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Conservation Area

Ringwood This market town grew up at a crossroad beside an important crossing point of the River Avon. The conservation area is large and extends beyond the historic core of the town. The character of the edge of the town is varied; 18th and 19th century residential roads, turn of the century suburbs, and the remains of village lanes with thatched cottages. There are over 70 listed buildings of all kinds dating from different periods, ranging from the Church of St Peter and St Paul (Grade II*) to the Jubilee Lamp in the Market Place and including the bridge over the River Avon. Much of the historic fabric and layout of plots has survived despite severe redevelopment pressures and new road construction. A real effort has been made recently to improve the quality of spaces in the town including the Market Place and Friday's Cross.

The Domesday Book mentions a church and a mill in the town and there were at least two other mills including one at Bickerley. The last Town Mill, close to the church, was demolished in 1936 to make way for the first bypass which irretrievably altered the relationship between the town and the river. A weekly Wednesday market has existed since 1226 when a charter was granted by Henry III. For at least 300 years there was probably a Market House. The last one was erected in 1734 and demolished in 1867 to make way for the new Town Hall and Corn Exchange but parts of it have been reused and can be seen today in a building on the south side of the Market Place by Lynes Lane.

adobe icon Veiw the Conservation Area Appraisal [2Mb],
adobe icon View the map [997kb].

These are key features in the conservation area:

  • The parish church of St Peter and St Paul was rebuilt in 1853 re-using the stone from the previous church. The chancel was designed as an exact replica of the 13th century one. The cruciform plan was retained although the nave was lengthened.
  • Clark's Almshouses (Grade II) were built in 1843 with an endowment from William Clark (1763-1841) a devout Presbyterian and leader of the Ringwood Meeting House who is interred in a vault at the parish church. Although built in the Tudor Revival style it was the first building in Ringwood recorded as having a damp proof course and cavity walls.
  • The Market Place has been resurfaced to recreate an important public space and provide a better setting for surrounding buildings and improved definition of market stall layout and car parking. Carefully designed street furniture and tree planting also help to improve this well used space.
  • The redevelopment of the old cattle market was designed to retain the granary and other original buildings within their historic curtilage while at the same time providing modest scale new building and enhanced landscaping.
  • The Meeting House (Grade II*) dated 1727 is a very good example of an early non-conformist chapel complete with box pews now run as an exhibition centre and local history museum.
  • 18-20 Market Place (Grade II) is one of three buildings in Ringwood faced with mathematical tiles. It has seen many changes in nearly 300 years - the Crown Inn until 1801, a bank, a private house, and, more recently, council offices. Restoration will emphasise its prominence as a feature of the Market Place.

These are some of the things that make Ringwood special - they need to be looked after:

  • History
    The Market Place.
    The pattern of medieval burgage plots and lanes south of the High Street.
  • Buildings
    The mixture of 17th - 19th century small scale buildings, mostly brick with tiled roofs such as 80-86 Southampton Road and Bickerley, and thatch in Coxstone Lane.
    Impressive 18th century town houses such as Manor House, Bridge House and Greyfriars.
    Mathematical tiles exist on three buildings, including 18-20 Market Place.
  • Landscape/Townscape
    Market Place with the Jubilee Lamp is the main focal point of the town.
    Bickerley Common is a historic open space between the town and the mill stream which was used for cricket and football in the 19th century.
    The pedestrian routes into and around The Furlong Centre provide links to the older shopping areas.
  • Setting
    The old western approach to the town, over the River Avon and Mill Stream still follows the original alignment.
  • Potential for enhancement
    The impact of new roads, such as the point where Southampton Road is cut by Mansfield Road.
    The bus station area on West Street.
    Improvement of pedestrian links especially the ancient footpaths.
Updated: 1 May 2015
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