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Sports, leisure & culture Ballbrook Conservation area

Ballbrook and its buildings today

When constructed, between 1910 and 1914, the Edwardian part of the conservation area was known as the Radcliffe Estate. This group of houses remains virtually intact and displays the townscape qualities of an Edwardian suburban housing estate.

The tree-lined avenues are fronted by garden walls, mostly in smooth red brick with recessed panels between the piers. The houses, mostly two-storey, are also largely smooth red brick, many with rendered or pebble-dash panels at first floor level, and some with half-timbered gables.

Punctuated with projecting bays, oriel windows and porches, the front elevations of the houses are varied and interesting. It is apparent that stained glass was extensively used, as much of the original glass is still in evidence. It is often seen here in the form of top lights, with clear glass below, sometimes divided by lead cames.

The earlier, Victorian houses on Lapwing Lane, Wilmslow Road and some on Ballbrook Avenue are larger, up to three stories and less typical of the conservation area.

Although more of the stained glass has gone from these houses, they have a fine character with canted bays, half-timbered gables, hood moulds and key blocks over the arched windows.

Although no building in the conservation area is listed individually, some are worthy of special mention. The terrace of shops on Lapwing Lane, designed by George Westcott, is in smooth red brick with red sandstone dressings. The cast-iron and glass canopy is a rare surviving example of an Edwardian shopping arcade.

The surgery at No. 87 Palatine Road is more elaborate than other houses in the area, having a large, projecting, octagonal bay with dome roof and lantern. There are also finely detailed terracotta panels on the frieze and over the entrance.

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