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Explore England's Past

High Street (east): No. 31

This 19th-century rendered shopfront conceals a medieval house (history unknown), which was mostly timber-framed and had an open hall. A blocked window high in the gable wall has 14th-century trefoil tracery. A fireplace and first floor were inserted in the 17th century, and probably around the same period a timber-framed rear wing with boxed oriel windows was added over a stone ground floor: the roof line is slightly above that of the original building. Eighteenth-century owners, who let the house to tenants, included one of the prominent Jordan family, and from 1775 to 1807 John Arkell, carpenter, who also owned Nos. 25, 27, and 29.

By the 1840s it had been divided, the northern part occupied successively by a widow, grocer, labourer, and iron tinplate worker, and the southern part as a tailor's and draper's shop. Richard Forest had a shop in the northern half by 1881 and subsequently acquired the whole building, continuing until the 1920s as a hawker, china dealer, and specialist in boots and shoes. The entire front was reconstructed in timber and render perhaps by Forest, forming two shop-fronts and a smooth façade in front of the earlier building line. Some good 19th-century shop fittings survive at the rear. Blocked windows and doorways in the Church Lane elevation relate presumably to the building's division or to earlier usage. It remained a shop in 2007.

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'Burford: Buildings and People in a Cotswold Town' (ISBN 13 : 9781860774881) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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