KENTMERE HOUSE & 1 TELFORD TERRACE – A HISTORY
The property was built by the Primitive Methodist Chapel Aid Association in 1898 as a house for their Company Secretary, with adjoining offices and board room for the Association. The organisation, now known as MCA Funding for Churches, makes low-interest loans to trustees of Methodist chapels for building and maintenance purposes, as well as providing a secure home for members’ savings.
A triangular plot at the junction of Scarcroft Hill & Telford Terrace was purchased: the plot which had remained after the building of the terraces of housing in those streets.
In about 1980 the Association found that it no longer had a need to house its employee but wanted to remain in the offices, to which they had a great emotional attachment. They therefore sold the entire property, keeping for themselves a lease of the office area, with their own entrance from Telford Terrace.
We bought the property in 1991, having searched for 3 years for a house we could use as an art gallery. The house was ideal as it had large rooms with high ceilings and a spacious staircase perfect for displaying paintings. The quality of the workmanship and materials used in the building is exceptional, and it is one of the few buildings in York roofed with Westmoreland green slates.
Originally the offices had included a strong room, where the organisation stored the deeds of Chapels while loans were outstanding, but this was incorporated into the offices in the late 1990s, after computerisation of Land Registry records meant there was no longer a need for storage.
The name Kentmere was chosen by one of the Methodists involved at the time of building, as he was a frequent visitor to the village of the same name in the Lake District.
The Methodists had made very few changes during their ownership, the only exceptions being the removal of the original cooking range in the kitchen & the creation in the 1950s of a larger flat-roofed kitchen, by joining the original scullery to the wash house.
50 years later, the flat roof of the kitchen had failed & the room was demolished & replaced by a modern structure linking to the courtyard garden & incorporating a “green roof”.
The lease to the Methodist organisation has been renewed & MCA continues in occupation at no. 1 Telford Terrace.