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Arden House and Old Hall (formerly Arden Cottage)

A Grade II* Listed Building in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7052 / 51°42'18"N

Longitude: -2.1866 / 2°11'11"W

OS Eastings: 387201

OS Northings: 200734

OS Grid: SO872007

Mapcode National: GBR 1N6.008

Mapcode Global: VH955.1DWN

Entry Name: Arden House and Old Hall (formerly Arden Cottage)

Listing Date: 28 June 1960

Last Amended: 8 July 2014

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1091107

English Heritage Legacy ID: 133055

Location: Minchinhampton, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6

County: Gloucestershire

District: Stroud

Civil Parish: Minchinhampton

Built-Up Area: Minchinhampton

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Minchinhampton with Box

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

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Two row houses, dating from the C16 with alterations in the C19 and C20; a rear wing added in the early C18.


Two row houses, dating from the C16 with alterations in the C18 and C20, a rear wing added in the early C18.

MATERIALS: random limestone rubble, with ashlar chimneys; Cotswold stone slate to the front with concrete tile to the rear.

PLAN: rectangular main range fronting the street, running NE-SW, with a rear wing running from the southern end.

EXTERIOR: the building is of two storeys and attic; to the main elevation it has six uneven bays, with a four-centred arched C16 doorway towards the centre to a through passage; it has a chamfered opening and hoodmould with Tudor rose stops. The doorway houses an ancient plank and iron-studded door. The masonry of the remainder of the front records numerous alterations: the single-storey, canted bay window to the right, with mullioned casements, being early- to mid-C17. Two pairs of C20 six-over-six-pane sashes are set to either side of the doorway in an area of rebuilding to the ground floor, following the removal of the earlier shop fronts. Three early-C19 twelve-pane upper-floor sashes, and a tripartite sash to the left, cut through a plain ashlar band close to the level of the cills. The right-hand house has two gabled dormers with C20 casements. The main range has parapet gabled ends with chimneys, which have plain caps. Rear wing: has a north-facing front of circa 1710, with five-window fenestration, all of which are segmental arched with moulded, keyed architraves, and bull-nose sills to the upper floors, with six-over-six sashes having thick glazing bars. The windows below are mixed: two six-over-six-pane sashes in square-headed openings; a segmental-arched former doorway with a timber cross-window, and a stone cross-window with ovolo-moulded mullion and transom, and leaded iron casements. The doorway to the left has a three-panel fielded door with a rectangular light over. The rear of the main range has a gabled stair turret with lower, gabled projection to its left.

INTERIOR: ARDEN HOUSE (13 High Street) occupies half of the main range and the rear wing. The ground floor of the main range is a single room, with an exposed chamfered and stopped beam. Between the windows is a blocked, three-centred-arched doorway (not visible from the exterior), with a small, late-C18 decorative vine and barrel plaster motif set in the impost, possibly denoting an earlier use as a vintner’s shop. This room, along with the rooms in the rear wing, has a classical stone fire surround with reeded uprights and bull-nose motifs. The stair is early C18, a closed string with turned balusters and newels, and ramped handrail; it rises through both storeys to the attic. The rear wing retains panelled doors of the C18 and C19, and the first-floor rooms have shutters and panelling to the window reveals. To the attic, the trusses are closed to partition the space into rooms, accessed by a corridor running under the northern slope of the roof. The truss at the top of the stairs is closed to collar level by reused, rectangular-framed panelling, perhaps brought from elsewhere in the house.

OLD HALL (15 High Street - formerly Arden Cottage) is contained wholly within the main range, and entered through a doorway at the rear of the through passage. The door dates from the C18 but is a recent introduction brought from elsewhere. The door to the cloakroom is an early-C20 Arts and Crafts example, plank and batten with decorative ironwork, typical of the Minchinhampton area. The ground floor has massive exposed chamfered and stopped beams, and exposed joists; it has a later partition to create a small kitchen towards the rear. At the northern end the large fireplace has C16 monolithic stone fireplace jambs and a plain timber bressumer, now covered by an imported timber carving. The cellar, which is lined in rubble stone, is reached by a short flight of stone steps. There is a blocked segmental archway formerly leading to Arden House, and a blocked chute to the street. The enclosed dog-leg stair rises in the stair turret to the rear of the range. The first floor has three rooms around the landing; there are exposed chamfered and stopped beams throughout, and wide elm floorboards. The northernmost has a small, stone Tudor fireplace with moulded and carved decoration. To its right, set higher in the wall, is a small spice cupboard with a moulded oak surround and butterfly hinges; its door is impressed with a large X, acting as an apotropaic [evil-averting] mark. This room and that to the south, have panelled window seats. The attic has a plastered ceiling.

The roof structure to both ranges is largely exposed; the roofs of both ranges date from the C18, that to the rear wing earlier than the replaced roof over the main range. Both roof structures are formed from A-frame trusses with twin purlins. The replaced roof over the main range has slightly cranked collars.


The building was constructed in the C16, two houses in a row facing the market place; they are unusual for this date in occupying such a large street frontage, when most messuages were narrow, the buildings constructed with their gable ends to the street. It has been mooted that the court leet for Minchinhampton might have met at the house, but there is no formal evidence for this claim, and the site of the court remains unconfirmed. Originally two storeys and possibly an attic, by circa 1710, the southern end of the main range had been extended to the rear by the addition of a two-storey, north-facing wing fronting onto a small courtyard, and the main range had been reduced in height; Kip’s engraving of the town published in 1712 shows the buildings in this state. The front range was built up again and given a new roof in the earlier C18, and its stone-mullioned windows were later replaced with sash windows. During the first half of the C20, the ground floors of both parts of the main range were in use as Hughes’ grocery shop, and shop windows had been inserted. Later in the C20 these were replaced with sash windows to match those to the first floor.

Reasons for Listing

Arden House and Old Hall (formerly Arden Cottage), 13 and 15 High Street, Minchinhampton, a house of the C16 with an early-C18 wing, is listed at Grade II*, for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as a substantial C16 house which retains much significant historic fabric of this date;
* Architectural interest: the early-C18 wing has a good north façade and is unusual in a small town in this area at this relatively early date;
* Evolution: the buildings’ history is readily legible in their fabric, and the phase of significant change in the early C18 adds to its special interest;
* Interior: the interiors of both the main range and the early-C18 wing retain good-quality features and fittings of the C17 and C18;
* Intactness: the main range and cross wing are little altered since the C18;
* Group value: with the numerous other listed buildings which line the historic market place at the centre of Minchinhampton.

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