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Whittington Lodge is thought to be first purpose-built cattery in England
Whittington Lodge, originally a cattery at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, has been listed Grade II by Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey.
The Lodge, built around 1907, may be the first purpose-built boarding cattery in England and was designed by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis, creator of the Italianate masterpiece Portmeirion in North Wales. He wanted the Lodge to be memorable and visually entertaining, with whimsical detailing such as a weathervane, as well as a practical building to house the charity’s cats: it even had stoves for warmth during the winter.
In honour of the listing, Ed Vaizey named one of the kittens, Whittington, after the lodge.
Ed Vaizey said:
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is one of the nation’s best known and most loved institutions – a wonderful embodiment of this country’s love for our domestic pets. Historically fascinating and exquisitely designed, Whittington Lodge is certainly worthy of listing at Grade II, and my decision will further ensure the heritage of this highly iconic London landmark.
Whittington Lodge has been listed for a number of reasons including architectural interest due to its Arts and Crafts detailing that was intended to be both eye-catching and functional. It also has immense historical interest and the building represents a point in time when the care of lost and unwanted animals was gaining credence as an important social issue.
Roger Bowdler, Designation Director at English Heritage said:
This building, Whittington Lodge is a wonderful example of eminent architect Clough Williams-Ellis’ work. The survival of such an early purpose-built cattery is extraordinarily rare and along with its intactness and historic interest, it fully merits listing at Grade II.
2015 sees Battersea Dogs & Cats Home celebrate its 155th year. Before receiving their own custom-built Lodge, the cats were housed in the same Victorian buildings as the dogs.
Claire Horton, Chief Executive from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home said:
We are thrilled that Whittington Lodge has received listed recognition. It is a charming and much-loved aspect of our historic site. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home began accepting cats in 1883 and since then we’ve taken in more than 200,000 in need of our help. Our dedication to providing the best care possible for our animals means that we have always been at the cutting edge of building new facilities. We are currently building brand new kennels for our dogs – perhaps in a century they will be receiving the same great honour as Whittington Lodge: a Grade II Listing.