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Youth Hostel

A Grade I Listed Building in Saffron Walden, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0247 / 52°1'29"N

Longitude: 0.2369 / 0°14'12"E

OS Eastings: 553572

OS Northings: 238618

OS Grid: TL535386

Mapcode National: GBR MC3.0Q2

Mapcode Global: VHHL4.2C3P

Plus Code: 9F4226FP+VQ

Entry Name: Youth Hostel

Listing Date: 1 November 1972

Last Amended: 31 October 1994

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1297805

English Heritage Legacy ID: 370400

Location: Saffron Walden, Uttlesford, Essex, CB10

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford

Civil Parish: Saffron Walden

Built-Up Area: Saffron Walden

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Tagged with: Hostel

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Saffron Walden



669-1/1/20 (West side)
28/11/51 Nos.1 AND 3
Youth Hostel


House, now youth hostel. Early C16, additions c1600 and early
C18, also C18/C19 industrial additions, restoration 1951.
Timber-framed, plastered with exposed studs, peg-tiled roofs,
red brick stacks. 2 storeys. L-shaped plan to Bridge Street
and Myddylton Place with subsidiary brick house in rear
internal angle.
E front elevation: 4 building units, S-N, (1) corner site,
early C16, roof hipped, close studded and jettied round street
corner, with angle post and bracket to projecting dragon-beam
decorated with folded leaf and moulded capital crested with
fleur-de-lys. Although partially cut away by alteration, 2
medieval shop window openings with 4-centred arched heads and
decorated spandrels survive. Medieval doorway immediately to N
with chamfered frame, pilaster buttresses with capitals on
principal bay posts bracketed to jetty, 3 mortices in
principal window and doorway posts suggest the former site of
an attached street stall under the windows. Bressumer above
was embattled, now cut back. First floor, two 3-light casement
windows c1900 with glazing bars, each 3x2 panes. (2) unit
continuous with (1) but rebuilt, ground floor rendered with
original, but reconstructed, rectangular bay window with roll
moulded members, 1:4:1 lights, transom, glazing bars, 6x4
panes in all. First floor, jetty joists renewed, thin
studding, 3-light casement window similar to those in (1),
roof hipped. (3) lower unit (down hill slope), c1600,
timber-framed, jettied, plastered, traces of panelled basket
pargetting. Ground floor, one C20 2-light casement window, 2x3
panes, one shallow 4-light 3-cant bay window with glazing
bars, 4x3 panes, one pane metal with old exterior stay.
Principal central jetty joist projects with later applied
pilaster capital. First floor, 2 casement window with leaded
panes, one 2-light, one 4-light. Stopped gabled roof, red
brick stack. (4) lower unit, further down hill, originally a
late C16 timber-framed barn of 3 bays with peg-tiled, stopped
gable roof. S bay contiguous with (3) enclosed as house in
early C18 with doorway having enriched flat cornice hood door
of 6 recessed panels, upper 2 now glazed, middle 2 have upper
inner shaped corners. Adjacent C18 fixed window with glazing
bars, 4x3 panes. First floor, one 2-light leaded casement
window, plaster has traces of ashlar lining. Centre of barn
unit, high waggon-way up to eave. C20 2-leaf half-height
boarded door, adjacent bay to N has full height
S side elevation (to Myddyltyon Place): comprises a long range
of 9 bays, 4 extending from Bridge Street (1) and a further 5
further bays (5), approx 28m long continuing the same jettied
system of close studding, pilaster buttressed principal
bracketed posts. The elevation has 3 external curved wall
braces (2 tension and 1 stud). An embattled bressumer sill
remains but the decoration is partly cut away. Roof all
peg-tiled. 4 E bays (1), E-W, ground floor, angle post, fixed
window with moulded architrave and glazing bars, 3x2 panes.
Early C18 door in plain door case, door, 6 fielded panels.
Inserted frieze window of 3 lights, C16 roll moulded mullions
and slender plain intermediate mullions. C19 canted bay window
(remnants of medieval pilasters and bracket mortices each
side), horned sashes with glazing bars, 1x4,4x4,1x4 panes.
First floor, tension braced corner, one 3-light casement
window set in aperture of earlier oriel window, 3x2 panes.
Range to Myddylton Place, (5). Ground floor, E-W, C19 door,
reconstructed with over light, door of C16 arrised, studded
boards, reframed and roughly cut to length at bottom. Aerating
aperture cut through framing, now with simple glazing but also
