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HER Number:MDV76308
Name:Timber Bungalow at Southdown east of Thurlestone Sands


Prefabrictaed 12 sided timber bungalow built in 1923 at Southdown to the east of Thurlestone Sands


Grid Reference:SX 679 416
Map Sheet:SX64SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSouth Milton
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH MILTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 506986

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOUSE (XX - 1923 AD to 1924 AD)

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1968, SX64SE & part of SX64SW (Cartographic). SDV340323.

'Newholme' shown on 1968 map in a semi-circular enclosure ot the south of the road.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Circular feature shown on modern map at Southdown.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2010, South Milton (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV344254.

Prefabricated timber bungalow at Southdown built circa 1923 by S E Saunders Ltd. Built of propriety plywood, Consuta, on an iron frame, set in concrete. The external walls are covered in cement and the copper roof has been replaced with roofing felt. To the eaves are iron brackets.
Plan: 12 sided bungalow with alternating rectangular projections, of approximately 11 metres in diameter.
Exterior: The bungalow has a central timber 12 sided roof light. A timber walkway with balustrade leads to the panelled front door with rectangular fanlight above and single light windows to either side. All of the original window openings survive but many of the metal window frames have been replaced. The prefabricated bungalow is connected to a more conventional bungalow extension to the south-east by a short linking passage.
Interior: Steps and a small walkway lead to the entrance door which in turn opens into an entrance hall. Double doors open into a central dining lounge with a central hexagonal pattern which is lit from above by a dodecagonal (12 sided) roof lantern. Three segmental bedrooms (one now a sitting room) open off this central space. To the north side of the entrance hall is a small utility room, which was originally a bathroom, and on the same side a short passage leads to a bedroom, originally the drawing room. To the south of the entrance is a short passage which opens onto a small kitchen, originally a servant's bedroom; and the bathroom, which was originally the kitchen with integral larder. The passage extends as a curving corridor with a door leading to the linking passage to the bungalow extension. The interior retains many of its original light and electrical fittings, and door furniture.
History: The design for Southdown was included at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition in 1923 as part of an associated 'Bungalow Town' display which considered new materials and techniques as a way of solving the post World War I housing shortage. It was designed by S E Saunders of Cowes, Isle of Wight, using his patented 'Consuta' plywood which had been a pioneering material widely used in British aviation. It is likely that Saunders departed from his core business to design the bungalow to promote the value of Consuta for panel work, as referred to in the Ideal Home Exhibition guide. Besides Southdown the only other known example of Saunder's Consuta bungalow was at Newport, Isle of Wight, which has recently been demolished. Consuta, comprising four veneers of mahogany planking interleaved with waterproof calico and stiched together with copper wire, was a revolutionary form of construction for lightweight watertight hulls for boats and marine aircraft. The technique was patented by Samuel Saunders of Goring-on-Thames and first used to build a steam launch in 1898; this technique remained in use until suitable waterproof glues for making marine ply became available in the 1950s. In 1901 S E Saunders Ltd moved to the Isle of Wight and expanded rapidly, moving to larger premises in East Cowes in 1909. The company made motor Yachts and hydroplane racing craft, some of them record breaking. They also built Britain's first airship HMA 1 May Fly, as Consuta was found to be an ideal material for building aircraft. Among the first was the Batboat, a biplane flying boat built for Thomas Sopwith, which in July 1913 became the first British aeroplane to make six five-mile return flights within five hours.
Southdown was purchased by the Fleming banking family and brought back from the Ideal Home Exhibition in or shortly after 1923. It was erected on its current site in South Milton along with the linked bungalow extension and was originally known as 'Newholmes'. The external timber walls were rendered in the 1930s. In 1952 the house was sold and the copper roof was replaced with roofing felt. A covenant with The National Trust was set up in 1973 covering the property and surrounding farmland.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV340323Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1968. SX64SE & part of SX64SW. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Map (Paper).
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #103337 ]
SDV344254List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2010. South Milton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Stapled.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 16 2010 9:38AM