This delightful Cottage Orne was the former lodge to a large residential house called Knowle Cottage, now called The Knowle which is where the East Devon Council Offices are housed, and is situated at the start of the driveway leading to the main house. Oddly enough, the lodge is now called Balfour Lodge, taking it's name from Balfour Manor across the lane behind it. This never was a lodge to the manor house, as the actual lodge is situated at the gateway to the manor drive, and is called South Lodge. Have I confused you yet? ;) Well, just to make things even more confusing, there is another house further up the lane called Knowle Cottage, which isn't the original one, but I think may have been a second lodge belonging to it on the north-west of the estate.
A Grade II listed building, Balfour Lodge was built circa early to mid 19th century. Comprising two storeys, with the first floor in the attic, there is a steep pitched hipped roof with gable ends at each side and pretty gabled first floor windows to the front and back. With it's 'crazy paving' finish, and ornate bargeboards, it's a striking and quirky building of the 'gingerbread house' variety.
The Gothic windows are an absolute delight, with cute foliate carvings of ivy, holly and other leaves forming quatrefoil shapes below the hipped and tiled roof on the ground floor (above).
Above can be seen the projecting stone porch, with tracery patterned bargeboards. Stone quoins surround the door. I'm not sure if that is the original door, as the listed building entry is slightly confusing. Mention is made of a 2-light casement at the entrance front and the door having ornate iron hinges, of which there is now no trace of either...unless the original entrance was at the adjacent side. This may be the case as the house has been converted into two flats inside. I do love this door however, and the way the window apex echoes the Gothic shape is quite lovely.
I couldn't help but notice this fab little house whenever I went past on the bus occasionally, but this time I was in my friend's car and as she enjoys mooching around unusual places too, we stopped to get a better look. Which led to us having a meander up the lane next to it and finding several other places of interest. Great day, with lots of photos to show for it!
The above photo is of the rear, taken from the lane...which, oddly enough is called Broad Street, presumably built when it was broader than most roads in the vicinity at the time.
And finally, an overall view of the front, which I've only just realised my tendency to do instead of putting these views at the top of the page. I don't know why I do that, but it just seems obvious to me to do a magician's trick of revealing it in it's entirety at the end with a flourish and a 'ta-ra!' ;)
These and more photos can be seen in the Photo Gallery album.