56-60 High Street


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Steeple Ashton, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 6EU


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Statutory Address:
Steeple Ashton, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 6EU

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Steeple Ashton
National Grid Reference:


Two houses, originating as a hall house and cross wing of the early C16; alterations and extensions in the late C16/early C17 and the early C18; converted to three cottages probably in the C19 but now (2014) two dwellings.

Reasons for Designation

Nos.56-60 High Street in Steeple Ashton which dates from the early C16 with later alterations and some additions, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: it is a well-preserved and well-crafted building that was clearly a constructed for a person of substance; * Plan form: the successive plan forms over more than six hundred years are still readable internally and externally, altogether contributing to a rich understanding of the building's history and significance; * Interior: it retains a good proportion of historic features from the building’s principal phases including carpentry of considerable quality, late-C16/early-C17 wall paintings, and stone fireplaces of the late-C16/early-C17 and the early C18.


Steeple Ashton has its origins in Saxon times, and until the later C18 its High Street was part of a principal route between Salisbury and Trowbridge. During the C16 the woollen industry became important to Steeple Ashton, as it did in other local settlements, with houses occupied by wealthy clothiers, spinners and weavers. By the end of the century, however, Steeple Ashton had declined and the cloth industry became centred on Trowbridge and Bradford-on-Avon. The village suffered a serious fire c.1503, and around this time, but probably after the fire, the western side of the southern part of the High Street was built up with substantial houses. It is likely that the building known as Nos.56, 58 and 60 High Street was erected at this time, probably for a wealthy clothier.

Nos.56-60 High Street appears to date from the early C16 and is an L-shaped building consisting of a former open hall range and a two-storey jettied cross wing of the same height which had a solar to its upper floor. Alterations were made probably in the late C16 or early C17; including the flooring over of the hall, the insertion of a stone chimney and large fireplace in the south bay of the former hall, and the addition of brick infilling to the walls of the hall range and the front, right return of the wing. Further alterations were carried out in c.1700 when some of the walls were rebuilt in stone and a stone stack and fireplaces were added to the cross wing. By 1886, as depicted on the Ordnance Survey map of that date, the building had been sub-divided into three dwellings; a configuration which continued into the mid-C20, though the building is now two dwellings occupying the hall range (No.56-58) and the cross wing (No.60) respectively.


Two houses, originating as a hall house and cross wing of the early C16; alterations and extensions in the late C16/early C17 and the early C18; converted to three cottages probably in the C19 but now (2014) two dwellings.

MATERIALS: square-panelled timber framing, with later brick infilling to the hall range and part of the cross wing; north-west elevation of the hall range and south-east and rear elevations of the wing are built of random stone rubble. It has a stone slate roof which was originally thatched, and is half-hipped at its north-west end. Brick and stone chimneystacks; the upper parts of which have been rebuilt.

PLAN: it has an L-shaped plan comprising: four-bay hall range, formerly one storey, with a two-storey cross wing, also of four bays, to the south-east end. Single-storey lean-tos were added to the rear probably in the C19 and early C20.

EXTERIOR: the house stands on a dressed stone plinth with short buttresses to the cross wing. The roadside (north-east) frontage of the hall range (Nos.56-58) has a plank door with two two-light casements to the right and one to the left. A change in the brickwork and the timber scantling around the left-hand window may mark the position of a tall, former hall window. To the first floor are two half-gabled dormers with two-light casements. The gabled front (north-east) of the cross wing (No.60) projects forwards and has a C19 entrance with plank door and a fixed-light window to its right return. To the gabled front is a two-light casement to the ground floor and a jettied and rendered upper floor which has a two-light casement. The barge boards (some restored) are carved with quatrefoils. The left return of the wing, rebuilt in stone c.1700, has a gabled stone and brick stack, and two-light mullioned casements with hollow chamfered mouldings to both floors. The rear elevation of the wing is gabled. To the ground floor is a lean-to timber extension of c.1925 under roof of corrugated sheeting with a side entrance, and there is a mullioned casement with hollow chamfered mouldings at first floor. The rear of the hall range has a rendered single-storey lean-to containing two doorways and two timber windows under a pantile roof. To the far right of the upper floor is a full-gabled dormer with a two-light mullioned casement, also hollow chamfered, and there are two small casement windows further to the left. The north-west gable wall of the hall range is built of rubble stone with dressed quoins. The ground has an entrance with a plank door and a small timber window under a stone lintel.

INTERIOR: the former hall range was not inspected (2014). It is understood that the left-hand, ground-floor room contains a large stone fireplace with a four-centred arch, deep cambered mouldings and chamfered jambs with stops, and a bread oven. There is a large chamfered ceiling beam and the exposed ends of the joists to the wing's internal jetty are also visible. The central room contains a later brick fireplace. The roof timbers are said to include arch-braced principal rafters and may be smoke blackened. The ground floor of the cross wing, which was formerly two rooms, has heavily moulded ceiling beams and exposed square-sectioned joists (some modern replacements) with broad floor boards above. In the western half of the room, the joists rest on a large timber beam and project slightly into the adjacent former hall range (Nos.56-58 High Street) to form an internal jetty to the upper floor of the wing. A rebate in the beam marks the position of a former doorway. Below the jetty is brick infill. Other ground-floor features include a stone bolection-moulded fireplace and a moulded cornice, both of c.1700, and the remains of painted wall decoration, probably of the late C16 to early C17, which has recently (2014) been uncovered on the front-facing internal wall. To the rear is a C19 wooden door with strap hinges which leads through to the early-C20 lean-to. A C17 elm staircase leads up to the first floor. The plank door at the foot of the stairs (temporarily removed at time of inspection, 2014) has round-ended hinges and the door surround has bead mouldings. The understairs cupboard is enclosed by bead-moulded planks and has a plank door with cockshead hinges and a timber fingerhold handle. Upstairs, between the two central bays, is a framed, former lime-washed wattle and daub partition wall with a narrow two-centred arched doorway to the left-hand end; the timber door has wainscot panelling and cockshead hinges. The front bedroom has a stone fireplace with bolection mouldings and a moulded cornice. The roof comprises principal rafters of arch-braced jointed crucks with collars, large chamfered purlins and curved windbraces; one of the rafters has the remains of a closing truss.


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Steeple Ashton, A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8: Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds, pp. 198-218, 1965, accessed 13 November 2014. from http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=16110
Wiltshire Community History, Steeple Ashton, accessed 9 January 2015 from http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getcom.php?id=211
56, 58 & 60 High Street, Steeple Ashton. Recording Day Notes from visit on 16 October 2004 by Wiltshire Buildings Record


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 30 Aug 1999
Reference: IOE01/00328/28
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ron L Pybus. Source Historic England Archive
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