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Earliest information: 1470
Original estate: Hungerford Engleford (but it does appear in QR of Hungerford – One query that remains, however, is why the property is listed in both the town rentals (quit rent rolls) and the rentals of the Hungerford family. In this it is unlike any other Hungerford Engleford properties, which, after 1609, do not appear in the town rentals. The answer may have to do with the late date of acquisition of the property by the Hungerfords; it was thus not part of the ancient manor and may have remained with the town at the feoffment of 1612.
Common Rights? Yes [2 Common Rights - but CL 1847,1896 & 1914 show only 1] (Frontage 34ft; 2 horses or 4 cows)
Date of current building: c.1600, refronted c.1830
Listed: Yes

Thumbnail History:

?Tuckhill -> Harrold -> Alder -> Pottenger -> "The Brewhouse" -> Read -> Shipton -> Low -> Fruen -> Munford (Hungerford Printing Works) -> Various

Description of property:

From Listed Building records: House, now house and shop. c.1600, refronted c.1830. Slate roof with moulded timber eaves cornice and flanking chimneys, roughcast render with moulded reeded architraves to windows. Two storeys. Three glazing bar sashes on first floor glazed double doors with rectangular fanlight to left, late 19th century shop front to right with recessed central door, main door central to façade with large doorcase and block cornice on console brackets, rectangular fanlight.

Photo Gallery:

129 hs
129 hs

John Brooks' drawings of 129 High Street, 1984

129hs fineline 1978
129hs fineline 1978

"Jennifer & Sasha" & Waltons Clothing, Feb 2007

129hs blue bee 2007
129hs blue bee 2007

Blue Bee Florist opens 22.10.2007


Prospect Charity Shop and Blue Bee Florist, May 2010


Prospect Charity Shop and Hungerford Jewellers, Nov 2011

20160504 img_2034
20160504 img_2034

129 High Street, inc Ashley Brow Bar and Hungerford Jewellers, May 2016

19530602 129 High Street
19530602 129 High Street

Munford's Printing Works, 129 High Street, decorated for the Queen's Coronation, 2 Jun 1953.

LHS-109 Dec 1978
LHS-109 Dec 1978

- 129 High Street (showing 130 and 128 High Street), Dec 1978.


Part of agreement between Martha Platt and Wolvey Astley c1896.

LHS-145 Sep 1992
LHS-145 Sep 1992

Ashley Antiques and Furniture, and Marquis Travel, Sep 1992.

- Part of agreement between Martha Platt and Wolvey Astley c1896.

- Munford's Printing Works, 129 High Street, decorated for the Queen's Coronation, 2nd June 1953.

- 129 High Street (showing 130 and 128 High Street), December 1978.

- John Brooks' drawings of 129 High Street, 1984.

- John Brooks' drawings of 129 High Street, 1984.

- John Brooks' drawings of 129 High Street, 1984.

- Ashley Antiques and Furniture, and Marquis Travel, September 1992.

- "Jennifer & Sasha" & Waltons Clothing, February 2007.

- Blue Bee Florist opens 22nd October 2007.

- Prospect Charity Shop and Blue Bee Florist, May 2010.

- Prospect Charity Shop and Hungerford Jewellers, November 2011.

- Ashley Brow Bar and Hungerford Jewellers, May 2016.


1470 (NH) ?James Tuckhill. This was/is the second house in the Rent Roll south of the canal, but the third house in actual building, numbers 131/2 and number 130 lying north of it. No. 130 has no common rights, and I suspect that it may have been a late addition built in the grounds of one of the other houses adjacent to it.

<1552 (NH) John Grete (?=Garet). (See 1552 entry below)

1552 (NH) John Harrold. In 1552 John Harrold holds 1 tenement late in tenure of John Grete (?=Garet) (and another tenement with 1 acre of land late in tenure of John Childe. q.r. 8d.)

