TOWN SURVEY UPDATE 2010

UPPER HIGH STREET EAST Building: Nos 46, 48, 48A

Listing:

Grade II, LBS number 172189 (with 48 & 48A)

History:

Originally built as an Inn, called at different times the Carpenters Arms and the Bricklayers Arms, and still an inn in Jane Edwards’s time. 48 became the Top o’ the Hill café after the Second World War. When that closed the building became offices. 46 may have been part of it at that time. 48A to the left was the Christian Science reading room, until their new room was built in South Park.

Current Use:

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46: Acorn Recruitment, 48:Harding & Boulter, Accountants, with residence above, 48A: private residence known as The Armoury and so named as the Austen family is thought to have kept an ornamental gun collection in it. This part of the building faces north and has initials of the Austen family carved in the brickwork.

Description:

Another difficult group, even more altered than 38-46. It appears to be one unit and its origins may lie in its use as an inn. The roof is apparently one unit, though 48A at the northern end is probably an extension and is set at right angles to the rest of the building. 46 has a C20 tile hung first floor and a large gabled C20 dormer in the roof, with some coursed stone retained at base to left. Similar dormers of this period can be seen in London Road. 2 leaded casements on ground floor, two leaded bay windows on first floor, and single leaded bay window with sidelights in dormer on second floor. 48 is a somewhat earlier modification with half-timbered effect on the first floor and four flush casements which may be the older windows of the inn. Two dormers over. Ground floor has C20 café windows and central door up one step, with new brickwork but again residual stone plinth and evidence beneath the café windows of access to cellars. 48A faces north. The western end formerly had a door, now replaced by a window with unsightly reticulated and decorated stone frame. The flat arch of red and blue headers of the window above the former door can still be seen. The front of the house, facing north, in red brick has a more elegant restored C18 style, with arched door with fanlight over and arched three-bay windows on either side. Two leaded dormers above. In the roof the oak purlins are not continuous which is thought to put the original building in the 16th century in this part of the country.