A C16 house, re-fronted and partly encased in the C19.
Reasons for Designation
Old House (no. 29 West Street), 31 West Street and nos. 7-9 High Street, Wivenhoe, a vernacular house of the C16 partly encased and subdivided in the C19, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: Despite some alterations, the buildings retain a significant proportion of historic fabric, and where observed, timber framing of good craftsmanship;
* Historic interest: the historic alteration to the buildings demonstrates the development of domestic buildings in an increasingly industrialised urban area;
* Group value: with many listed buildings in the immediate vicinity including nos. 2-6 High Street, 11-13 High Street and Christmas Cottage (all at Grade II) and the Church of St Mary the Virgin, listed at Grade II*.
Wivenhoe has Saxon origins; the Domesday Book of 1086 records a small settlement of fewer than thirty adults, livestock and a mill.
In the early-C15, the town was owned by the Earls of Oxford, passing to Roger Townshend in the late C16. It seems probable that riverine trade and fishing played a significant economic role in the early development of the town. Ship building is documented from the late-C16 and continued to be an important activity throughout the post-medieval period producing both commercial and military craft near to the quayside up until the mid-C20. A vibrant port had developed by the C18. Shipbuilding continued to dominate and associated buildings such as public houses, maltings and housing, grew in number. A bath-house was built in 1750 by local doctor, Horace Flack and a workhouse was constructed at The Cross. Racing vessels were built from the early-C19, and continued to be produced throughout the century. The town expanded with the coming of the railways, when its fishery could reach wider audiences, but until the mid-C20 shipbuilding still dominated the economic fortunes of the town. Military vessels and sections of the mulberry harbour, crucial to the success of the D-day landings, were built here, but both of the principal shipyards went out of business in the late-C20.
The draft Conservation Area Appraisal of 2007 describes Wivenhoe as an attractive small port which retains its maritime character along the Quay and Anchor Hill. Its historic core, nestling beside the river Colne and framed to the north by the C14 Church of St. Mary, is visually distinctive and maintains the vibrancy of its historic past.
Old House (no. 29 West Street), no. 31 West Street and nos. 7 and 9 High Street is a C16 house, re-fronted and partly encased in the C19. No. 7 High Street has been partly rebuilt at the front and south elevation. The building was presumably a dwelling, but the ground floor of nos. 7 to 9 High Street is a tapas bar in 2013.
A C16 house, known as Old House (no. 29 West Street) re-fronted and partly encased in the C19 (no. 31 West Street and no. 7-9 High Street).
Timber framed, rendered in places and exposed in others, with the elevations of no. 31 West Street and nos. 7 to 9 High Street in orange-red brick, patched with darker red brick in places, with polychrome brick details.The roofs have peg-tile covering.
An 'L'-shaped plan.
A two storey building, partly with an attic, a gabled roof to the High Street range and a hipped roof with plastered eaves to no. 29 West Street, and two red brick chimneys. The principal elevation to nos. 7 to 9 High Street has a parapet, reduced at an angle at the south. No. 7 has much replacement brick to the facade. On the ground floor there are partly-glazed and timber entrance doors to the right (north) and left (south) both with pointed-arch heads. In between are two wide pointed-arch windows with 'Y' shaped glazing bars. On the first floor are three pairs of single, pointed arch windows. The heads to the openings of no. 9 are of orange-red brick, with central gault brick details to those at the ground floor. The openings to no. 7 have alternate dark red brick and gault brick details. There are double string courses on the first floor and near to the parapet; above the first floor are two blocked openings.
The south elevation of nos. 7 and 9 High Street and no. 31 West Street have two pairs of 2 over 2 sashes at the ground and first floor, with those on the ground floor beneath segmental heads of blue and red brick with central voussoirs. There is an off-centre door opening to no. 31 West Street and two small dormers in the roof.
Old House (no. 29 West Street) is rendered on the south elevation. There are additions to the west and north. The west elevation has exposed full height wall framing comprising close studding, parts of two arched braces, a midrail and wall post.
Not inspected. Elements of an exposed floor frame are apparent on the ground floor of nos. 7 to 9 High Street.