1573 (NH) Thomas Alder. In 1573 Thomas Alder of Chilton holds 2 messuages or tenements, whereof one is decayed by fire, with 2 backsides; freehold; + 1 close of pasture in Stocken St., 2 acres arable of which one is in Everlong and the other is in Sanden Fee in the Breach; now in the tenure of John Harrold the older. q.r. to the Queen 10d.
Thomas Alder, an old man by 1573, had been for many years steward to the Darrell family of Littlecote.

1591 (NH Town Survey) William Pottenger. In 1591 William Pottenger held 2 messuages containing 2 rods of land (=gardens or backsides?) and 2 acres of arable land (presumably the same 2 acres held by Thomas Alder in 1573). q.r. 10d. (In addition Pottenger is recorded as holding 3 acres arable and no quit rent; also 4 acres arable q.r. 2½d.)

In the Hungerford Engleford manorial rent roll dated 1583 but containing many later additions, there is a rent charge (10s ??for the quarter) made on John Burche "for tenement purchased of Pottenger". The entry is in a different hand and is obviously a very much later addition.

1609 (NH Town Survey) Sir Edward Hungerford Kt (own); John Birch (occ). The above reference (see 1583 Hungerford Engleford manorial roll) provides a link between the 1591 town survey entry and that of 1609, which states that Sir Edward Hungerford Kt holds 2 tenements, 2 backsides, 1 close of pasture in Sanden Fee and 9 acres of arable land in the common fields, all of which were now in the occupation of John Birch (leased by indenture dated who paid quit rent to the King for the tenements 8d, for the close 2d, and for 1 acre called Culver 2d.
- Assuming the "close of pasture in Sanden Fee" to be the same as Thomas Alder's "close of pasture in Stocken St.", the total quit rent for this and the tenements would amount to 10d.
- The Hungerford Engleford manorial rent roll of 1609 (Wilts CRO 442/2) describes the property as 2 tenements with 1 rood of meadow and 9 acres of arable lad in the common fields, leased to John Burch by indenture dated 10 Nov. 3 Jas I [=1605] at an annual rent of 40s for three lives – John Burch aged 40, his wife Ann aged 30, and his son John Burch junior aged 14.

Jonathan Read senior and junior, occupiers c1622-1676:

1622 (NH) Jonathan Read (occ). A similar rent roll in 1623 (NH - Wilts RO 490/1529) gives the additional information that the lease "now being fallen in hand" is let out to Jonathan Read for 21 years, at the rent of £14 p.a. No quit rent is given.

[In 1609 Anthony Faller has land on east side lying between Robert Field on north and 4 Chantry land on south belonging to Sir Edward Hungerford Kt.
- In the 1609/10 survey the building is shown as his freehold by inheritance, and consists of 1 tenement, 15 acres of arable land and 4 acres of meadows in Woodmarsh, qr 6½d. On the north side Robert Fielde holds 1 tenement and 7½ acres of land freehold. To the south of Anthony Faller's property are 4 chantry premises. [These later became the 3 Swans]. This arrangement would seem to place Faller's property on the site of the present day 119HS or 120 HS.]
- The property is well described in a Recovery Roll dated 1625 (Wilts RO C43/169), whereby Anthony Fawler of Hungerford, yeoman, sold property for £310 to John Burche of Hungerford, beer-brewer, "all that messuage or tenement with backside, orchard, garden adjoining lying in Hungerford on the East side of the High Street there, between lands of Edward Hungerford Esq, now or late in the tenure of Richard Field on the south side and the land of Robert Field now or late in occupation of the said Robert on the north extending from the street eastwards to the Everlong "with all the houses, edificies, buildings, barns, stables, shops etc appertaining, and also 15½ acres of arable land in several plots in the fields of Hungerford and Sanden Fee and 1 acre of meadow in the common field called the Woodmarsh.". This transaction resulted in the Hocktide Court Book entry 1625/6 Anthony Fawler to Nicholas Burch.

