Nos. 12-13 High Street
Although of a fairly formal design these buildings have some complexity. They have been modernised several times but appear to have retained the same shape since 1860, according to the Charpentier drawing. The two houses may have been built towards the end of the 18C but there is strong evidence in the cellar of No. 12 of an earlier structure. Timber supports and beams are of a substantial size and may even be of Tudor origin.
The windows in the front elevation of No. 12 have certainly been altered since 1842 when the Charpentier strip map shows the house with latticed windows and with no bay at the first floor level. Two further images from the Victorian era, though undated show the house both with and without the bay, the latter being a photograph and the former a drawing (probably by Snape around 1890). In both images the latticed windows have given way to single pane sashes. The exact date of the window change is unknown but for the sake of the model it will be assumed that they occurred before 1860.
Both aforementioned images also show an entrance to No. 12 between it and No.11 which still exists today but at the time the door gave access to the house via a single story 'tunnel', possibly made of wood, whereas today the entrance is recessed several yards from the front of the two houses. This second door suggests access to a separate dwelling behind No.12, as is common elsewhere on High Street; there is certainly an impression of an 'alley way' inside leading most of the way to the back section of the house. There is some evidence from maps that this alley way may have been open at one stage, possibly being common land between Nos. 11 and 12.
An odd conflict between Nos. 12 and 13 stands out on the right hand side of the main door into No. 12. It is difficult to be sure exactly where the boundary of one property ends and other starts. It would be normal to expect that the line followed the edge of the rendering on No. 13, but this line runs through the centre of the right hand door pillar of No.12. The masonry decoration to No. 13 is a later addition, cutting through the lintel to the door of No.12. Clearly there has been some degree of boundary dispute here but there is no evidence for when exactly it happened.
Although it is not of immediate interest in this phase of modelling there are two curiousities in the rear garden. Firstly, the north eastern end of the garden is cut off by an incursion from the garden of No. 11. There seems no reason for this though unless it is the remnant of a common access lane running along the rear of Nos. 10-12. Secondly there is a covered, vertical shaft in the garden giving access to a vault which is said to run under the gardens of several adjacent houses.
It is known that in 1873 one resident of No. 12 was Archdeacon Henry Press Wright who was probably accompanied by his family.
No. 13 is closely associated with No.12 and may even have been built at the same time. The Charpentier drawing shows them having similar window configurations, though the door to No. 13 is on the side of the house rather than the front as in No.12. There is a slight difference in the heights of the front wall but there is no obvious reason why this should be so.
It is plain that some significant alterations have been made to No.13 though there is no evidence to indicate when this might have occurred. The impression is that the owners intended taking the house up-market and differentiating it from the neighbouring house. It seems likely that the whole house was rendered at the same time as the two ground floor windows at the front were removed and replaced by three of a slightly smaller size and additional masonry decoration was added. Part of the decoration overlaps the doorway structure to No. 12.
Another important change to No.13 is the introduction of a highly elaborate portico on the side of the house which butts right up to No. 14. Charpentier merely shows a gate with a plain arch above. Presumably this was introduced at the same time. As it has remained open it is possible to see through to one of the cottages at the rear of the property.
Inevitably there will be occasions when the date of change to buildings is ambiguous. A case in point is the date for the introduction of the first floor bay window and the replacement of the lattice window for single pane sashes for No. 12. We have a photograph in which the bay has not yet been constructed but the windows have been altered. Is it possible that the photograph was taken before 1860, but it's impossible to know at this stage, so in the interests of simplicity we will model the front with plain sashes and no bay.
Usefully the same photograph shows the 'tunnel' entrance and door to the left of No. 12. The Charpentier drawing is a little vague on this matter but it does show a rectangle which could be interpreted as being the same structure. It will therefore be incorporated into the model.