House, early-mid C18. Two late C18 cottages and one early-mid C19 cottage attached to the rear.
MATERIALS: Brick, render, pantile roof.
PLAN: Ground floor converted into one shop, two principal rooms on the first floor, staircase tower and later infill at the back, three cottages attached to the rear.
EXTERIOR: A two-storey four-window brick house of early-mid C18 date. The front has been rendered and C20 shop windows inserted on the ground floor. The first-floor window frames are C18 with early C19 sashes, and above them are moulded brick eaves. The original steep-pitched roof has been re-covered in pantiles at the front and corrugated sheeting at the rear, with two dormer windows inserted. Attached to the back of the house are two late C18 brick cottages and a projecting early-mid C19 brick cottage, with C20 replacement windows. The area between the house and the first cottage was infilled at a later date.
INTERIOR: On the ground floor there is a heavy chamfered beam with bar stops, and the panelled door to the stairs has early C19 bottle glass. The main cellar has foundations of local granite and may predate the house. The staircase from ground to first floor has its original C18 treads (visible from the small cellar underneath), with a C19 replacement balustrade. The house retains its plan form on the first floor with two large principal rooms, both of which contain heavy chamfered bridging beams with bar stops. The doors to these rooms are the original C18 two-panelled doors and the windows have C18 frames with early C19 sashes. In the left-hand room the fireplace has been moved to a position nearer the window. In the right-hand room part of a cupboard with fielded panels survives to the left of the fireplace. The plank doors to the attic storey are early C19, with their original heavy hinges. The roof appears to be the C18 original and some of the purlins are visible through the plasterwork. The second cottage dating from the late C18 has a large open fireplace on the ground floor, with the original steepchamfered beam inside to improve the draught, and possible remnants of the original fire surround. In the early-mid C19 cottage there are two identical round-arched fireplaces surviving on the first floor with cable moulding.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: At the rear of the site is a block used for meat preparation, possibly tripe processing, which probably dates from the 1920s. The interior is of white glazed bricks and has a raised work surface containing two basins with taps underneath and a storage area to the left.
HISTORY: 10 Sparrow Hill faces the churchyard of the medieval parish church of All Saints, and may originally have formed part of the Manor House complex. The house at the front of the site dates from the early-mid C18, with two cottages of the late C18 and one of the early-mid C19 attached to the rear. According to the local authority, the building was at some time two public houses, the Shakespearian and the Crown and Thistle. Shop windows were inserted into the ground floor of the house in the C20. The 1920s block at the rear of the site connected with meat preparation may indicate use of the premises as a butcher's shop at that time.
SOURCES: Ordnance Survey Maps 1886, 1903, 1919.; Kathryn A. Morrison, English Shops and Shopping: An Architectural History (Yale, 2003), 86-89.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: 10 Sparrow Hill is an early-mid C18 brick house in a prominent position opposite the medieval parish church, with two late C18 cottages and an early-mid C19 cottage attached to the rear. It is of special historic and architectural interest due to the extent of survival of C18 fabric, particularly in the first- floor interior. Features of interest include heavy chamfered beams with bar stops, two-panelled doors, window frames, stair treads, roof purlins and granite foundations in the cellar. Interest is added by early C19 features such as bottle-glass door, window sashes and plank doors. Features of interest in the cottages are late C18 and early-mid C19 fireplaces. There is some minor interest in the meat preparation block at the rear of the site.