1633 (NH) A list of rents dated 1633 (Wilts CRO 490/1530) includes John Burch who pays £1 as half year's rent on a leasehold property (though the property for which this payment is made is not stated); there is no reference in the list to J. Read. No mention is made of quit rent.
- Thus, the history of the property has been clear; the only obfuscations being where the additional acreage was derived from, and fluctuations in the quit rent (which almost certainly seem due to changes in the land accompanying the two messuages e.g. in 1575 the addition of a small close of pasture (revealed in 1591 to be quit rented at 2d pa) resulted in the quit rent increasing from 8d to 10d.

1663 (NH) Hearth Tax: 3 hearths or chimneys – Jonathan Read.

1676 (NH QR) (NH) Jonathan Read "for ye Brew house", q.r. 8d. [Culver Acre is leased, as a separate entry, by Jonathan Read, quit rent 2d.]
- This seems to fit neatly with the 1609 town survey, if we assume that the 2 tenements have now been made into 1 Brewhouse and that the small close of pasture has been detached from the property. [This in fact may have been also let to Jonathan Read see the 1676 q.r. 2d "for Burches Close", listed separately under Sanden Fee]. There were two Jonathan Reads in the 17th century – the elder of them being the man referred to in 1633, and the younger the one in 1676.

Shipton family, owners c1720-c1805:

Shipton – Insurance records:
- Sun 1717: Joseph Shipton ?..? as his house in the Hungerford Street, now empty
- Sun 1723: Joseph Shipton ?..? House and outhouses on the side of High Street, now in the occupation of Robert Tuck. [Also Cross keys, Andover]
- (1727=Bell Inn) ?the dwelling house was insured by Jn. Shipton in 1723 together with the malthouse, but there are no details of the structure.

1753-61 (QR) James Shipton for a brewhouse, q.r. 8d. (as well as "an Upper house (ie. higher up on the south side) and Malthouse (6d), and Culver Acre (2d). James Shipton was a well-to-do business man who owned several properties in Hungerford. In addition to the brewery, he had connections with the tannery, and may have come from the Shipton family who were tanners in Speen. He was successful enough to be described as gent in his own PCC will dated 1752. He left much of his property not to his son James Shipton junior, but to his grandson Joseph Westall. It would seem, however, from the town QR entries that the brewery at least descended to his son James. At the time of the will, the property was in the occupation of tenants Biss, Povey and John Cannon.

*NB: 1753 & 1774: The property of James Shipton (Upper house and Malthouse with Culver Acre 1753 and Widow Westall's in 1774) have been brought forward out of location order. Their correct location is indicated in 1676 and 1795. See also EAM 1819 under Reeves.
Likewise, in 1752 William Cheyney for his house late Turtain 8d seems to have been moved for convenience of collection from a position very much further south (Rosier 1676, Stockbridge 1774.
Such instances have been removed to their correct location and the consequent alteration in the rent roll order indicated by *.
The 1753 quit rent roll has James Shipton's name against the brewhouse, but although a superscription has added Joseph Westall, this alteration does not affect the subsequent entries.

1768 (NH) Berkshire Poll Book 1768 – James Shipton has freehold of messuage and land in Hungerford occupied by John Canninge [=Cannon?].

1774 (QR) James Shipton (junior?) for the brewhouse, q.r. 8d. (Widow Westall the Upper house and malthouse, also Culver Acre. From Widow Westall these had passed before 1795 to Thomas Watson; before 1805 Culver Acre had been taken over by the Canal Company, who remained the proprietors of it at the time of the 1836 QR).

1781 (CL) Edward Pocock & James Shipton.

1792 (UD) Shipton, gent.

1795-04 (QR) James Shipton – brewhouse. q.r. 8d.

George Harris, then Matthew Loder Smith, owners c1805-c1816:

1805-17 (QR) George Smith (amended to Matthew Loder Smith) for a brewhouse late James Shipton (?John Harris added), q.r. 8d.

John Harris, owner c1817-c1823:

1818-23 (QR) John Harris for brewhouse, late James Shipton, q.r. 8d.

John Brown, owner c1823-c1838:

1832 (QR) John Brown for brewhouse late James Shipton's, q.r. 8d.
1836 (QR) John Brown for brewhouse late James Shipton's, q.r. 8d.

