Built in 1913-14 to designs by Walter Cave, Littlecourt Yard is an Arts and Crafts style purpose-built stable yard combined with motor house, incorporating chauffeur and groom’s accommodation.
The stable yard forms an open courtyard looking south across a valley. The south, open side of the complex, has a gateway leading out onto open countryside, which was often used for hunting. Coaches and horses entered through the central archway into the main gravel courtyard, which contains stabling on all three sides.
It is a rare and important building that represents a brief moment in time between 1905 and 1925, when an important change was occurring in the history of transport, and a few combined stable and motor house complexes were built. As such, it is an eloquent reminder of the gradual transition from horse power to the motor car.
The usually noisy new motor cars were not allowed in the central court, and instead would turn left and make their way around the building to the motor house situated on the east side of the east wing of the building. The motor house comprised the essential elements for this building type with heating pipes, an inspection pit, and a concreted and well drained washing place with a glazed roof in front, all of which survive, together with a workshop and chauffeur’s cottage.
It is a finely detailed building in the Arts and Crafts style, displaying a high level of craftsmanship and sensitive handling of both building materials and vernacular motifs to create what was regarded as a thoroughly modern building type. Overtime, it has survived with a high degree of intactness, retaining many of its original internal fittings, notably in the stables.