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Saturday, October 19, 2019

SAVED! Grade II listing awarded to Edwalton’s Old Post Office

PUBLISHED:

Historic England has awarded an emergency Grade II listing status to the 17th Century building planned for demolition.

An application for the emergency listing from a local resident was granted on Monday 17th September.

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About Historic England: Applications for new entries and to remove or amend an existing entry are made to Historic England. It will investigate the merits of the application and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State (for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) who will make the decision.

The Old Post Office Edwalton
© westbridgfordwire.com

What is Grade II? Grade II buildings are of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them. Over 90% of all listed buildings are in this grade

In its summary for the Old Post Office, Historic England states the reasons for its decision:

‘The Old Post Office, a house dating to the C17 with a late C17 or early C18 extension, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

It is a good example of a vernacular dwelling dating to the C17, illustrating the building materials and practices used over three centuries ago; * it retains a legible plan form with an unusual central service bay; * a significant proportion of the original fabric survives, including the openings and substantial bressumers for two wide inglenooks, the roughly chamfered bridging or spine beams and joists in all the ground-floor rooms, and numerous doors dating to the late C17 or early C18.

The Old Post Office Edwalton
© westbridgfordwire.com

Historic interest:

* it has played a significant part in the history of Edwalton, serving as its first Post Office in the late C19 until the Second World War.

Group value:

* it is prominently located on a corner of the main village street, diagonally opposite the Grade II* listed Church of the Holy Rood and its Grade II listed lychgate, with which it has strong group value.

Leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council and ward member for Edwalton Cllr Simon Robinson said: “Historic England advised on us September 17 that The Old Post Office in Edwalton has now been granted Grade II listed status.

 

“They have cited it is a good example of a vernacular dwelling dating back to the 17th century, has played a significant part in the history of the village and is prominently located on the corner of one of its main streets, diagonally opposite another Grade II* listed building in the Church of the Holy Rood and its listed lychgate.

 

“We will always support the body’s role in evaluating Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest and have informed the applicant of planning matters for the same site of this update.

 

“I am absolutely delighted that the Edwalton Conservation Area has been upheld and this news will be a great relief to residents of Edwalton and the surrounding area.”

Historic England goes on to the history of the building which you may find interesting:

‘Little is known about the early history of the Old Post Office but it appears to have originated in the C17 as a three-bay dwelling with a cross wing, possibly with a central service room plan. During this period, unheated service rooms were generally placed at one end of the house but in some instances this room was placed in the middle of the house between the two principal heated living rooms.

The Old Post Office Edwalton
© westbridgfordwire.com

‘It is not clear where the original entrance was located or whether the staircase between the second and third bay is in its original position. A two-storey extension was built at the rear on the west side of the crosswing. It is said that that the beams used for the ceiling came from the church at the nearby Flawforth, which was demolished in the 1770s.

‘By this time however, plaster ceilings had more or less replaced exposed ceiling beams so it is likely that the extension dates to the late C17 or early C18. On the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1884, the building is shown to be divided into two dwellings.

© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.

‘One dwelling consisted of the first bay, the service room in the central bay, and the rear extension; and the other consisted of the third bay, the staircase in the central bay, and the cross wing. The staircase providing access to the first floor in the former dwelling has been removed. The map also shows a large outbuilding to the north-east.

In the mid-1860s, several years after the introduction of the Penny Post, a letter box was placed in the wall of the house to receive the mail for the residents of Edwalton. It was then the home of William Taylor, the parish Clerk, and his wife Ann. After their deaths in the 1880s, it passed to Tom Cook, a coal dealer, who became the first Sub Postmaster of Edwalton when the first village post office with the status of Country Sub Office was opened in 1891. In 1910 he was succeeded by his daughter Annie Cook who was Edwalton’s Postmistress for 30 years, still working from the house. It is thought that the first bay of the building was used as a post office. After the Second World War, the post office moved elsewhere in the village.

At some point before 1953 a fire broke out. Some of the burnt rafters were replaced and the thatch roof covering was replaced by clay tiles. In the second half of the C20, the front door and ground-floor WC were built; a wide bay window was inserted in the rear extension; and the east side of the crosswing was opened up and a lean-to extension added in order to create a larger kitchen. The house has been unoccupied since 2017 and is in a state of disrepair.’

RELATED:

Residents ‘heartbroken’ at plans to demolish 17th Century Old Post Office in Edwalton

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