Charles Low, occupier c1840-c1847:

1840 (BM) Charles Low, plumber at 129 High Street
1841 (CS) Charles Low (25) - plumber
1843 (CL) Charles Low
1844 (PD) Charles Low

John Platt, owner, ?1847-1891:

1847 (CL) John Platt, owner; ....... Brooks, occupant

29.11.1849 (DD) .. between Edward Livewright 1st part, John Platt 2nd part, and Frances Church 3rd part.

30.11.1849 (DD) Mortgage between John Platt and Catherine Sarah Livewright.
29.5.1852 (DD) Mortgage between John Platt and Catherine Sarah Livewright.

Sarah Balding's School, c1851-1869:

1851 (CS) Sarah Balding (36), teacher.
1861 (CS) Sarah Balding (44), schoolmistress.
1861 (CL) John Platt, owner; Miss Balding, occupant.
1869 (PO) Miss Sarah Elizabeth Balding, Ladies Boarding School, High Street

See also: Sarah Balding's School, 129 High Street

Thomas Fruen, occupier 1869-1919:

1869 (PO) Thomas Fruen - carpenter, china & glass dealer. Follow this for more on Thomas Fruen

1871 (CS) Unoccupied, "formerly Boarding School"

5.5.1873 (DD) Reconveyance between Wm Watkins and Edward Wynne 1st part, Joseph Maynard 2nd part, Geo Vivian Livewright 3rd part, Clifford Evans Fowler and William Law 4th part, and John Plattt 5th part.

1881 (CS) Thomas Fruen (67) - china shop. Parish Clerk.

1890 (DD) John Platt died. 129HS left to 2 sons-in-law and nephew.

1891 (CS) Thomas Fruen.

2.11.1891 (DD) Sold (by Mr Wm Skinner, F.W. Drake and Ernest Church - ??executors of Mr Platt?) to Miss Martha Ann Platt for #700. Thos Fruen occ.

2.11.1891 (DD) John Platt: Will made 6.6.1888; died 16.10.1890. Property left to sons in law – William Skinner, maltster, of Greenham, Newbury, and Frederick William Drake, coal and corn merchant of Bracknell, and his nephew Ernest Church, grocer, of Newbury. Sold to Ann Martha Platt for £700. Mentions "for many years in the occupation of Thomas Fruen". Lists previous conveyances.

31.8.1893 (DD) 21 year lease (from March 1893) from Miss Martha A. Platt to Mr Thomas Fruen, confectioner, for yearly rent of £40.

1896 (CL) Martha Ann Platt (owner), Mrs Fruen and son (occ)

[John Platt & Son, The Manor Brewery, was taken over by South Berks Brewery Co. Ltd. of Newbury c1900 (Atlas Brewery Co – Hawkins & Parfitt – name changed to S. Berks Brewery Co in April 1913). S. Berks was taken over by H & G Simonds of 32 Bridge Street Reading Oct 1920. Simonds was taken over by Courage Barclay & Co of London in 1960. [Info in T/S booklet by Alan Gull, 22 Stonefield Drive, Stoneclough, Radcliffe, M/C M26 9HA]. Manor Brewery was owned by John Platt 1847-1882, and by John Platt junior 1883 until acc. To Berkshire Breweries of the 19th century [Kennett R. Goodby 1975 – copy in pamphlets collection at BRO].]

1902 (T&M) Martha Ann Platt (owner)

1903 (KD) Fruen & Son - china & glass dealers.
1903 (T&M) Thomas George Fruen (occupier until 1919)

1914 (CL) Exec's of Martha Ann Platt (owner), Thomas George Fruen (occup) - china & glass, undertaker.

