New Street, Bakewell

Bath Street, Bakewell: the door hoods are a good traditional detail
©EH/M Munt

Region: East Midlands

Summary: A stone-built affordable housing development providing flats on the edge of the historic core of Bakewell, Derbyshire and close to the Miracle Court scheme (see Bakewell, Miracle Court case study).

Description: Bakewell is a busy historic market town and popular tourist destination in the Peak District National Park.  It is a predominantly stone-built town with many surviving historic buildings and the town centre, which includes the development site, is a conservation area.
Issue: The scheme occupies a large corner site beside existing historic buildings along Bath Street and Anchor Square which lead into the town centre.  New Street was formerly lined by nineteenth century terraced houses set to the back of the pavement.  By the 1970s these had been demolished and replaced by a library and car-parking which destroyed the historic grain.  Redevelopment of the site offered an opportunity to re-establish building lines to the street and re-instate the corner of New Street and Bath Street.
Strategy: The development is stone-built to reflect the historic building style of a two storey terrace and utilises features such as dressed stone surrounds to the quoins, openings and two large arched entrances giving access to the interior courtyard area.  It is set to the back of the pavement, re-instating the historic form of the street.

The development has drawn on the local vernacular tradition and has successfully re-instated the historic street line and corner improving the quality of the townscape.  It includes some good traditional details such as sash windows, stone door hoods and chimneys.

Are there aspects of the scheme that could be considered as being less successful?

If the intention were to harmonise with the local vernacular, the composition differs in several respects.  For example, the height of the range has resulted in a large gap between the top of the first floor windows and the eaves line, whereas the eaves line runs at the window head level in the majority of two storey buildings in the town. Also, the arrangement of some front doors within the arched entrance means there are fewer than would typically be seen on the elevation of a terrace of small houses and the resulting composition does not provide the normal rhythm of door and window.


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