8. Building Form and Relationships
The focal point of the village (and Conservation Area) is the Spread Eagle Hotel set by the brook over which the red brick, stone trimmed arched bridge provides the foreground to a background of St. Mary's Church. Both bridge and Hotel carry the Spread Eagle part of the heraldic arms of the Mosleys.
The centre is a typical English sporadic village development. In addition to viewing the enormous architectural assets of the Spread Eagle and Church, with the War Memorial Lych Gate (and its style incorporated into the bus shelter) one can also encompass the Almshouses in Burnside. The attractive informal cottages in Brookside and similar properties in Chapel Lane are representative of the older and "listed" buildings.
Church Road takes the eye to the west where a kaleidoscope of dwellings of the former Mosley Estate comes into view. At the top of Church Road is Home Farm and the former Hall Farm. The brick walls are punctuated by the urn-surmounted gate-piers that provided the former approach to Rolleston Hall.
Church Road is an attractive winding street, the walls overhung with mature trees and opening up into occasional, casually glimpsed enclaves of charming and unusual cottage groups. Red brick contrasts with some white rendered buildings.
The Parish Church is important architecturally for the amount of 12th century work that has survived the Victorian restorations of 1884 and 1892.
Moving from the centre to the eastern boundary of the village, the conversion of Brookhouse Farm to Hotel was sympathetic and attractive. Chapel Lane (the original way eastwards) is pleasantly flanked first by brick walls again and a half-timbered shop and leads further past the Ex-Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1893 to the School Lane junction with its pleasant tight nucleus of small-scale properties creating closely intimate and traditional character at the eastern boundary of the Conservation Area.
Passing from School Lane into Station Road(formerly Meadow Lane) the attractive row of cottages known locally as "New Row" or "Long Row" catches the eye to the former boundary of "old" Rolleston. A consistency of external treatment of these dwellings in the future would be beneficial. Further eastwards named Rolleston on Dove by the Railway Company, is a cluster of Victorian/ Edwardian "Villas" and smaller properties now joined to the old village by successive developments of the post World War II era.
Linking up of the Southern part of the village had occurred immediately following the Second World War with the building of the Tutbury RDC estate of Beacon Drive, Beacon Road (Cinder Lane), Dodslow Avenue and Elizabeth Avenue.
Each estate within the village built in the post war period reflects the trend of each succeeding decade. Walford Road makes use of "open plan". The Lawns and Hall Road revert back to enclosed front gardens followed by revivals of "open plan" at Alderbrook Close, Station Road and finally Meadow View. Large windows, popular in the 50s and 60s are followed by a return to small. Whatever the style, Rolleston remains popular and none but the odd property badly maintained. A pride in the community is displayed.
Rolleston is characterised by brick buildings with steeply pitched and tiled roofs. Many cottages are one and a half storeyed (with rooms within the roof space) and have narrow gable widths.
Only a small number of buildings are three storeyed and in all but two, the third storey is within the roof space (again with dormers). The dormers of the 19th century have reappeared in some of the latest dwellings built in the village. Robust chimney stacks, some well detailed, and porches add interest to the street scene.
Successful building design is not just a matter of how a new dwelling or extension will look on its own plot. It is the relationship it has to neighbouring properties and the prevailing character of each area of the village. The existing layout of property boundaries, the scale and proportions of buildings, their relationship to the street scene, materials and detailing, and the quality of landscaping, all contribute to the character both within the Conservation Area and outside it.
Style and good taste is important as recent social housing built in Dodslow Avenue and Elizabeth Avenue demonstrates.
A method of achieving this is to encourage new buildings to perpetuate and complement traditional styles. Whilst it is not intended that all new buildings directly copy traditional buildings, new developments should establish a good relationship with existing buildings and the landscape setting. Successful buildings will only come through a shared understanding and a partnership between the Planning Authority, developers and the local community. A lot will depend on careful consideration of siting, form, detailing, scale and materials.