Munford family, owners 1919-2010:

10.6.1919 (DD) Sold (by Henry Charles Skinner of Reading, gent, Cecil Edward Drake of Canada, gent,) to Elizabeth Munford, wife of Ernest Munford of Bridge Street, printer, for £450. Martha Ann Platt's (of Reading) will dated 31.5.1910 [died 27.7.1910] appointed the vendors as executors and trustees and left estate to them after certain expenses. Mentions "many years past in the occupation of Thos. Geo. Fruen, bounded on the north partly by property of Theodosia Cundell and in the occupation of Mary Froome and partly by the property of Hy d'Oyley Wolvey Astley. On the south by property of H D'O W Astley in occupation of Walter Dickson. On the east by garden ground belonging to H D'O W Astley. On the west by High Street."

11.6.1919 (DD) Mortgage Mrs. Elizabeth Munford to H. D'O W. Astley (£200 @5%, repaid 29.12.1930).

1919 (BM) Elizabeth Munford (nee Davis) (owner), bought 129 High Street. Her husband (Ernest) was occupier of shop. Daughter Betty born at the house in 1921. Ernest (b.1882 in Norfolk), apprenticed in London. Started business in 2 Bridge Street and moved to 129HS in ?1919. He remarried (aged 73yrs) Mrs. Robinson, and moved to Wootton Bassett. He died in 1975, aged 93yrs.
- Elizabeth Davis (b. 1882 in Glos.) attended Reading University. In 1912 she was head at the infant school. Married ?during WW II, died ?1957 aged 72. As owner of 129, she left it in her will to her daughter Betty.

1920 (KD) Ernest William Munford - Hungerford Printing Works.
1920 (T&M) Ernest William Munford (occupier)

c.1932 (QR #12) Mrs (Jean) Tubb, for "House formerly Brewery of Shipton afterwards Harris' then Browns then J. Platt", q.r. 8d. .(However, Betty Munford says Mrs. Jean Tubb was in 130 HS, NOT 129 HS).

1939 (Blacket's) Hungerford Printing Works (E.W. Munford, residence)

1947 (CL) E.W. Munford - H.P.W.
1952 (CL) E.W. Munford - H.P.W.

1955 (DD) Betty Munford bought from Oswald Harmon Smith a plot of freehold land and buildings at the rear of 128 High Street for £160. (See plan)

1956 (CL) Miss Miss Betty Munford - E.W. Moon - Printing Works.
1963 (CL) Betty Munford
1968 (CL) Betty Munford
1970 (CL) Betty Munford
1976 (CL) Betty Munford

1978 Hungerford Printing Works closed (End of Lease Sale 5-9 December 1978 announced in NWN 30 November 1978).
Business moved to Fineline Printing Ltd, 59a High Street.

Residence (129 High Street):

1978 Miss Betty Munford.
1981 Miss Betty Munford.
1983 (CL) Betty Munford
1984 (CL) Betty Munford
1985 (CL) Betty Munford

1993 An article in the NWN 7 Jan 1993 explains that Betty Munford was known as "the cat lady": "Miss Betty Munford, domestic science mistress at the John of Gaunt School, is looking after 48 cats at her home at 129 High Street, Hungerford. Most of them have histories of being abandoned by their owners, some of them being brought to Miss Munford in pitiful condition, and she has never been able to turn any of them away. Now they take up most of her spare time, cost her about £10 a week to keep, and live all over her flat (except two rooms where they are not allowed to go). There are cats on the fridge, cooker and draining board, in the airing cupbard and snuggling in baskets. One has a favourite place in a shopping basket hanging behind the kitchen door. There are others in armchairs, another on a bookshelf. All are contented and purring happily.

"It all happened accidentally" explained Miss Munford when she recalled hos she became involved with the cats in her life. "We'd always had stray cats here - ever since I was a child. They just seemed to arrive". But there were never more than about eight until four years ago when she befriended a tabby kitten that she had arranged a home for, when the arrangements fell through. "It snowballed from then" she says.

About three years ago Miss Munford founded the local branch of the Cats Protection League, with Mrs I Earnshaw. The feeding takes about an hour from 7.30 in the morning and then about two hours for feeding and cleaning out in the evening.

Two girls, Linda Ballard (14) and Christine Tuttle (15) love to help Miss Munford look after the cats.

