25-27 Church Street, Saffron Walden, Essex
Douglas Kent, a director of SPAB, put his training into reality when he bought an empty, unmodernised Grade I building in Saffron Walden. It’s famous for two huge pargeted figures and is C14, once part of the Sun Inn. Visitors can see his progress and pick his brains.
Historic, grade I-listed town centre property once part of the famous Sun Inn and renowned for its 17th-century ‘pargeting’ (decorative external plasterwork). Timber-framed construction of medieval origins with overhanging or jettied upper floors at front. Unmodernised internally with limited furnishings, part-way through major building conservation work and the conversion of two cottages back into one house. The extensive work recently completed to conserve the pargeting was named joint winner of the prestigious 2013 Museums + Heritage Award. Tours by the owner, Douglas Kent, Technical and Research Director at the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, are expected to appeal particularly to those interested in the sympathetic renovation of old buildings.
An introductory talk by Douglas Kent followed by the opportunity to explore the property with the aid of a handout and ask further questions. All principal rooms on the ground and first floors can be seen, plus the chalk-floored cellars and rear flint-walled courtyards. Visitors also receive an information sheet.
Thank you so much for such an interesting visit to your properties this afternoon. Your talk was so interesting and it was fascinating to see both houses in their present state. Can't wait for a return visit.
By car: On entering Saffron Walden, follow the signs for Swan Meadow pay and display car park. From here, walk to the town centre. At the High Street turn left for a short distance, and then right into Church Street. By public transport: The nearest railway station is Audley End on the London Liverpool Street-Cambridge line. A bus (or taxi) can be taken from here to Saffron Walden town centre (approximately 2 miles).
Please assemble outside the door to No 27, which will be opened 5 minutes before the publicised start time.
Tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits.
No sharp-heeled shoes, please. Approval to be sought before the publication of any photographs. Kindly note that while building work takes place the property remains in a very basic condition (though safe). Some finishes are also fragile and should not be touched. Visitors are asked to leave bags on the ground floor, again to protect the delicate fabric. Because our properties are old and fragile, unfortunately we cannot include children under 14.
Ground floors only (but not wheelchairs). Stairs to other levels unsuitable for the infirm.