PART OF THE HS2 HISTORIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROJECT
Five members of BAS carried out a detailed measured survey of the Grade II-listed St Mary's House, which stands to the north of the church and is, at its nearest point, only 80 metres from the proposed high-speed line. [but see Note below]
At the core of the house is the oak frame of a late medieval open hall. Smoke-blackened timbers show that the hall was once open to the roof and had a central hearth.
But St Mary's House is unusual - because it also incorporates a second hall frame. There is evidence that this was originally built elsewhere, then dismantled and re-erected to add to the existing building.
The particular value of St Mary's House is that changes to the building over five centuries can be traced by examining its structure. For this reason the report recommends that its listing be increased to Grade II* (starred), which will increase its protection as a historic building.
UPDATE - January 2012
For full details and recommendations, see:
PHOTO BY PETER MARSDEN