Although Miss Munford says she doesn't think that her looking after all these cats is approved of in some circles, they have brought her a host of friends. And she doesn't think she will ever be without cats now. But if anyone wants to give a cat a good home and relieve Miss Munford of some of her responsibility she would be only too pleased to hear from them!"

2000 (CL) Betty Munford
2005 (CL) Betty Munford

2009 Betty Munford died June 2009.

Brenda Hollandt, owner 2010-2015:

2010 Brenda Hollandt (inherited from Betty Munford)

2011 (CL) Steven Shunafore Ali

Ostler family, owners 2015-present:

Feb 2015 Sold to Nicholas Ostler.
2016 (CL) Nicholas David Maclachlan Ostler

South shop:

1981 Health Foods - Mrs. Janet Graham.

In 1993 Marquis Travel Agents

?1994 Walton's Clothing.
2007 Walton's Clothing moved (as "Mistral") to 1 High Street.

2007 Blue Bee Florists (Opened 27.10.2007)  Carrie Anderson lives in Reading. Blue Bee is her favourite species of Delphinium!
Jul 2010 Blue Bee Florists closed, and moved to 18 High Street, which opened 2.8.2010.

Nov 2011 Hungerford Jewellers opened 7.11.2011.

North Shop (129a High Street):

1978 Ashley Antiques (Robert Duff) "Furniture, clocks, pictures, weapons, metalware. Valuations and furniture restoration undertaken plus furniture makers in antique pine, oak, mahogany, fruitwood and maple. Stocked or made to customer requirements".
1992 Ashley Antiques closed.

May 1995 Jennifer and Sasha, Italian Gifts.
2007: Jennifer and Sasha closed Jan 2007.

2007 Prospect Charity Shop.
Feb 2015 Prospect Charity shop closed 21.2.2015.

Apr 2016 Ashley Brow Bar opened.

Notes made by Betty Munford, March 1985:

The house is situated at the North end of the High Street on the East side, near Canal Bridge and is on a typical burgage plot. Outside appearances often belie the true facts and this is certainly true of this property. We tend to think that alterations and modernisations are a particular feature of modern times, but owners in bye gone days were also enthusiastic modernisers of their properties.

The work carried out in Hungerford High Street in the 19th century in the Georgian style illustrates this fact. The alterations carried out in Newbury and Reading show that the original fronts were removed and new ones put on, and there are now problems with the two coming apart.

This modernisation is particularly evident in this house as the original roof timbers of the 16th century are still there although the front of the house has been extended and the front roof pitch altered. The alterations were carried out in this way either for social or financial reasons - it would have been easier and cheaper to give this superficial "face lift".

The original building was 'L'-shaped, timber framed, presumably two storeys high and there is one extension in the angle of the 'L', built in the 19th century at the same time as the refacing and general refurbishing took place in the then modern fashion, and to bring the house into line with the buildings erected at that time on either side. Because of this no timber framing is visible on the outside of the building. There has to be a certain amount of conjecture as to these facts but there is a good deal of evidence to prove them, particularly in the roof. And the way that the building has moved - the papered walls have pulled as timber framing flexes and moves. It is a common right house, having fishing and grazing rights.

Looking at the house from the High Street we see what appears to be a nineteenth century house with rendering and pebble dash, which is now -painted. It seems to be a three storey building with a shop and business-premises on the ground floor and living accommodation above with sash windows. The visible roof is shallow pitched and slated. Two double brick chimneys are visible.

Entering the house through the front door there is a passage through to the back of the house which has flagstones and two archways. This passage may originally have been wider as parallel to it, and now under the present stairs, appears to be the remaining section of an old brick path.

The ground floor is now used for business. There were originally two living rooms to the left of the front door, now added to with a one storey flat roofed extension some fifty years old. There were no foundations as understood today - the floor joists being on the soil. To the right of the front door is the original shop with an attractive pine fitting towards the back of it and twentieth century shop front. Behind the shop is a large room originally used as the kitchen when there was living accommodation on the ground floor. This has a flagstone floor with a large open fireplace and evidence of a bread oven.

