Town Survey Update 1998/2001

High Street West: Sheet sixty one

Building: 135: Bligh’s Hotel Photo: D10

History:

16th century Grade II listed timber framed building on two storeys with 1: 2: 1 window façade.

Originally, Bethlehem or Bedlam Farm on lands extending from Brewery Lane over to London Road and north beyond St. Botolph’s to Bradbourne Park Road and Lower Tubs Hill. Associated with the farm were a number of buildings including two large round oasts, two storey stone upper weatherboarded barns and lofts and two rectangular buildings to the north of the oasts, the latter being demolished around 1900 with the ‘Town or Pound Pond’ to allow for the formation of Pembroke Road and the remainder including the oasts in 1919 to 1920 when St. Botolph’s Dairy was demolished and the farm operations closed down. The building was restored in 1929 and refurbished in 1999.

Farm – leased to farmers, names unknown, from before 1600 to 1852

Farmer and Brewer – John Bligh – 1852 to c. 1881

Farm House/Hotel – John Bligh – 1881 to 1928

(part farm/part private hotel/beer house, subject to extensive repairs during this period).

Public Hotel and Restaurant – various breweries – 1928 to 1999

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

Current Use:

135 blighs hotel high st D10

The Oak Tree restaurant and bar and upper floor(s) form six one and two bed flats.

Description:

Two storey timber framed structure with stucco elevations and large over-sailing gables at first floor level to right and left, connected in centre by ridge tiled roof. Over-sailing gables supported on robust corner timber brackets. Centre portion of one storey with two gabled dormers.

Ground floor, with three splayed projecting bays each containing three light, twelve pane, white painted timber sash windows with pilasterd timber mullions and moulded entablature head to end bays to right and left. Modern oak panelled single entrance door to left of centre, up three steps, with eight pane white painted timber sash window side lights. Door and centre bay window with lead flashed moulded projecting canopy over.

First floor, with single sixteen pane white painted timber sash windows in centre of gables to right and left with top lit The Oak Tree raised individual lettering in centre.

Projecting eaves to gables with plain timber bargeboards and plain clay tiled roofs and ridges.

Centre one-storey feature with ridge tiled roof and eaves and gutter and two gabled dormers with tiled roofs and ridges, stucco cheeks and each containing twelve pane white painted timber sash windows in moulded frames. All sash windows with glazing bars.

Double flue chimney to left of each main gable, single flue chimney to far right and four flue chimney to rear right at junction with more modern extension, all in stock brick with brick corbelled copings.

Cobble stone verge to pavement in front of hotel with ornamental posts.

Comment:

This building is a major feature in the townscape, its much altered front concealing a medieval farmhouse. The alterations have a slight similarity to those carried out on the Chequers Public House at No. 73 High Street. The adjoining roof slope at the south, left, end is interesting, although the date of its addition is unknown. Concern has been expressed at safety of post (and chain) arrangement at front and whether this could be improved.

Importance: A

Included in previous survey.

1981 survey

135 High Street w