Town Houses before 1700

5 Higher Street, Dartmouth, Devon

Client: Fire Insurance Companies5 Higher Street, Dartmouth, Devon
Site: A fire in 2010 badly damaged a tight group of four listed buildings in the heart of Dartmouth. This included 5 Higher Street, which was considered one of the best-preserved Devon merchant’s town houses from the first half of the 17th century, comparable with those in the nearby Dartmouth Butterwalk. It had been acquired by and conservatively repaired by the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, a predecessor of English Heritage, around 1950.
Summary of Project: The group of buildings, with particular reference to 5 Higher Street, were assessed following the fire, and the remains intensively photographed. In No 5 historic timbers were identified, taken off site during the clearance of debris and recorded. Other features were recorded before their demolition for reasons of safety. Historic photographs, plans and other graphic or written material from local and national archives were collected. Keystone are engaged as consultants through the repair programme undertaking an archaeological watching brief and a source of advice for new design.
Objective: To inform the repair programme.

The Hatshop, 100 Church Street, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

Client: Tewkesbury District CouncilThe Hatshop, 100 Church Street, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
Site: Grade II* listed timber-framed merchant’s house. The front part of the house was built in 1664 by Bartholomew Read, a glover, working within the then important Tewkesbury leather industry. At the back part of the c.1500 rear block survived. It was a building at risk after decades of disuse and neglect which, ironically, had ensured the survival of elements of the historic fabric that would undoubtedly have disappeared had it been kept in use and good order.
Summary of Project: In 2002 Tewkesbury District Council acquired the property in a poor state of repair with the intention of saving the building and using it as a Heritage Interpretation Centre. Keystone were involved from an early stage. An assessment of the surviving structure was followed by documentary research into the history of the property. We prepared a Conservation Plan as part of the application for Heritage Lottery funds to repair the property. The bid was successful and was followed by a watching brief during the repairs. The project involved close liaison with the council officers, the architects and a team of other specialists.
Objective: Both the conservative repair of a prominent historic building within the heart of the town along with the creation of a sustainable future. The finished project was awarded a Regional RIBA award in 2008.

30 Fore Street, Topsham, Devon

Client: Private30 Fore Street, Topsham, Devon
Site: 30 and 31 Fore Street were originally built as a single house on a relatively compact site on the east side of Fore Street facing west over the churchyard and towards the river. It was built around 1650-60 by George Hodder, a prosperous shipmaster who had acquired considerable property in Topsham by the time of his death in 1700.
Summary of Project: An appraisal of the structure to determine the extent of the survival of 17th century fabric.
Objective: To inform a repair programme.

The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon

Client: The Cullompton Walronds Preservation TrustThe Walronds, Cullompton, Devon
Site: Grade II* listed superior 1603 town house in a very poor state of repair, sited in an earlier burgage plot and now used by a range of community groups. The building was in need of funding for major repairs and new uses to generate income.
Summary of Project: A Conservation Management Plan focussed on the need for major repairs and a financially viable future re-use of the building, considered a flagship project to improve the centre of a down-at-heel town. The plan was developed in close collaboration with Benjamin and Beauchamp, architects, and an Activities Plan consultant. In the course of the work a partnership was developed between the Cullompton Walronds Preservation Trust and the Vivat Trust to provide commercial letting in part of the building to fund future maintenance.
Objective: Conservation management guidance for a building with community use as its focus, including anticipating any risks arising from dual use by two charitable Trusts. Successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid for major repairs.

Moorside, South Zeal, Devon

Client: PrivateMoorside, South Zeal, Devon
Site: A well-preserved early 16th century merchant’s town house, listed Grade II*. South Zeal was a thriving medieval new town.
Summary of Project: An appraisal of the structure to determine the extent of the survival of 16th and 17th century fabric. This was accompanied by a Statement of Significance and followed by a watching brief during repairs.
Objective: To inform a repair programme.

The Three Crowns, Chagford

Client: St Austell Brewery CompanyThe Three Crowns, Chagford
Site: Grade II* listed mid 16th century building in the centre of the town with its origins (and presented form) as the town house of Sir John Whiddon (d.1575). The development of the interior and evolution of a full courtyard plan was secondary in terms of the surviving fabric, much of it evidently associated with the building’s adaptation to a hotel in the 19th century. An insensitive 1970s scheme had a serious impact to the rear of the property.
Summary of Project: An appraisal of the present hotel structure to determine the extent of the survival of 16th century fabric and provide an historic analysis of the rest of building. This included the provision of phased floor plans.
Objective: To inform a repair and modernisation programme upgrading the present hotel and (intentionally) improving on the 1970s scheme.