Sunday, July 7, 2019

Ashburton, Devon

Hung well

When I was staring at the medieval arch in my previous post and checking my camera, a woman came up to me and said that if I liked old buildings, I should look at one a couple of doors along the street. This was a slate-hung building with a very unusual set of shapes cut into the slates. I told her I’d already spotted it and she said that the shapes cut into the slates – hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades – were there because the building was once ‘a gaming house’. I've not been able to find any reference to this history in books or online – I have few books on Devon apart from the usual Pevsner and Shell Guides. It’s possible, but it’s equally likely that someone just liked the shapes and had a bright idea about how to use them them.
As with the arch in the previous post, it’s interesting to think about this history, but my appreciation of buildings relates at least as much to aesthetics as to their usefulness or the ways they may have been used in the past. I like the way this building looks, with its slate-hung  walls, its twin gables over an overhanging, dentil cornice, and its sash windows with their small panes in the Georgian style. I hope the current occupiers (the Co-op) are proud of it.


triskele27 said...

The appearance of staining on the soffits at the roof valley, the fact the attic windows aren't placed symmetrically and the loss of hung tiles on that upper storey, suggests a bit of a botched job and possibly real damp problems developing?
I do hope someone deals with this soon,before the whole building suffers.
It's an attractive bit of the townscape.

TomC said...

I wonder if this is an example of an older building that got a fashionable Georgianesque front rather than a rebuild. Hence the slightly odd window positions and proportions.

Philip Wilkinson said...

The odd window positions could well be due to a surviving, earlier timber frame under the slates, with, as you suggest, TomC, a ‘Georgianisation’ to keep up with fashion. This sort of thing happened quite a bit.