No. 11 High Street
One of the oldest and most famous buildings in Old Portsmouth, No.11 High Street thankfully survived WW2 intact. Best known perhaps for the assassination of the Duke of Buckingham that took place within it in 1629, the house has a history going back even further to times when it was a hostelry of some sort, variously named the Spotted Dog and the Greyhound.

The Spotted Dog
The Spotted Dog

The earliest known image is from a drawing allegedly made in 1627, entitled "The Spotted Dog" in which features of the house still known to us in 2008 are already in place. The two front doors, the twin gabled roof, the arches over the windows and the pilasters are all there. Even the elaborate wooden carvings around the main door are present and have survived nearly 400 years. Strikingly the image also shows the house extending towards the left into the area currently occupied by No.10 High Street, thus confirming the story that No. 10 had replaced part of No. 11.

No. 11 High Street, 1870
No. 11 High Street, 1870

There then followed a gap of 250 years before the next image of No. 11 appeared in 1870. Here we have lost the left hand section to No.10 and appear to have gained a three storey building on the right. The section containing the main door has been expanded a little, but otherwise it is recognisably the same house. There is one significant difference however; in the 1627 drawing, the texture of the walls appears to be made up of large bricks, whereas by 1870 the walls have been rendered and probably covered in a lime wash.
Examination of the walls today shows that where the render has fallen away the bricks underneath are standard sized for the period, implying that the 1627 image incorporates some artistic licence. In any case by the time of the model the surface is certainly render.
Project Considerations
Unlike its neighbour, No. 11 is far from being a simple box. The house itself has been modified on many occasions, most of which have left their mark. The problems start at the front facade of the house where no single face is parallel to the kerb-line and this is perpetuated throughout the house where few walls are parallel or perpendicular to one another.

Roof to No. 10 High Street
Step in Roof to No. 10

The entire plot on which the building stands is skewed by about 2 degrees and there is a weird discontinuity in the wall separating Nos. 10 and 11, which is carried upwards to meet the roof line in such a way as to require a step in the roof of No. 10. There is further evidence relating to the construction of No. 10 at the roof level where one of the gable ends to No.11 appears to be truncated against the wall adjoining No. 10.

Arched window
Disappearing window arch

Nearer the ground, the arch over one of the front windows is partially obscured by the returning wall from the front door facade. Closer comparison with the 1627 drawing reveals that the section of the front facade containing the main door has been widened and apparently made shallower as the 1627 building has two windows on the side whereas the building today has only one (blind) window on that face.
Due to the importance of this building, the rear elevations have also been modelled, but an extension which exists today at the back has not been included as it's relationship with the main house in 1860 is uncertain. The intricate moulding around the main front door has been omitted at this stage for technical reasons.

Snapshots from the Model (No. 11 High Street)

All images are copyright © Tim Backhouse. Click on the thumbnails for full size versions.

Old Portsmouth Model Images