Sunday, February 18, 2018

Landmark Trust Works to Save At-Risk Voysey Arts & Crafts Hospital

C.F.A. Voysey
I’ve always been fascinated by the work of C.F.A.Voysey. Regarded as one of the finest and most original architects of the 19th & 20th century Arts & Crafts Movement, his interpretations of vernacular English forms demonstrated his commitment to simplicity, truth in the use of materials and the blending of both craftsmanship and high design.

Early in his career, Voysey utilized many traditional English elements in his work, combining stucco and half-timbering to achieve a comfortable and recognizable effect in his residential designs. Later, he simplified and transformed his concepts, developing highly original plans that reflected vernacular building forms in new and exciting ways. These houses, like Broad Leys, Perrycroft, Greyfriars, and The Orchard – Chorleywood, are the type we most closely associate with him.

Currently, The Landmark Trust is running an appeal to save Winsford Cottage Hospital in Devon, a unique example of an unaltered, purpose-built Victorian cottage hospital. Built by wealthy philanthropist Maria Medley as a gift to the local community, it enabled ordinary people to receive affordable medical treatment near to their homes for the first time.

The hospital displays many of Voysey’s most recognizable exterior design features, with its stucco exterior, steeply-pitched gables, bands of windows and bold, simple detailing. Inside, it includes many of the characteristic features found in Voysey's country houses—beautiful but understated architectural motifs, hearts, birds and trees, perfectly detailed window fittings and door furniture. Remarkably, many of these survive intact over the last 117 years.

Winsford opened its doors in 1900 and welcomed thousands of patients over nearly a century of service. After the hospital was closed, a small local trust had managed to keep the building in community use. Despite those efforts, this task has now proved too great—the Grade II* listed building has been on the Heritage at Risk register since 2009, and continues to fall into a greater state of disrepair. Rescue by the Landmark Trust now appears to be the best and perhaps only hope of saving this historic work.

The Landmark Trust has a goal of raising £71,000 over the next 4 months to save this valuable building. The plan is that once restored, the main spaces of the building will become a comfortable and welcoming Landmark for six, while four rooms in the east wing will be set aside for community use.

To find out more about the project and how you can support the effort, go HERE.

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