Town Survey Update 1998/2001

High Street West: Sheet fifty nine

Building(s): 127, 129, 131 and 133 Photo(s): D11 and D13

History:

Prior to 1928, this building formed part of the grounds of Bligh’s Hotel and were enclosed by a massive ragstone wall, demolished at this date to make way for the erection of the present two buildings of two storey mock tudor panelled buildings, now Nos. 125 and 127 to 133.

No. 127

Gas Company – Sevenoaks Gas Company – 1930 to 1995 +

No. 129

Bicycle and motorcycle – Wells – 1928 to 1932

Estate agents – Parsons, Welch & Cowell – 1933 to 1995

Ward & Partners

No. 131

Tailor – Snell – 1930 to 1947

Gillett – 1947 to 1956

Furnisher – Nash – 1956 to 1975 +

No. 133

Furnisher – Martins – 1928 to 1951

Nash – 1951 to 1975 +

At the foot of the page is a photograph from the 1981 survey.

Current Use:

127 129 131 133 high st 1

No. 127 – New Look (fashions)

No. 129 – Vacant

127 129 131 133 high st 2

No. 131 – W H Smith Limited

No. 133 – W H Smith Limited

Description:

The four shop buildings form a symmetrical two storey block with prominent projecting gables in brick at each end, Nos. 127 and 133, and timber framing at first floor in centre Nos. 129 and 131. Both gabled ends set forward of centre shops with tile hanging to gables and all under plain clay tile roof and ridge, hipped at each end; eaves to gables at higher level than over the two centre shops.

First floor to each gable end has central 1: 2: 1 light timber framed casement oriel windows with fanlights over and rectangular leaded panes to each; oriel window cill in moulded timber supported on two bold timber brackets. Single timber framed casement windows to each side of oriels with shallow semi-circular recess in brickwork over each and decorative projecting feature in brickwork on each side of gables and windows.

Ground floor shop fronts to Nos. 127 and 133 framed by wide brick piers corbelled out with bricks and tiles at fascia level and capped with miniature ridge gables; those to No. 133 recently re-instated.

First floor, two centre shops, Nos. 129 and 131, have stucco and rectangular leaded paned casement windows between timber framing above cill level and with solid stucco infill only throughout below. Each shop has three light window, with centre fanlight, in centre with one solid stucco panel and one casement window each side and a single stucco panel in the middle between the shops.

No. 127

Shop front, simple white painted timber frame with single pane display windows on rear of pavement frontage and on each side of return to centre white painted timber double entrance doors set back and ramped up slightly from rear of pavement, all with fanlights over. Windows set on low white painted stall riser. Medium deep white painted framed full width fascia with simple modern style back lit ‘new look’ logo in centre.

No. 129

Shop front, bronze metal frame with three single display windows on left and on each side of return splayed into single glazed bronze metal door and narrower display window to right, all with fanlights over. Display windows on low mottled grey marble stall riser/kerb.

No. 131/133

Shop fronts, in bronze metal frame, each with bronze metal glazed double doors in centre of each elevation, No. 131 set at rear of pavement, No. 133 set back from rear of pavement. Each shop front with single full height display windows on each side of doors and on return to doors to No. 133. Shop fronts set on low tiled stall riser/kerb varied in height to suit falls in pavement levels, left to right, with slight ramp up to doors to No. 133. Medium deep full width matt plastic fascias to both shops in timber frames with large white lettering W H Smith on blue ground.

Comment:

These shops form a further part of the 1930’s mock tudor family and appear to be by the same designer as No. 123. The two end gabled shops with the half timbered range on the first floor between them work well and are of good quality. The rather large lettering to the fascias, although simple and bold, tends to detract from the quality of the rest of the elevations.

Importance: B/C

Included in previous survey.

1981 survey

131 High Street w