The good Herr Doktor Pevsner gave fairly short shrift to Kettering –
“There is remarkably little of architectural note at Kettering, and no perambulation can be made of it.”
Quite how he knew there was little of architectural note if he couldn’t be bothered to walk round it I don’t know. I doubt that he would have found this building notable even if he’d seen it but it’s always interested me.
It is (or was) one of a number of what I take to be nineteenth century houses (villas?) in various styles that are spread out along the Rockingham Road. I used to pass it on my way into town from my parents’ house, and now pass it on my way to the football. It was brilliantly white, to my eye vaguely Italianate, set back further from the road than most of the other houses and was shielded by what must once have been a quite elaborate garden, largely of evergreens.
As time went by the evergreens grew wilder and the house more obscured. I suppose I picture some elderly lady – perhaps the daughter (grand-daughter?) of the original owners – becoming immobile and reclusive. Some time ago the windows were boarded up and the gate padlocked. Little piles of white cider cans sprouted in the garden, a rash of graffiti on the walls (one imagines local children daring each other to spend a night in the haunted house).
Now a sign has appeared ….
“Construction site” sounds euphemistic. Demolition? Renovation? I shall keep an eye on its progress, if any, and report back.