hand side just before the open countryside of St Catherine’s Valley.Get directions on Google Maps