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Aldington's houses revisited

Listings minister Alan Howarth has sought opinion on the Grade II listing of two houses by Peter Aldington and a theatre by Roderick Ham, writes David Taylor.

Howarth has asked for comments, by 2 June, from professionals, amenity societies and the public, on listing Aldington's Askett Green in Crowbrook Road, Princes Risborough, Bucks (above) and his Clayton House in Green Lane, Great Missenden, Bucks. The former, built between 1961 and 1962, was Aldington's first house design - a traditional brick cottage with a sloping roof and double-height living room - and was important as a step towards vernacular revival or 'romantic pragmatism'. The latter was built in 1965-66 in an L-shape with a children's wing and a circular staircase in a tall brick drum.

The 'influential' theatre proposed for listing is the Thorndike, in Church Street, Leatherhead, built in 1967-69 in the shell of the Crescent Cinema. It established Ham as a theatre designer, and the foyer spaces are said to have influenced those at the National Theatre. The auditorium is innovative for a British theatre in that it uses a continental seating arrangement with no central aisle.

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