Recently there have been two applications for planning permission in the historic core of Henley, which have potential archaeological implications. The County Archaeologist and SODC Planning have been contacted and we have been assured that archaeological conditions will be attached to any planning consents.
The first application concerns the long burgage plot behind No. 18 Hart Street which currently is occupied by a kiln and long malt house.
The application is for conversion of part of the rear section into two dwellings. Excavations for drainage, new flooring and possibly wall underpinning will be subject to an archaeological condition.
The proposed division into separate dwellings as well as offices (part of an earlier application) will bring many alterations and will inevitably destroy much of this special interest of the very last of the many maltings Henley once had.
The buildings were listed Grade II in 2010 following an investigation by English Heritage. The designation was justified for the following principal reasons:
- Architectural: These are buildings ranging from the late C17 /early C18 to late C19 and typical of the region, demonstrate the specific functions related to malting.
- Intactness: The sequence of buildings, complete with kiln and heavy cistern and malt floors consistent with maltings demonstrate special interest.
- Rarity: the most intact range of maltings in Henley where these buildings were once numerous.
- History: the buildings relate to documentary evidence of the continued use of the maltings from the mid-C18 to late C19; malting formed a significant part of Henley's economy from at least the C17.
The second application is for the plot behind No. 15 Thameside which was the yard used by the Parrot family of boat hirers for many years, but was originally part of the long Hart Street burgage plot of the former Rectory of St. Mary’s. This is recorded as having many outbuildings such as a barn and stables, and even a fish pond. The application is for two houses on this plot replacing an assemblage of sheds. It would be interesting to find out more of the previous uses of this garden and back yard of the former rectory.