DescriptionMiddlefield is an essay by Lutyens in proportion and massing. Built for legal scholar Henry Bond on a hillside not far from Cambridge, Middlefield displays minimal ornament and relies upon the interplay of the small, hand-made brickwork with the massing of the roof and chimneys to make its statement. The central entrance block of the north-facing front elevation is flanked by two projecting bays. Each bay has a line of brickwork that creates a shadow line, emphasizes the slight (3-4 inch) projection of the upper part of each wing, and connects visually with the roofline of the outer flanking wings. The complex hipped roofline adds gravitas to the structure, grounding it towards the earth, while the three massive, symmetrical chimneys add punctuation.
At first glance, the only major ornament on the front façade is the doorway surround which carries up to contain the first floor window above. The service rooms on the east end project beyond the main block to read as a separate wing. There is symmetry in the fenestration, yet a playfulness displayed by the different size and shape of the windows and dormers.
Interest is provided along the south-facing garden façade by two sets of stacked bay-windows and a covered loggia. The garden-side roofline appears much less complex with a simple hipped roof center section flanked by lower hipped-roofs to either side. The interior of Middlefield is enlivened by the detailing of the staircase. The newel post at the turn of the stairs was replaced by a large twisted column that serves as a spring point connecting with the heavily coved ceiling. The rest of the house is simply but elegantly detailed. (Contributor: Robyn Prater)
House, 1908 by Lutyens for the legal scholar Henry Bond. Small, narrow red brick with big, hipped roofs, tiled, and deep eaves, part boarded on south side. Guttering enriched with acorn finials. Three tall internal stalks, the outer ones having recessed centre panels and all with moulded stone cornices to entablatures. Symmetrical plan of single range having lower flanking wings projecting as crosswings on the north side. Lower adjoining service wings to the east. Two storeys and attic. North elevation has two hipped dormers on either side of one segmental dormer, all with leaded lights. Range of flush frame hung sashes with half round moulded glazing bars and open boxing. Pedimented central doorway with doorcase of pilasters with pulvinated frieze. Above and forming a single composition with the doorway is a larger, similar hung sash with a swept surround and flanking pilasters. The crosswings have moulded brick band and bulls eye windows with leaded lights. The south side to the garden has two, two-storey canted bays flanking three similar hung sashes, the ground floor ones in segmental arches. Three hipped dormers in the roof, flanked by original oval, glazed panels. The wings have one tripartite hung sash to each storey except for the right hand wing which has a loggia. Adjoining to the east is an original garden wall, shaped and in three bays with part red brick piers and tiled coping. Interior: Most of the details from the original house have remained intact, including the fireplace surrounds on the ground floor and the staircase with its turned balusters and large single, twisted column as a stair pillar. (Historic England, list entry 1317370)
BibliographyHistoric England. MIDDLEFIELD AND GARDEN WALL. [Online] Available from: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1317370
Also Cited InGradidge, R. (1982) Edwin Lutyens: Architect Laureate. London: Allen & Unwin.
Weaver, L. (1913) Houses and Gardens by E L Lutyens. London: Country Life.
Aslet, C. (1982) The Last Country Houses. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Bradley S & Pevsner N (2014) Cambridgeshire. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Butler, A., 1950. The architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens: the Lutyens memorial series. Vol 1: Country Houses, Country Life: London and Scibners: New York.