Avenue House Lodge

By Jon Everitt

Avenue House Lodge was built c1840 as the gate house and the stabling accommodation for the owners of and visitors to the Avenue House in Clifton Road Tettenhall. It is situated at the bottom of the Rock (A41), before it cuts through the sandstone rock to Upper Green. The Lodge would have been the first point of entry.  Access to the main house was gained via the graveled driveway around the rear of the house.
Avenue House Lodge's plot of land is highlighted in red.  The Rock (A41) runs from top to bottom of the plan and Old Hill and Church Road run across the plan just below the Lodge.

The Lodge House can be briefly described externally as:

Brick built with stucco dressings; hipped slate tiled roof with three stack chimneys. A two story building with a two-window range. Built on a blue brick plinth, with an ashlar platt band over the ground floor. Ground floor windows are 9 panel box-sash over recessed apron panels; first floor has 6 panel box-sash. The front entrance is through the wrought iron gates that lie at the foot of the rear driveway to the main house. The front entrance has a six-panel, French style door and has a gable roof above.
The Lodge, and its outbuildings, as they now are, seen from the Rock.

The house as originally built was a very 'grand' looking two-up two-down. The house was a simply dwelling for the gate keeper/groom to the owner of the main house. The house originally consisted of a main living room, with a cast iron fire place with oven and hobs. Access to the parlour was via the main living room. Access to the original staircase was also via the main living room.  The stairs would have been incredibly steep and would have given access to a small landing area. From there two doors would have given access to the main bedroom with open fire and to the second small children's room (with no heating!). The lavatory was at the bottom of the courtyard at the back of the coach store building.  There was also a pig sty and rubbish heap. The outbuildings consisted of a stable block with hay loft above and a separate coach carriage storage building, linked via internal doors. Access to them was gained via the main board gates off the main road or via a link path from the rear driveway.

In 1998 I purchased the property and embarked on a sympathetic renovation.  On the next page are a few picture illustrating the changes to Avenue House Lodge since 1998 to present.

Internally the non-original staircase was removed and a exact reproduction of a cast iron Victorian spiral stair case was fitted within the main living room. The original parlor was extended into the now spare stair space. A new bathroom was fitted, again using early Victorian fittings. Original internal plans have been recorded and issued to Wolverhampton Council. 

The photos below show the progress of restoration:

Left:  This is the original carriage storage building. The original stable block was demolished in the 1960s but would have stood in the foreground, attached to the carriage store. The door in the photo would have linked the two together internally. Right:  The coach storage building after restoration. The main double door is the original.

Left:  the original front entrance, left unchanged over the various developments.

Right:  This was added during the 1960s or 70s.  It has now gladly gone!

Left: the house viewed from the courtyard in 1998.

Right:  the original plasterwork was in poor condition around the house.


Left:  the new fascia blue brick plinth is complete. The ground floor window and door are under way.
Right: The new first floor box sash window is fitted into the new apron panels. The existing lead roof was extended into the new fascia of the house.

Left:  The new fascia here is now painted and finished.

Right:  The front door fitted.  The new stable block is just in view.

Left:  The new stable block from the courtyard. The ground floor level is parking for cars - not horses!  The door on the left gives access to the "Loft Room".
Right:  view of the cutting in the rock that forms the courtyard.

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