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102-103 Northbrook Street, and the former stables to 104 Northbrook Street

A Grade II Listed Building in Newbury, West Berkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4018 / 51°24'6"N

Longitude: -1.3245 / 1°19'28"W

OS Eastings: 447088

OS Northings: 167195

OS Grid: SU470671

Mapcode National: GBR 81Z.1YX

Mapcode Global: VHCZK.0155

Entry Name: 102-103 Northbrook Street, and the former stables to 104 Northbrook Street

Listing Date: 3 May 1973

Last Amended: 21 August 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1211287

English Heritage Legacy ID: 395795

Location: Newbury, West Berkshire, RG14

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Newbury

Built-Up Area: Newbury

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Newbury St Nicolas

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Summary


A former hall house, c1497, with subsequent phases of extension, and an ancillary post-medieval, timber-framed former stable block.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the modern brick range to the rear of 102 and adjoining the stable is not of special architectural or historic interest.

Description

A former hall house, c1497, with subsequent phases of extension, and an ancillary post-medieval timber-framed former stable block.

MATERIALS: the principal range is timber framed with brick infill and a C19 slate roof and brick chimneystack. The ground floor is a modern, glazed insertion with a brick plinth to 103. Rear ranges are brick built, rendered or painted, and have tiled roofs. The former stable is timber-framed with brick infill and a tiled roof. Window frames are generally timber sashes.

PLAN: the building stands just to the north of the River Kennet and the C18 Kennet and Avon Canal. It faces onto Northbrook Street and is bounded by Northcroft Lane to the north and to the south by an alley leading to the lock. Its principal, three-storey range and the earliest phase of the building is orientated north-south, and two ranges project perpendicularly to the west, the northernmost of which adjoins the former stable via a secondary phase of extension.

EXTERIOR: the principal facade has modern glazed shop fronts to the ground floor; there is a C19 moulded console to no 103 and in the centre of the fascia. The wall above is rendered and there are five bays to each floor. On the first floor there are three eight-over-eight pane sashes to the left with exposed sash boxes almost flush with the façade; the two windows to the right are blocked. On the second floor sashes have four-over-eight panes and the second and fourth windows are blocked. Irregularly spaced rafter feet project from the eaves beneath the pitched slate roof.

The northern return elevation is painted brick. The timbers to the gable are exposed and show the line of the original pitch of the roof, beneath which are stepped courses of brick. At ground floor level the modern shop front turns the corner to the approximate line of the former jetty. There are three regularly spaced blocked window openings with segmental arched heads and projecting cills that run onto the elevation of the rear extension, which is a single storey with an attic. Further west on this elevation are two irregular, high-level windows, and there is a small pitched dormer window. This extension terminates with a tile-hung gable and the roof line drops to a second phase of extension: a C20 utilitarian brick structure which is excluded from the listing.

The southern return elevation is rendered and the gable end of the principal north-south range is blind, except for the modern restaurant window that turns the corner and terminates with a fascia console. The roofline steps down to the rear extension, which is two storeys and has a blocked doorway, a two-over-two sash window to the ground and first floors, and two further irregular windows. The elevation steps forward indicating a second phase of extension, the elevation of which is blind with a wide chimneystack.

INTERIOR: the rear wall of the ground floor room of the principal range has been opened up to incorporate the rear extensions. 102 has a barrel vaulted ceiling, with moulded plaster ribs; all other visible features are modern insertions. In 103 much of the timber frame survives, though appears to have been heavily modified with various members removed and inserted; the timber in the place of the jetty plate has no trenches or mortises. Toward the back of the room is a pair of closely spaced posts, one of which has shaped brackets. The timbers leading to the north and south bear evidence of former stud partitions and are chamfered with run out stops. Above this, on the first floor, the principal range has again been opened up into the rear extension, which retains substantial roof trusses. As on the ground floor, the timber frame has undergone a number of alterations and insertions. In the first floor of 102 much of the timber frame has been removed.

In the second floor, originally an attic, the timber frame survives well and illustrates the development of the building through the retention of timbers of the steeply pitched original roof and dormers. Doors and joinery are mismatched and are typical of the C19. There is one door with fielded panelling which appears to be an earlier example re-sited. The main range has three rooms, the northernmost of which has a C20 brick chimneypiece and a built-in timber seat. The roof has three bays, each with eight pairs of rafters bearing carpenter’s marks. In the northernmost bay a pair of rafters has been removed to accommodate the inserted chimney, and the marks indicate some alteration. Roof timbers display substantial smoke blackening.

No historic stairs survive.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the former stable is to the west of the rear extension of no 102. It has sections of box-framing timbers beneath the eaves, and elsewhere is rebuilt in brick. There is a taking-in door within the timber framing, and a projecting plane with a double door with a flat brick arch.

The ground floor retains no historic features. The first floor is within the attic space; the exposed roof structure consists of two principal queen post trusses with heavy purlins and roughly hewn rafters. Propping and stablising of the roof has been attempted and there are a number of inserted timbers with butt joints. The western hip incorporates much modern fabric.

History

102-103 Northbrook Street has long been understood locally to be a Tudor building, and recent dendrochronological investigation has provided a precise date of 1497, or soon thereafter, for the main range. It appears to have been a hall house, fully open on the north end as indicated by deeply smoke-blackened roof timbers. The timbers in the central bay are partially blackened, and the bay appears to have been the location of the smoke vent. There are large extensions running westwards from the rear, ranging in date from the C17 to C19, which adjoin another post-medieval timber-framed building west of 102.

Records suggest the building has links with the C16 cloth trade. It was the site of the Bridge Brewery in the C19, and ceased use as such in the 1890s. Although sources suggests 102 was once joined to the former Anchor Inn at 101, to the north, spanning Northcroft Lane and creating one large hostelry, examination of the timbers of both buildings provide no evidence of this having been the case.

Much alteration to the timber frame of the building has taken place over the centuries. Most notably, in the late C18 or early C19 the building was refronted and the roof level of the east pitch was substantially raised. This replaced an earlier arrangement of three gabled dormers, evidence of which remains visible in the timber frame on the second floor. The refronting infilled a jettied ground floor, still recognisable in the ground floor interior of 103. The ground floor was subdivided, probably after the brewery ceased operation, to form two commercial premises and 102 retains fascia consoles from this period. The timber frame has been removed from much of the ground floor of 102, which was given a vaulted ceiling with decorative plasterwork. Much timber framing remains in the ground and first floors of 103, and bears evidence of partitions now removed.

The C20 saw the replacement of the shop fronts and the blockage of four windows on the first and second floor, breaking up the regular rows of five sashes. Between 1931 and 1973 103 was occupied by the Tudor Café, an enterprise of the former mayor of Newbury, Jack Hole, and his wife. Following this both premises were used for retail, and in 2014 the two halves of the ground floor were reunited and have since been in use by a restaurant. The former stable to the rear of 102 is now (2015) part of the pub at 104 Northbrook Street; features related to its original use have been removed.

Reasons for Listing

102-103 Northbrook Street, a former hall house, c1497 with subsequent phases of extension, and the former stable block at 104 Northbrook Street, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Date: a late C15 building that retains much historic fabric, with later alterations illustrating the pattern of development, and a stable ancillary to the principal building, also retaining historic fabric;
* Architectural interest: for the survival of an early timber framed building, and the good survival of a C15 roof with C18 or early-C19 reconstruction;
* Historic interest: although dendrochronology has revealed the date of the earliest phase of the building, the fabric retains the potential to reveal more about the building's development and its relationship with other nearby buildings;
* Group value: it has group value with a number of other nearby listed buildings.

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