Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings

The Woodlands

434 Penn Road

The main front entrance, showing brick, stone and hung tiles - typical Arts and Crafts materials in a typical Arts and Crafts design.

Listing:  House, now residential home.  1899.  By H. T. Hare.  Arts and Crafts style.

Literature:  The Society of Friends produces a leaflet outlining the history of the house and have a larger work in preparation.

Comment:  The house is now a private residential home run by the Society of Friends (but the residents are not necessarily Quakers).  The premises were acquired by them from a George Mason, originally on lease in 1941 and then purchased in 1945.  It was run as a hostel for older people who had been bombed out of their homes but from 1945 was turned into a home for the elderly and infirm.

The photo above shows the front entrance to the Woodlands.  The original stables and coach house are to the left.  Above the door is this carved brick panel:

The date on it is 1897.  Perhaps the listing has some other reason for giving 1899.  The initial M refers to Neville Hanbury Mander, for whom the house was built, on the site of Penn Villa. (The Mander family history is on this website).

The present owners' leaflet says that "the architect was also the designer of Wightwick Manor".  That was Edward Ould.  The listing gives H. T. Hare.  I do not know who is right but the building is considerable less pretentious than Wightwick Manor, lacks nothing in quality and has a definite domestic charm.  The same can be said of the interiors.

The rear lounge. Note the panelling, carved overmantel, tiled fireplace and plaster ceiling in a Tudor strapwork style.

The Woodlands has a good oak panelled entrance hall, dining room and main staircase;  there are de Morgan tiles in the entrance hall fireplace; and the upper floor of the entrance hall has a tapestry thought to be by William Morris.

The Rear elevation, showing typical arts and crafts features, but more orderly than usual.

Another view from the rear of the building.

The house and its extensive grounds are in a conservation area.  Some of the original 10.5 acres has been sold off and there are many modern extensions and additions but an air of calm domesticity has been retained.