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A preliminary note on 73 South Street Epsom

1990/5 pp3–4


A preliminary note on 73 South Street, Epsom


This house is located on the east side of the highway a short distance to the south of Rosebery Park. It lies at a lower level than the road (which has probably been built up at this point) and has a brick facade that is contemporary with the adjacent building. Observing the roof from the road it can be seen that the structure is of two bays set parallel with the street and having a chimney stack and stair vice at the north end. Recently an internal inspection took place when a condition survey for a prospective new owner was undertaken. Although much altered (the original timber frame is mostly concealed or replaced) the roof retains a coupled rafter roof with trapped purlins and part of a wattle and daub partition. This form of roof construction is found in late sixteenth and early seventeenth century buildings.


In its original form the property is thought to have comprised two rooms on each of the two floors with only the northern rooms being heated. The stack is constructed mainly of brick, but contains a flint panel similar to the one recorded on the site of 106 High Street, Epsom. On the first floor the rooms were open to the roof and the stair vice contains a stair that turns through 180 degrees. At the top of the stairs is a seventeenth-century shallow moulded plank door and the possible location of an original window has been observed in the rear wall. The floor joists in the northern half of the building remain, but in the southern part they have been replaced. A date in the early seventeenth century would be appropriate for an end chimney house with the above roof type.


The original dwelling was extended southwards (no. 75), and then in the eighteenth century the timberwork of the front wall was removed and a brick facade constructed over both sections of the property. It should be noted that the southern extension has a higher parapet than that on the original building. The brickwork is of good quality with flat gauged heads to the four Yorkshire light windows and with a stone coping to the parapet. As the windows at ground floor and the entry door were set as high as possible in the wall it was necessary to trim the original joists to allow the door to open inwards and provide metal brackets to support the floor joists over the windows.


The outshot roof originally tucked up under the rear eaves of the main house but has been raised to form a continuous roof (often referred to as a catslide) that was until recently clad in clay pantiles. Old clay peg tiles now cover the front roof slope of the old building and may be its original roof covering. The outshot has brick walls that continue up to the chimney stack on the north wall and have cambered heads to the side openings with flat tops. As the outshot appears to block an original window it must be an addition and in its present form to date from the late eighteenth century.


It is hoped to conduct a full historic survey of this building in the near future and produce a detailed report. This will be the first building antedating the Spa Period to be recorded by the Society in Epsom and may be identified with a property called London House held by widow Witham in the 1680 survey (H.L. Lehmann, Residential Copyholds of Epsom).


Ian West

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