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75 High Street

External Features:

High Street front Photo: R. Filmer
Fig. 1 – Old part of building seen from the Church Yard

The High Street frontage has every appearance of an 18th-century house. Above the modem shop front the stuccoed Wall, the sash windows and the modillion eaves cornice hide another timber-framed building. This is perhaps the most surprising building in the town. On the right a caniage way has been converted into a separate shop where the timbers are visible. The full significance of the building will be seen at the back, which can be approached by a lane from Tufton Street (Fig. 2). There, on the right, the long ‘catslide’ roof has an apparent ‘smoke louvre’, a device to enable smoke from an open fire in open hall houses to escape from the roof (Fig. 2B, b). At the further side of B will be seen the low timber-framed building more clearly (Fig. 1). This shows a blocked- up medieval window. The building is clearly an early 15th-century one, and although joined to the main building now, was independent from it originally and erected earlier.

Fig. 2 – A perspective view as seen from the back. The dotted roof line is the approximate position of the demolished part of the building

Below the upper framework first floor joists are exposed, supported by a heavy horizontal beam, which suggests that this side was jettied, although now built up with brickwork. This first floor is not consistent with the smoke louvre. A good deal of mutilation has been done to the building on this side (Fig. 1).

The principal section of the building flanking the High Street (Fig. 2A) has a tall rebuilt chimney. From this point there is a projecting wing slightly higher than the front building (Fig. 2C). It will be seen from the perspective drawing that this now connects with the older building B. Yet another smaller wing, D, was built out, probably in the 17th- century judging by the small square panelled section infilled with brickwork. The upper parts are covered with hanging tiles (Fig. 2E).


Fig. 4
Fig. 3

The main section A has two crown-post roofs. The two crown-posts have well-moulded capitals (Fig. 3). The connection from the roof space of this part of the premises to the old building B is through the roof space of wing C. Access to the roof space of B involves a drop of 3 ft. The roof of B is supported by two crown-posts. The different levels seem to confirm the theory that building B was erected earlier and separately. There is evidence of fire damage in this part and one crown-post has been replaced with a rudimentary one, contrasting with the fine one with a moulded capital, shown in Fig. 4.

Fig. 5 – The High Street front of 75 High Street as shown in an old print. Note the carriage way on the right and the roof dormers (now removed)

Historical Note: It has been established that the building was a commodious inn known as the ‘Pyd Bull’ in the 17th century. An old painting, circa 1800, shows the building to be twice the length of the High Street frontage (Fig. 5). The whole premises were bought by a builder, John Cole, in 1773.1 Cole was the man who constructed the Mersham-le-Hatch mansion to the design of Robert Adam. Perhaps it was Cole who refronted the High Street frontage with stucco and sash windows. However, he soon sold off the left-hand half to the Ashford Grammar School for use as a boarding department. After the removal of the school to Hythe Road this half was demolished and the present shops, 73 and 73A were erected.

Fig. 7 – A trade token issued by Thomas Bayleff at the Pyd Bull in the 17th-Century

Briscall W., 1987, Discovering Ashford’s Old Buildings, Ashford, LRB Historical Publications

  1. Information in Kent Archives per Mr. A. W. Ruderman.

List Entries

Name: 75, High Street

List entry Number: 1071089 ➚

Grade: II

Date first listed: 04-Jun-1976

  1. 5344 HIGH STREET (South Side) No 75 TR 0942 NE 2/14II GV
  2. A timber-framed building refaced in C18. 2 storeys. Front stuccoed but the timber-framing with brick infilling exposed in the west wall. Tiled roof, with renewed brick stack. Modillion eaves cornice. 4 sashes with glazing bars intact on the 1st floor only. Modern shop front and to the west of it an C18 carriage archway flanked by pilasters with entablature over having relief of 2 gilded lions in the frieze and double doors each of 6 panels.Nos 51 to 61 (odd). 61A, 63 to 67 (odd). 67A, 69 to 71 (odd). 75 and the rear part of 75 form a group with all items in The Churchyard.

Listing NGR: TR0096942756

Name: Rear Part of No 75, High Street

List entry Number: 1184502 ➚

Grade: II

Date first listed: 04-Jun-1976

  1. 5344 HIGH STREET (South Side) Rear part of No 75 TR 0042 NE 2/l3A
    II GV
  2. C15 to C16 timber-framed cottage facing the Churchyard with curved braces on the 1st floor and plastered infilling. Tiled roof with smoke louvre. 2 storeys. 1 blocked original window with wooden mullion.

Nos 51 to 61 (odd). 61A, 63 to 67 (odd). 67A, 69 to 71 (odd). 75 and the rear part of 75 form a group with all items in The Churchyard.

Listing NGR: TR0097542779