Materials and features

Screenshot - p13 Red brick building

Buildings built of red brick faced with knapped flint are typical of houses in the older part of town

Many of the buildings in the older part of the town are a mixture of red brick, stucco and rendered walls painted in muted colours. Some brick buildings are faced with knapped flint, using a local material to great effect, and this is also picked up in the design of many boundary walls.

Although some of the newer brick buildings and walls are also faced with the knapped flint, builders of modern estates such as Hillside have tried to imitate this by using flint-effect panels as facing on brick walls. However, the difference between the regular pattern of the imitation and the randomness of the real thing is evident. Recent developments have introduced variety in materials used on properties and between properties, using bricks of varying colours, rendering, hung tiles and other materials, with differing levels of success.

Screenshot - p15Likewise, roofs vary depending on the area in which they are located. Roof materials on older buildings include darker red and brown clay tiles, slate and thatch. More recent developments use red and concrete tiles. Bright orange-red tiles used in some of the recently-built estates should be avoided. Although weathering may eventually mute their brightness, they do not blend in well with the existing town roof-scape and are clearly visible from afar.

Windows also vary depending on the era in which the houses were built. Older dwellings have casement or sash windows, and more modern ones have windows of metal, wood and PVC materials. Some owners, however, have replaced original windows with ones whose style is inappropriate for the era in which the house was built and conflict with adjacent properties.

Paving materials influence the look and feel of the parish. Most of the pavements comprise concrete slabs or tarmacadam. In the town centre we can see the effective use of mellow block paving, the sealed gravel quality finish in Fairclose and other town mewses and the quality resurfacing of carparks in Church and Bell streets. Existing Victorian kerbstones should be retained in any landscaping or paving schemes. Attention to detail here is important and is now being recognised more in design.