Saturday, May 2, 2020

Ludlow, Shropshire

Building out of the box

No apologies in these travel-restricted times for going back to my archive once again to look at another place I’ve posted about a few times before: Ludlow, a small town with enough food shops and decent restaurants to satisfy the hungriest of visitors, and about 500 listed buildings as well. This time it’s the Angel, a building on Broad Street (where virtually every building is listed and quite a few, like this one, are timber-framed magpie structures from the 17th century or thereabouts. This one is 17th century too. It is basically a wooden box-framed building and has plenty of carved and enriched bits of old timber in it to interest even the most casual building-fancier.

But in many ways the stand-out feature is among the later modifications. The facade boasts a number of 18th- and 19th-century sash windows that would make any purist of early timber-framed buildings wince. Strictly, a building like this should have casement windows, not sashes.* But if my head questioned their presence here, my heart was won over by the two first-floor oriel windows, semi-circular and resting on rather Georgian-looking moulded bases, topped with leaded roofs, and sporting sets of sash windows that are curved to fit the rounded shape.

Adding features like this must have taken a lot of effort and skill – attaching the weighty structure to the timber frame, forming the bases, and doing the joinery to make the curved sashes. The result was a front that looked perhaps a little incongruous, but spoke of the owner’s awareness of current fashion, and of a desire to make the interior lighter and perhaps more airy. I’ll settle for that.†

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* Sash windows came in during the late-17th century, but this would be a precocious provincial building if it had them installed originally.

† The building has had various uses over the years. I think it is currently a restaurant, although an online search also reveals a hairdressers at the same address. One hopes that these businesses will survive the current troubled times.

1 comment:

Hels said...

The two first floor oriel windows stand out (no pun intended) in the eyes of the passerby and are beautiful. But the black and white distract the eyes and don't add to the overall pleasure.