Community Buildings

Church House, South Tawton, Devon

Client: The Dartmoor National ParkThe Church House, South Tawton Authority
Site: The Grade II* listed church house is a particularly well-preserved example of the building type – an early form of community investment. Church houses were a late medieval phenomena. They usually provided an enormous fireplace with large oven on the ground floor level as here where brewing, baking and large-scale cooking could be managed with a large feasting hall on the first floor. They were used to raise money for the upkeep of the church nave and support the parish’s charitable endeavours. They could also be hired out by parishioners. Puritan displeasure closed down the church houses in the late 16th and early 17th century. This one stayed in parish hands and continued as a school, later a Poor House.
Summary of Project: Documentary research, measured survey and appraisal of the buildings from an historic and archaeological point of view, followed by an archaeological watching brief during repairs.
Objective: The report, designed to inform conservative repairs, accompanied a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

The Winsford Centre, Halwill Junction, Devon

Client: The Winsford TrustThe Winsford Centre
Site: A Grade II* listed purpose-built Arts and Crafts Cottage Hospital of 1900 to the designs of C F A Voysey, taken over by the National Health Service in 1947 and acquired by a charitable trust in 1998 for community use. The building is in need of capital works and uses that will fund the future maintenance of the building.
Summary of Project: A Conservation Management Plan provided as one of a co-ordinated group of documents including structural survey and options appraisal.
Objective: To inform an application for funding for capital works and identify constraints and opportunities for re-use.

The Lady Margaret Hungerford Charity Almshouses, Corsham, Wiltshire

Client: The Trustees of the Lady Margaret Hungerford CharityThe Almshouses, Corsham
Site: Grade I listed almshouses and free school built in 1686. It occupies a prominent site along the old London to Bath road on a crossroads. The L-plan complex includes a master’s house and school in the west range and relatively generous housing for six poor ‘men or women’, but in practice it seems they were usually women, in the north range. The buildings were expensively finished featuring the Hungerford Arms carved large and expertly on the north and west fronts. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect is the extent of the survival of original detail throughout.
Summary of Project: An assessment with documentary research was a requirement of grant-aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Objective: To inform the repair programme.

Church House, 1 Fore Street, Silverton, Devon

Client: PrivateChurch House, Silverton
Site: This Grade II listed building occupies a prestigious central site in an ancient market town. It was built as a church house, a parish building run and owned by the Churchwardens in the early 16th century, with facilities for cooking and brewing, and for social gatherings such as the Church Ale. The system was designed to raise money for the upkeep of the communal nave of the church and local social needs. Puritan opposition led to the closing of such institutions and this one apparently then became a merchant’s house and has stayed in domestic use since.
Summary of Project: An initial appraisal, with documentary research, from an historic and archaeological point of view, followed by an archaeological watching brief during an extensive repair and modernisation programme in a rather run-down property which therefore revealed a great deal of new archaeological/historic information.
Objective: To inform the repair programme and then record new historic information revealed during the repairs.