The Fishermans Shelter
The two wings of the Shell house were designed by the respected conservation architect A. R. Powys in 1928. The east wing was built soon afterwards as a fisherman's / public shelter, with notable Arts and Crafts style fireplaces, chimneys and oak furniture.
The original Shell House buildings
In 1924, when the Forest was bequeathed to the National Trust, the Shell House was at the end of a long axial building. This provided a cottage for a custodian and dated back to the 1750s when the Shell House was built.
This cottage was demolished and replaced in two stages by the present day east and west wings.
A surprisingly interesting building
The Fisherman's Shelter forms the east wing of the Shell House complex and is of interest in its own right.
It was designed by the respected conservation architect A. R. Powys in 1928, as part of a larger scheme which also included the west wing (now the Education Room). Powys was a secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and wrote the classic reference book "Repair of Ancient Buildings" in 1929.
The overall design, especially when viewed from the rear, resembles the outline of a medieval almshouse, with six striking chimney stacks. It has a low roof line, so complements rather than dominates the original Shell Building.
Echoes of the Arts and Crafts movement
The Fisherman's Shelter was built in the late 1920's, soon after it was designed, with the west wing following in the 1950's.
The interior has three fire places and heavy oak benches and tables in the Arts and Crafts style.
A Plaque to Edward North Buxton
The Shelter was in part conceived of as a memorial commerating the bequest by Edward North Buxton and his family of the Forest to the National Trust in 1924 and contains a plaque recognising this.
" THIS SHELTER IS ERECTED IN MEMORY OF EDWARD BUXTON OF KNIGHTON, BUCKHURST HILL, AND HIS SON GERALD BUXTON, OF BIRCH HILL, THEYDON BOIS, TO WHOM THE PUBLIC OWES THIS GIFT OF THIS FOREST "
The Education Room
The later built west wing was originally designed as living accomodation, with three bedrooms in the wing, a living room and scullery behind the Shell House and a further room upstairs.
The bedroom walls were taken out and the fire places boarded up when the wing was converted to the present day Education Room.
The living room and scullery are now the Discovery Room.