This building is a three-storey house of 16th century date and said to have been that of a blacksmith. Robert Furley, the Ashford historian, writing in 1886, described it as an alehouse called ‘The Forge’1. It is timber-framed with its gable to the street, each ﬂoor overhanging in the smallest possible way. This points to an alteration to its front, which may also account for the date, 1671, carved on the bressummer. Furley also claimed that the building had ‘lost its frontage’. The date on the bressummer cannot be the date of the building’s erection, so perhaps the jettying was reduced in a similar manner to that at No. 14 opposite (see Fig. 1). The bargeboards to the gable are decoratively carved. The property originally had land at the side, now occupied by Park Street and at the rear, all necessary for the business of a blacksmith.
The ground ﬂoor frontage, with its door and small bay-window, has been built—up with brickwork, plastered and painted. The upper front room has an iron casement-window, which appears to be original, with leaded panes.
The brick ground ﬂoor front is built approximately 1 ft. in front of the original wall.
Briscall W., 1987, Discovering Ashford’s Old Buildings, Ashford, LRB Historical Publications
7 North Street was occupied by Blacksmith Albert Chittenden until at least 1913. In the 19132 trade directory he is listed as trading from 7 North Street but in 19183 the trade address is shown as 2 Park Street. It is assumed that he moved out of the house between those dates, but it is known that he continued to operate the forge. Albert Chittenden’s son (also Albert) carried on the business, which served the coaches operating at the Saracen’s Head Hotel, located on the corner of The High Street and North Street. The forge closed when introduction of the motor vehicle lead to the decline of horse drawn coaches in the 1930s.
- 1 R. Furley. Archaeologia Cantiana, Vol. XVI, p. 171.
- 2 1913, Kelly’s Directory of Kent, London, Kelly’s Directories Ltd.
- 3 1922, Kelly’s Directory of Kent, London, Kelly’s Directories Ltd.
Date first listed: 24-Sep-1951
- 5344 NORTH STREET (West Side) No 7 TR 0142 NW 1/72 24.9.51 II GV
- C16 timber-framed house with its upper floors over-hanging on brackets and a bressummer, the 2nd floor one moulded, but the ground floor has been partly under-built and plastered. Dated 1671. 3 storeys. Gable with moulded barge-boards and tiled roof. Close studded timbering with plaster infilling. 1 window, the ground and 1st floor containing an original casement window with small square leaded panes.
Nos 7-13 (odd) form a group.
Listing NGR: TR0103542895