Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings

The Spinney, Walnut Drive, Finchfield

Listing: By William Johnson Harrison Weller for a Mr. Hall-Jones. A cleverly and competantly (sic) designed Arts and Crafts composition by a local architect, in which the quality of both external and internal detailing has been sufficiently high to withstand the damage of later additions and alterations.

Comment: once the centre of a large estate, it is now surrounded by surburbia, mainly of the late 60s and early 70s. Since the last of the resident family moved out it has seen a number of uses, of which the best remembered seems to be a club and restaurant. The photo above, taken in 2000, shows the front door which is in what is otherwise a side elevation - a not unusual arrangement in this style. The main elevation, to the left, could not be photographed through the surrounding boscage and wire mesh fence. 

In 2001 planning permission was given to convert the house into flats and for a lot of new build flats to be erected filling the rest of the site. This is the result. It cannot be denied that the site is a whole lot neater and tidier; but the development as a whole is out of scale and character with the 1960s open plan suburbia which now surrounds it. Taken by itself it is a very successful effort at producing something which matches the original building without being a fake. It may also be significant of the present state of suburban architecture that the new build could pass as almost any modern estate.