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Sheep Street (south): Nos 45-53 (formerly the Leynes)

Like Nos. 39–43, these 17th-century houses were built on vacant land: in this case the Leynes, a large pasture close which in 1492 belonged to Keynsham abbey as part of the Burford rectory estate or glebe.

Both Nos. 45 and 47 were built between 1628 and 1652. Surviving 17th-century work in the former includes newel staircases and a barrel-vaulted cellar, the mullioned window to which can be seen near the pavement. Signs of two doorways towards Sheep Street show that it was a cottage-pair in the 19th century, when occupants included masons and agricultural labourers (eastern part), and a dressmaker, papermaker, and gardener (western part). No. 47 was refronted in the 18th century and its roof was probably raised, the off-centre doorway and different-sized windows surviving from the earlier building. The 'gothick' sash windows and door hood are late 19th- or early 20th-century, added perhaps when the mason Edwin Timms lived there in the 1890s. The adjoining No. 49 may have been the last of the 17th-century properties to be built on this plot, and was clearly a separate house, even though the stonework plat-band has been carried across its façade from No. 47, and No. 47's quoins have been moulded to form a door frame. The window keystones suggest an 18th-century remodelling, and in the 19th century it was occupied by (amongst others) a retired draper and grocer, a cabinet maker, and a cooper.

The 17th-century origins of Nos. 51–53 are well hidden behind its eastern part, whose front range was fashionably remodelled in the 18th century with a central doorway, an entrance hall, and stairs lit by a round bull's-eye window. Occupants in the 19th century included the maltster and brewer Thomas Streat (1840s), the banker William Ward (1860s–70s), and a female annuitant (1880s–90s), followed before 1901 by a retired governess. The attic storey with dormers is said to have been added in 1926, when the house was extended to the rear and to the west (right) with a new doorway.

See: RH Gretton, The Burford Records (1920),  334, 339, 342, 344, 352, 356–7, 359; M Laithwaite, 'The Buildings of Burford', in A Everitt, (ed), Perspectives in English Urban History (1973), 64

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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