CLASSICAL RUIN RESCUE

Historical Background of Dippons House

 

Dippons House Facade

 

Amongst the suburbs of Tettenhall its serendipitous if not remarkable to find a large Edwardian country house in the tudor-revival style; an oasis of fantasy now converted to private residential apartments. Dippons house was the one time home of Gerald Mander paint baron and antiquarian.

Gerald Mander

The house was almost certainly and adaptation of an existing farmhouse or subservience of the larger Mander estate. The nearby Mount [hotel] and Wightwick Manor [national trust] were both Mander family homes.

Gerald Mander employed the skills of the architect James A Swan to remodel the house during the early 20th century. Many of the ornamental masonry and garden features employ devices in the genre of Sir Edwin Lutyens foremost country house architect of the day including brick mullioned and transomed windows. Gerald's daughter Hilary recalls that "he was always improving Dippons with architecture and various types of gardens"

The gardens to the house were once quite extensive but have been mostly built upon to create residential housing during the 1970's however on or two of the original garden ornaments including a gazebo and summer house still exist now within the confines of private gardens. One building which sadly has been lost is the former ball-room in the arts and crafts style which was accessed by a covered bridge from the Mander bedroom at first floor level spanning mill lane.

Courtyard of Dippons House

Behind the main house is a private courtyard with ornamental towers set diagonally which the architect is said to have modelled upon a stable block in Normandy. The stables were converted during the later renovation and subdivision of the house by Neil Avery and incorporate black and white timber framed design devised by architects Arrol and Snell in the arts and crafts style dated 1992. So authentic is the execution that it could easily be mistaken for the architectural work of Edward Ould at Wightwick manor in 1891.