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42 King Street, Melksham, Wiltshire

Description: 42 King Street, Melksham

Grade: II
Date Listed: 11 February 2014
Building ID: 1418010

OS Grid Reference: ST9042863414
OS Grid Coordinates: 390439, 163414
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3697, -2.1387

Locality: Wiltshire
County: Wiltshire
Postcode: SN12 6HF

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Listing Text


An C18 house which incorporates a formerly separate, late-C16/early-C17 range to the south and an attached C19 forge to the rear. The late-C20 garage to the west of the forge is excluded from the listing. C19 and C20 additions and alterations.

Reason for Listing

42 King Street, an C18 house with a late-C16/early-C17 southern range and an attached forge to the rear, that has undergone C19 and C20 alterations and additions, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural and historic interest: the building shows evidence of its building history in its plan form, fabric and construction, and demonstrates how it has evolved;
* Degree of survival: the south range retains a significant proportion of pre-1700 fabric including much of its timber-frame, scissor-braced roof and a compartmental ceiling to the ground floor. The main C18 part of the house, despite losses, retains its principal elements including the staircase and roof structure;
* Internal decoration: the ceiling to the south range is of is of a very high quality, demonstrating a high degree of craftsmanship.


King Street is one of the historic streets of Melksham and runs in a southerly direction from the market square. Melksham, a medieval market town, was focused around the cloth trade from the C14 until the C19. In the early C19 it enjoyed a brief period of prosperity as a spa town.

42 King Street dates largely from the C18 but incorporates part of a late-C16/early-C17 building at its south end. This single-bay range appears to have originally formed part of a larger timber-framed house of some status, based on the presence of a moulded, four-panelled ceiling to the ground floor. The brickwork to the ground floor of its south elevation is laid in English Garden Wall bond, suggesting that this section was rebuilt in the late C18. 42 King Street was built to the north of the single-bay range in the C18 as a three-bay house. It was extended to the rear in the C19, and the earlier south range was incorporated within 42 King Street in the late C20.

Attached to the rear of the south range are the remains of a single-storey C19 forge which retains a truncated stack and capped hearth. This building, although not specifically identified as a forge, is depicted on the historic Ordnance Survey maps; a water pump is also depicted to its rear. The building was subsequently extended to the west in the late C20 and is used as a garage. Additional ancillary buildings to the west of the plot have been removed.


An C18 house which incorporates a formerly separate, late-C16/early-C17 range to the south and an attached C19 forge to the rear. C19 and C20 additions and alterations.

MATERIALS: 42 King Street is constructed of coursed rubble stone with ashlar quoins and dressings. It has a stone tiled roof to the front (east) and side (south) and a pantile roof to the rear (west). The range to the south has been re-fronted with coursed rubble stone. Its side elevation has brick to the ground floor and timber-framing with brick infill to the first floor. The chimney stacks to the rear and side are brick and there is a stone stack to the north gable.

PLAN: 42 King Street is a cross-passage house with a room to either side, and an incorporated late-C16/early-C17 range of one bay to the south. Attached to the rear of the south range is a former forge which has been extended to the west to form a garage. To the rear of the C18 house are C19 additions.

EXTERIOR: the principal elevation (east) is of two-storeys with a three-bay range to the right and the surviving single bay range of a late-C16/early-C17 building to the left. This earlier wing appears to have been re-fronted in stone in the late C20. To the ground floor are two late-C20 wooden sash windows beneath an oak lintel which spans the width of the bay and denotes the position of former double-doors. To the first floor is a sixteen-light casement window. The side (south) elevation is constructed of brick, laid in English garden wall bond to the ground floor, and timber-framing to the first floor with brick infill panels. There is a rendered gable towards the rear of this elevation, with a lateral brick stack to its left. The rear elevation is gabled, with the first-floor timber-framing concealed by the mono-pitch roof of the single-storey forge to the rear; the timber framing is visible within this building.

The front elevation of the C18 house is of three bays and has a central doorway within a stone surround, with a moulded canopy supported on stone corbels above. The door is late C20. It is flanked at ground and first floor by late-C20 wooden double-glazed sashes in the original openings. To the rear elevation there is a central dormer window and a two-storey C19 extension. To the left, is a single-storey gabled addition which is shared with 40 King Street.

INTERIOR: to the ground-floor of the late-C16/early-C17 range is a four-panelled ceiling of moulded oak beams with a carved central boss that has scallop shell, star, diamond and maple leaf motifs. There are mortice holes in the beam to the middle of the room indicating that there was formerly a partition wall here. There is a stone corner fireplace to the west end of the room with an oak bressumer. The two first-floor rooms have exposed timber-framed walls and jowl posts support the tie beam and wall plate. The roof is constructed of scissor-braced principal rafters and a ridge purlin and appears to be of late-C16/early-C17 date.

The interior of the C18 house has been remodelled in the C20, and most of the internal doors are late C20. The south wall of the cross passage has been removed and an arched opening in the south (left) wall of the left-hand room provides access into the earlier range which has been incorporated into 42 King Street. The fireplace to the rear wall of the left-hand room is late C20, while the fireplace to the room on the other side of the hall has been removed. The C18 winder staircase is in its original position. To the first floor is a C19 four-panelled door which provides access to the C19 winder staircase leading to the attic. In the attic, the principal rafters and trenched purlins are visible.

The interior of the former forge to the rear comprises a capped brick hearth and truncated brick stack.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the late-C20 garage to the west of the forge is excluded from the listing.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.