The Bishop's Avenue
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The north end of The Bishop's Avenue is in fact just within the Suburb boundaries, and some building was carried out under G L Sutcliffe as early as 1914. Numbers 2-12 are a coherent group of large houses by him in a restrained white-walled Tudor (the stone doorways are quite literally Tudor). Opposite, next to the competent neo-Georgian flats by Soutar called Bishop's Court, is a charming pair of houses, numbers 1-3 (architect unknown), which exploit Lutyens's early half-timber manner.

Beyond the junction with Lyttelton Road the character of the road changes, outside the Suburb boundary, into a totally different pattern of exotic mansions for millionaires dotted amidst woodland. The touch of exoticism in fact occurs first within the Suburb in a row of houses in Lyttelton Road (numbers 38-44) opposite Belvedere Court. Here C H James clothed his customarily severe neo-Georgian in yellow and red brick, with hipped roofs of bright green pantiles. Such tiles - they came originally from Uppsala, according to Mr. A S Gray -were a hallmark of 'twenties exotic. Architects, becoming bored with tradition yet not prepared to embrace the Modern Movement, were tending to go for their sketching holidays, not in the Cotswolds or on the Broads, but in such places as Yugoslavia and Apulia.

The leaders of the exoticists were perhaps Oliver Hill and Clough Williams-Ellis, but one of the best was Philip Hepworth, whose three choicest houses stand close to one another on the north side of The Bishop's Avenue. Gable Lodge comes first (c 1927). It is Cape Dutch, with a big curly gable and a big Lutyens chimney balanced asymmetrically, the snow-white walls being crowned by glorious pantiled roof mottled in dark green and brown. The garage and the gate piers are just as carefully designed. Stratheden, the next in the road and the second to be built (c 1925), is more strident. This time there is a crow-stepped gable, bright green tiles over white-washed brick walls, and extraordinary windows with squashed baluster mullions and (on the upper floor) curved corners like a Cadillac. Mr. Gray attributes such features to Oliver Hill's former chief assistant Lawrence, who had just joined Hepworth.

Then there is the brilliant White Walls (c 1924). It is a development from Lutyens's Hill House, Herts., of 1912, with a recessed centre between symmetrical wings, and a central chimney stack dominating the continuous hipped roof. This time the pantiles are a delicate mottled turquoise, and originally the shutters were all turquoise too. Oddly enough the house next door is now called Turquoise (previously Shirah). It is a real collectors' piece, having been designed in 1914 by Smith & Brewer, the architects of Heal's and the Mary Ward Settlement. It is typical of Cecil Brewer's personal interpretation of Georgian, the high main block, in brown brick dressed with red, being crowned by a hipped roof with a big Venetian window in a tile-hung dormer. To left and right are single storey wings, with mansard roofs at right-angles to the forecourt.

After this The Bishop's Avenue has less to offer architecturally. White Lodge (at the back of White Lodge Close) is a competent Tudor mansion with Lutyenesque brick loggias. Westwood has (in the part now called Inglestone Manor) an attractive facade of c 1900 with Renaissance pargetting in the gables. Number 5 Byron Close is the only really distinguished example of post-1945 architecture in the Suburb. Barons Court is a pure film set ideal of an American Colonial mansion, like something from "Gone with the Wind", with an elegant tetrastyle ionic portico.

Then follow two good houses, Kenmore, a restrained derivation (1896, remodelled c 1905) from Norman Shaw's style of Surrey tile-hanging, and Heath Hall (originally East Weald), a remarkably ornate example of Arts and Crafts brickwork by H. V Ashley and F Winton Newman, designed in 1910 for one of the Lyles of Tate and Lyle. Ashley and Newman later made their name as competition-winners for monumental public buildings (Birmingham Art Gallery, Freemasons' Hall), but like so many of their better instincts were clearly domestic. Here the dramatic round-arched brick doorway set in a bowed centrepiece recalls the American architect H H Richardson (specifically his Severs Hall at Harvard). There is a lively outer-arch of carved stone foliage. The house is very large and is peppered with cut and projecting brickwork.

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