Church Street

3 Church Street

Now Montez Architecture

Church Street during celebrations for the coronation of George V in 1911. © Herefordshire Museums Service.

Originally constructed in 1455, this building served as a jettied shop, a design characteristic of the period, featuring an overhanging upper storey that extends beyond the ground floor. This architectural feature not only maximized space within the urban setting, but also showcased the timber framing technique prevalent during the era whilst providing a covered area on the street to sell one's wares.

The building's main range and its transverse wing, possibly a solar, share the same medieval origins, hinting at a complex history intertwined with the town's economic and social life. Remarkably, the cross wing's ground floor chamber ceiling, adorned with highly decorated joists and coffered floorboards, is believed to have originated from another location, likely repurposed here during the period of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536-41. This element, along with the building's near-complete timber framing and original plan form, offers a fascinating glimpse into Leominster's medieval past.

Around 100 years after its construction, the ground floor was embellished with a painted scheme and frieze, adding to the building's aesthetic and historical value. The 18th century saw the building refronted in brick, and in 1903, it received its current shop front when it served as the Bakers Arms, a change made with little regard for the underlying medieval structure. Despite these alterations, the building, the oldest tree-ring dated domestic dwelling in Leominster, has retained its integrity and historical interest.

3 Church Street currently houses Montez Architecture Ltd, a RIBA Chartered Architects Practice. Founded by Christian Montez, a SPAB Scholar in 2019, the practice brings a youthful and dynamic approach to the field of architecture and historic building conservation. Their team, with an average age of under 30, is deeply rooted in Leominster, bringing a fresh perspective to the conservation and adaptation of historic structures.

Specializing in bespoke solutions for the alteration, extension, and repair of historic properties, Montez Architecture's expertise spans listed buildings, churches, and conservation areas, extending to modern developments in both urban and rural settings. Their in-house heritage consultancy services, including Heritage Statements, Heritage Impact Assessments, and Building Recording, complement their architectural work, ensuring a comprehensive approach to the conservation and restoration of historic buildings. Found out more by visiting the Montez Architecture website.