Walnut Tree Cottage, Grove
Development proposals for this much-altered and unlisted cottage near Wantage were were questioned by local people who believed it might be much older. Since little archive material existed we carried out a thorough fabric analysis to unravel the building’s history of alteration and date each element. We were able to confirm that the building had originally been a “two-unit” cottage, built around the later 17th century. Notable extensions had been added in two different periods, while comprehensive renovations in the 1980s entirely replaced most of the timbers.
We also analysed the local townscape, and the character of the nearby conservation area, to define the site’s role within the neighbourhood. We identified its unique role as a point of compression in the streetscape, where the normal front gardens gave way to built fabric standing along the pavement edge. This further strengthened the case for the proposed scheme for additional houses, which adopted the same approach. Our report allowed the Council’s officers to understand the impact of the development proposals upon the historic character of the site and the wider village, given them the confidence to make a robust recommendation for consent to the Planning Committee.