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Town Centre Surveys

One of the Society’s aims is to maintain a record of the most significant areas and buildings in the town, documenting their evolution and providing information about their architecture, history and use. Accordingly, various surveys have been undertaken, so far concentrating on the town centre. Data and images from the surveys can be accessed from this section of the site. The process began in the 1980s.

The first survey dealt with the modern commercial centre of the town in the High Street and London Road, from the Fountain at the south to Pembroke Road in the north. The second phase, based on photographs taken by John Kay in 1997, extended the coverage to include the Shambles and also updated some of the data and photographs where properties had changed hands and fascias had been altered.

The third survey included the historic buildings in the Upper High Street from Park Grange to The Red House, using new photographs taken by Russell Harper. This survey followed concern over the damage caused by HGV’s and the Society’s campaign started in 2009 to have them banned from the Upper High Street. (Click here to read the article by Tim Pearce and Peter Moss written for The Chronicle as an up-date on Phase Three and the HGV campaign).

The notes on the buildings have been prepared by members of the Society’s Townscape and Planning Group, based on field surveys, English Heritage listed buildings descriptions and a number of books on old Sevenoaks. They provide a fascinating record – giving descriptions and comments on the buildings’ origins, importance and condition, and highlighting salient points to supplement the photographs and as a starting point for any further research.

Buildings have been shown as their original entities, even if later subdivided or re-numbered. Where available, historic pictures of buildings have been included from the Society’s archives.  The survey is an on-going process and the earlier phases will be revisited, revised and extended where necessary to incorporate changes and provide new photographs and additional information.

Finding the Information

To see details of individual buildings, click on the street name under “Streets and Buildings” and then click on the  address you wish to see (building number and name or occupier). For example click on High Street East and then 50 Knocker & Foskett to view details of the building.  Click here to access the survey data now.

We have included the English Heritage link where a listing number is shown in the survey: http://lbonline.english-heritage.org.uk/TermsForm.aspx.

It is also worth reading in conjunction with our own survey Sevenoaks District Council’s informative and richly illustrated Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan for the High Street, published in 2008.  Click here to access it.

Acknowledgements

Funding for the initial survey was provided by the constituent bodies of the Sevenoaks Conservation Council. Financial support was later received from Sevenoaks Town Partnership, FPD Savills, Ibbett Mosely, Knocker & Foskett, Lane Fox, Millest & Partners, Warners Solicitors and Sevenoaks Town Council. The addition of the Upper High Street has been made possible by support from Greenaway, Ibbett Mosely, Knight Frank, Knocker & Foskett and Warners Solicitors.

Up-dating and Feedback

Any study of this kind is inevitably a work in progress. Obviously in recent years there have been many changes to the townscape. They include fresh frontages, but more significantly several changes of ownership and use (including the demise of Woolworths and unfortunately the loss of several small independent shops), as well as major developments such as Waitrose, Blighs, and Marks and Spencer. Data from the Local List project will be incorporated in due course. We also hope that users of the site will let us know if they have additional information on the buildings which we should include. If you have, or wish to volunteer to help us to up-date the survey, please contact us at info@sevenoakssociety.org.uk