earlier nailed louvre strips. W end bay, large blocked C16
window with deep sill, 3 lights, roll moulded mullions and
jambs, now cut off flat to street, upper part glazed and
treated as previous aerating aperture. Adjacent bay to E has
curved stud brace. First floor, W end, tension brace. 2 C16
oriel windows and site of another. Complete windows have
canted sides, 4 arched lights having projecting roll moulded
and shaped corbel sills and roll moulded mullions, C20 glass.
Incomplete window has moulded jambs remaining, C20 glass. At
attic level, prominent early C19 hoist loft projects on
brackets with hipped roof and simple front and E side lights.
Rear, W elevation: L shaped, including N elevation of wing (5)
to Myddylton Place. Most of the rear rendered with early C20
casement windows with glazing bars. N range, units (3) and
(4). Ground floor, 3 casement window, one 4-light, 8x4 panes,
one 3-light, 9x4 panes,one 2-light, 6x4 panes. First floor,
one 2-light, 6x3 panes, one 3-light, 9x3 panes, one a flat
roofed dormer, 4-light, 8x4 panes. N end bay of barn, (4),
weatherboarded, internal waggon/carriageway faces
weatherboarded with loft doorways. Rooms below entered from
carriageway. Elevation of W (5), ground floor, windows, one
3-light, 3x9 panes, one 3-light, 2 lights with louvred glass
and one still with 3x3 panes, one window of 2-lights, 6x3
panes with integral adjacent doorway having an over light and
plain C20 door. First floor, 2 windows of 3 lights, 9x2 panes,
another similar but central C20 fire-door through central
light with escape stairs. The SE angle has a pair of brick
early C18 houses projecting forward from (5), burnt headers,
peg-tiled roof, end and rear stacks. First floor, 3 early C18
sash windows (uneven spacing), slightly inset with thick flat
glazing bars, dormer above with hipped gable of 3 casement
lights with glazing bars, 3x3 panes. Ground floor, 2 original
doorways, paired under long C18 central coved hood
(rudimentarily repaired). Doors, one of 4 panels, upper 2
glazed, lower 2 recessed, other has simple upper glazing and
rudimentary lower boarding. Window each side of doors, to E,
large, square, with moulded C18 architrave, now has C20
glazing, 3x4 panes, to W, C20 3-light casement but in C18
INTERIOR: range to Bridge Street, unit (2). Ground floor room
is principal to building and probably a shortened medieval
hall. S end has an early C16 central recess with side recesses
all moulded and with rose decorated spandrels. Recess looks
like a high end canopy relating to rebuilt window to street
but may be a spere frame relating to extant C16 street door.
Features now set high above floor level as street level has
been dropped. In same room, big mid-C17 eared fire surround
with arabesque decorated panel and fluted keystone. Panelling
c1600 in same room with similar panel sections used elsewhere
in building. Backing ground floor fireplace in unit (3)
reworked, some later C16 brickwork, Delft tiles surround C20
inner fireplace. Room has principal late C16 joists crossed in
the centre with lamb's tongue chamfer stops. Range to
Myddylton Place (5), continues framing from front (1) with
corner dragon beam, heavy joisting, principals with reduced
centre tenons and scribed shoulders to step-stopped chamfers,
common joists flat laid, diminished haunched soffit tenoned.
This jointing is advanced transitional construction of the
earlier C16 which, together with the exterior stud brace,
suggests a date of c1520/25 for the work in ranges (5) and
(1). The contemporary wall plates are scarfed with a halved
and bridle butted scarf having a slight splay. The roof has
clasped side purlins with wind braces. Framing of hoist loft
is of simple primary braced type, c1800 and it still contains
a hoist wheel mainly of wood.
HISTORICAL NOTE: original C16 use of site debated between a
merchant's house with long storage range, perhaps including
saffron and a possible guildhall, shops being a common feature
in Essex guildhalls. The use as a malting probably by early
C18 related to unusual inner pair of brick houses constructed
then. Simple louvred openings to Myddylton Place presumably
made for ground floor malting floors.
(Vernacular Architecture Group: Stenning DF: Essex Conference:
Chelmsford: 1984-: 40-43; Vernacular Architecture: Stenning
DF: Timber Framed Shops 1300-1600: Comparative Plans: 16:
1985-: 37; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N & Ratcliffe E:
Essex: London: 1965-: 335).

Listing NGR: TL5357238618

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