Headington, Bridge of Weir

M209 Headington, Bridge of Weir

Address: Bankend Road, Bridge of Weir PA11 3EU
Date: 1902–5
Client: Alfred A. Todd
Authorship: Authorship category 2 (Mackintosh and Office) (Mackintosh and Office)

Origin and names

Alfred Todd commissioned John Honeyman & Keppie to design a cottage at Bridge of Weir in 1898. However, that project appears to have been abandoned following the tendering process. In 1902, he returned to the practice to commission a substantial house in the same village. Early references to Todd's house give the name Headington. 1

Drawings

The drawings submitted for local authority approval are now lost and known only through photographs. 2 Dated April and May 1902, they showed the house as built and were signed by John Keppie. They do not appear to have been drawn by Mackintosh, but two pencil drawings in the Hunterian Art Gallery, which were in Mackintosh's possession at the time of his death and may therefore be by him, show what seems to be an alternative treatment for the house. 3 These drawings, in which the distribution of the windows is different, may indicate Mackintosh's involvement in an earlier stage of the design process.

Exterior

The L-plan house of roughcast brick is severely plain. The only ornament is the stone surround to the front door in the angle of the two wings and the carved panel above it. The eaves line is enlivened by dormers with curved gables and by a wall-head gable on the N. elevation of the slightly higher N. wing. Doors and sash windows are arranged asymmetrically. Plan and materials, as well as the form of the dormers, show the influence of 17th-century Scottish vernacular architecture and recall Mackintosh's contemporary work at Windyhill and The Hill House. 4

Interior

According to the 1902 drawings, a narrow vestibule leads to the hall and stairs in the centre of the N. wing. Parlour and dining room open off the E. side of the hall, drawing room off the W. The kitchen is S. of the dining room, with scullery, larder, wash house and coal store in a single-storey wing beyond. On the first floor are four bedrooms, a dressing room and bathroom, and there are three further rooms in the roof space, lit by gabled dormers. The drawings show a large and elaborate fireplace in the dining room and smaller ones in the dressing room and third bedroom.

Alterations

Alterations were made to the house in 1915 by William Gardner Rowan. 5

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Notes:

1: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1905–6, p. 609; Mrs E. Todd was still living at 'Headington', Bankend Road, Bridge of Weir in 1926. Paisley and District Post Office Directory, 1926, p. 556.

2: Hiroaki Kimura, 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Architectural Drawings', unpublished PhD thesis, University of Glasgow, 1982, pp. 313–14. The drawings were seen by Kimura in or before 1982 in the former Strathclyde Regional Council, Renfrew District archives in Cotton Street, Paisley, but could not be located in 2010 among surviving drawings for other projects at Renfrewshire archives, Heritage Services, Paisley Central Library.

3: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: GLAHA 41854 (M209-005); GLAHA 41855 (M209-006); Frank Arneil Walker, 'Two Houses at Bridge of Weir', Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society Newsletter, 44, Autumn 1986, p. 11.

4: Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society Newsletter, 44, Autumn 1986, p. 11. Frank Arneil Walker, The South Clyde Estuary. An Illustrated Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew, Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1986, p. 84.

5: 'Easterhill', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, 1840–1980, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 8 December 2010]; Historic Scotland listing description, HB 12775, www.historic-scotland.gov.uk [accessed 8 December 2010].