46 High Street, Bullock's (St Andrew's Parish)

The building known since the 1920s as Bullock's has been a landmark at the corner of High Street and Worcester Road for about 450 years, with its visible timber-framing proclaiming its longevity.  The earliest part is the two-storey east-west range whose gable end fronts Worcester Road, dated to 1550 on stylistic evidence, with large structural timbers surviving.  Originally it extended further westwards onto the site of what is now No. 44 (which is a modern replica of a late C19th century building). 

Around 1600, a timber-frame extension of two storeys plus attic floor was added on the north side and this pushed the building line out onto the High Street.  Both first and second floors were jettied on the High Street side, projecting out above the floor below, with decorative features including richly carved brackets. 

Probably in the mid 1700s another extension, but this time of brick, was added to the south side of the east-west range, and this appears to have been replaced in the following century. 

In the 18th and 19th centuries the High Street frontage was underbuilt to bring the walls of the ground floor and first floor in line with that of the second floor, and from old photographs it appears that brick was used for the new walls and sash windows were inserted at first floor and ground floor levels. 

Further changes occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries to the doors and windows of the ground floor on both the High Street and Worcester Road elevations.  The well-known 'diamond pane' windows at ground floor on both elevations do not appear until the mid 20th century. 

The building underwent major structural repair and renovation in the mid 1980s and again in the mid 1990s, both of which included the installation of a metal frame inside the core of the building.  External timber-framing was renewed on the Worcester Road elevation.  The structural timbers survive inside the building to a great extent and are visible at first and attic floor levels. 

Sadly, none of the surviving structural timbers was suitable for dendrochronology (tree-ring dating), although a bracket from the High Street extension yielded a date range which enabled an approximate date to be established.  The owners have kindly permitted access during development work in 2014 and 2015 so it has been possible to work out on stylistic grounds a fairly good picture of the building's architectural history.

Documentary research has added to the picture and enabled us to put names to the owners and some occupiers back into the very early 1700s.

Click on the links below to see more detail about the various time periods

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