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Sheep Street (south): No. 25 (Calendars)

This notable late-medieval house is comparable to some broadly contemporary examples on High Street. The narrow entrance part (on the left) was formerly a separate 1½-storey cottage, heightened and almost entirely rebuilt c.1925 when it was taken into the main house. The house’s principal part, however, was built soon after 1473, the felling date of the timbers in its front and rear ranges. The builder was presumably a prominent Burford merchant, and the rear south wing could have been a wool store.

As in many 15th-century Burford houses, timber and stone are used together. The double-length front jetty rests on a stone wall, and the long, jettied back wing rests on stone corbels in the wall of the front range. The construction is so unusual that the artist and architect J.C. Buckler, in a drawing of 1821, showed a gable protruding over the longer jettied section at the front. There is, however, no internal evidence for this, suggesting that (as with Falkland Hall on High Street) the drawing is in part a fanciful reconstruction. The house's original plan was typical of the late medieval period, with a through-passage giving access to a hall (on the right) and to services (on the left). Another structure at the rear may have been a kitchen, which had a floor inserted later.

Sash windows were inserted in the 18th and 19th centuries, when the house had lost its original status and was possibly sub-divided. Nineteenth-century occupants included a blacksmith and a basket-maker (1840s), a glover and a furniture broker (1850s), and in the 1890s an engine driver and a basket maker, with their respective families and two boarders. Richard and Mary Gretton extensively remodelled it between 1912 and 1925, rebuilding the adjoining cottage as an entrance hall and stairway, and making an extension at the rear to link the cottage with the main house and south wing. The name 'Calendars' dates from this time, a reference to their 'calendaring' and publishing of Burford's voluminous historic records. Later occupants included the Revd Dr V.H.H. Green of Lincoln College, Oxford (1960s–2003), after whose death extensive internal renovations were carried out in 2005–6.

See: A Jewell, Burford in Old Photos (1985),  28; MS Gretton, Burford Past and Present (1945), 145; M Laithwaite, 'The Buildings of Burford', in A Everitt, (ed), Perspectives in English Urban History (1973) plate IV

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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