There is a large 'L'-shaped walled garden - one wall being an interesting mixture of brick and flint. There was a large pigeon loft of wood with a slate roof and standing on staddlestones. Also, until demolished, a range of single storey outbuildings joined the back of the house on the South side of the garden. One of the buildings had a cellar and another a tall chimney, indicating the possibility of living accommodation, as was common behind properties in the High Street, and the tall chimney could have been connected with, the fact that in the mid—1700's the premises had been a brewery.

There is no back way to the premises although it is believed there was originally a right of way giving access. There is evidence of the existence of wells.

The front elevation of lath and plaster applied to the old timber frame with the sash windows, wooden door case are typical of around 1830, giving no hint of the buildings real age.

Roof and Plan

As the roof contains much of the evidence relating to the age of the building we will consider it next.

The roof is of three frames, being a two bay building in front and 2½ bays at the back, the original building probably being longer than it is now. The original house was of box frame construction with a Queen Post roof.

When the front of the house was altered in the early nineteenth century it was given the appearance of three storeys to fit in with its neighbours, built at that time, but it is only two storeys - the top windows only lighting the roof space. Fortunately when the new roof was made the old original timbers were left inside, some of them being very large, with chamferring. The new roof is of slate with a shallower pitch to arrive at the same height as the old. tiled roof.

Remains of lathes in the front part of the roof indicate that at one time the roof was ceiled and plastered to form attic rooms and there is evidence on some timbers of a window catch which might well have belonged to a dormer window. Much of the tiled roof has padding of a hay-like substance which acts as insulation and prevents driving snow and rain entering the roof space.


The stairway to the first floor leads off to the right at the end of the passageway. Although the present stairs of pine are probably only about 100 years old, the bannister rail and hand-turned oak ballustrade are thought to be of the same age as the building.

The front rooms, both on the ground floor and first floors, were heightened when the nineteenth century alterations were carried out and a sloping ceiling runs the width of the house at the East side of the upper rooms.

Also the floors in these rooms are double - a newer pine floor having been laid on top of the older oak ones. The Regency doors are of nine, some having recently been stripped and others remaining painted. The fireplace in one front room has been opened and has a slate mantlepiece and surround and the door has an attractive brass lock.

There is evidence in the roof of the position of the original chimney for the front of the house, there being a large gap of some feet in the rafters. This gap goes from the top to bottom of the house and it appears that the bricks were used in the construction of the present front room chimney, which is much smaller.

The other room at the front and the added back room both have a small iron grate, typical of their period.

The walls in these rooms, along with others, are canvas hung, making any fixings extremely difficult.

The large landing gives access to the rear of the house which has both the most interesting original part of the building and, in contrast, part of the 19th century additions. Here is the room mentioned in the 19th century alteration as being in the angle of the 'L'-shape and this has a typical decorative iron grate. The living room has an original open fireplace with the ancient brick sides and shaped wooden lintel. There are also exposed timbers visible.

This fireplace is above the one on the ground floor mentioned -previously and shares the double chimney. Leading from the room is a small room which is at the end of the house. This has exposed timbers mid it is thought that possibly the house may have originally extended beyond here.


I have not said much about the various occupants of the house, there being a separate list detailing these. The first known occupant was James Shipton in 1753 who had a brewery. In 1861 the property was owned by John Platt who had a number of properties in the town and it remained in the Platt family until 1919 when it was sold, and has remained in my family ever since. As some of the old records are not always entirely accurate and also the fact that the houses have only been numbered in recent years, this is perhaps one of the most difficult areas to research.

Key to sources:

BD - Blackett's Directory
BM - Betty Munford
CL - Commoners' Lists
DD - Deeds and Documents of the property
NH - Norman Hidden
PD - Pigot's Directory
QR - Quit Rent Rolls
T&M - Town & Manor Register
UD - Universal Directory

See also:

- Sarah Balding's School, 129 High Street

- Thomas Fruen

- Working Drawings of 129 High Street, June 1993