Post-flooding renovation work at the linked premises between Bojangles and Jak & Co (no 4) in Bridge Street had exposed the wall fabric in the downstairs rooms. This provided an opportunity for us to try and say something about the building’s history.
The original building (as indicated by the roof-line) presently consists of two shops that have been extended to the rear. A rough sketch plan of the ground floor and photographs of the various features are shown below.
Plaster had been removed from walls in the front rooms to the height of about four feet. Two styles of construction were evident – stone (a mixture of sandstone and cobbles with rough quoins) laid in mud, and hand-made brick laid in lime mortar. The brick is mainly evident in the form of various alterations – blocked doorways and partition walls.
The stonework was all of a consistent style suggesting that this represented a single stage of building. The style of the brickwork was highly varied suggesting that it had been done at different times
An initial interpretation is that we are looking at at the lefthand side (looking out into the street) of a what would originally have been a free-standing single-pile building. This occupied the area now defined by the righthand front room. How much further this went to the right is unclear as the righthand wall is now entirely brick and appears to cut through the former back wall of the building.
There was no cellar, though the area beneath the stairs is sunk about .5m. There is no attic.
The upper floor is an absolute warren of rooms on various levels. It was too complicated to draw and didn’t appear terribly interesting, except insofar as it appears that the original roof might have had a cruck-type construction (ie with curved beams) and been raised at some point. The bottom end of three of the curved cruck beams could be seen, raised above their original footings and disappearing into the ceiling. It wasn’t a classic cruck roof however as it had used a tie-beam. This had been cut through (hopefully being replaced higher up in the structure) leaving just the amputated ends visible.