130–136 Piccotts End

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130–136 Piccott's End

130–136 Piccotts End is a historic row of medieval timber-framed buildings located in Piccotts End, a village near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, England. These buildings are notable for their well-preserved 16th century wall paintings, which were uncovered during the 20th century. The paintings are an important example of domestic Renaissance art in England. The row of cottages has been designated as a Grade I listed building by Historic England, highlighting its national significance.

History[edit | edit source]

The buildings at 130–136 Piccotts End were originally constructed in the late 15th or early 16th century, with the exact date of construction unknown. They were initially built as a range of alms houses or possibly a monastic establishment, serving the local community. Over the centuries, the buildings have been used for various purposes, including as private residences and workshops.

The significance of the buildings was greatly enhanced in the 1950s when a series of elaborate wall paintings dating back to the 16th century were discovered under layers of whitewash. These paintings cover a range of subjects, including religious themes, which was typical for the period. The discovery of the paintings has led to a greater interest in the preservation and study of the buildings.

Architecture[edit | edit source]

The architecture of 130–136 Piccotts End is characteristic of the Tudor period, with timber framing and wattle and daub infill. The buildings are two stories high, with steeply pitched roofs covered in old clay tiles. The front of the buildings features exposed timber framing, while the interiors have been significantly modified over the centuries.

The wall paintings found within these buildings are among the most significant aspects of their architecture. These paintings are an exceptional example of domestic art from the period, providing insight into the aesthetic preferences and religious beliefs of the time.

Preservation[edit | edit source]

The preservation of 130–136 Piccotts End has been a focus of both local and national heritage organizations. The designation of the buildings as Grade I listed helps protect them from unauthorized alterations and ensures that any changes are sympathetic to their historical and architectural significance.

Efforts have been made to conserve the wall paintings, with specialists working to stabilize the artwork and prevent further deterioration. The buildings and their paintings are considered an important part of England's cultural heritage, attracting scholars and visitors interested in medieval architecture and art.

Significance[edit | edit source]

The buildings at 130–136 Piccotts End are significant for several reasons. Architecturally, they are fine examples of medieval timber-framed construction, demonstrating the building techniques and styles of the period. The wall paintings add an additional layer of importance, offering rare insights into the domestic interiors and artistic expressions of the 16th century.

As a Grade I listed building, 130–136 Piccotts End is recognized as being of exceptional interest, warranting every effort to preserve it. The buildings are a valuable resource for understanding the social, religious, and artistic context of the period in which they were created.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD