Highlights of the Sutton Coldfield High Street Conservation Area
The High Street Conservation Area is located slightly to the North of the main shopping district in Sutton Coldfield and covers a region spanning 16.95 hectares (41.87 acres).*
The Conservation Area is a valued asset to the district, through its special architectural buildings and historical heritage and this was recognised on 28th November 1973 when the area received its designation. The original zone covered 3.86 hectares (9.54 acres)* and has been extended a further three times in 1975, 1980 and 1992.
To protect the character of the buildings within the designated zone, parts of the area received an Article 4 Direction. This was placed on 10th April 1984 meaning planning permission for minor changes, including alterations to the roof, removal or construction of a gate or fence, exterior painting of the building, is now required.
There are a number of Statutorily and Locally Listed Buildings spanning the three principal character areas within the Conservation Area:
The High Street Conservation Area in Sutton Coldfield was chosen for designation for a number of outstanding reasons, including being the home of Birmingham’s only illustration of the emergence from a medieval market settlement into a small country town and most recently of its expansion into a large city district.
From its inception in the twelfth century, evidence of the town rising up on the main junction at Mill Street, High Street and Coleshill Street, important routes between Birmingham to Lichfield and from Coleshill and Warwick, are still visible today. This includes the trilateral shape at the junction representing the presence of a marketplace; the Holy Trinity church built on a predominant site above the junction to the south; and the linear settlement around the main roads, particularly on the eastern side.
There are some outstanding examples of the early evolution of the town, including the Grade II Listed 1-3 Coleshill Street which dates back to the fifteenth or sixteenth century; 57-59 Coleshill Street also dates back to the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century and was constructed with a timber-frame; 1 High Street was built in 1623 from stone and replaced the White Inn after a fire caused its destruction; and in 1630, 5-7 High Street (Vesey House) was erected using brick, the first of its kind in the town.
The town still maintains its close connections with its transformation, during the eighteenth century, away from vernacular to classical architecture. New buildings, constructed to accommodate the affluent tradesmen and professionals, who chose to reside here, were built or existing structures refronted, using brick rather than traditional stone and timber frame. The earliest representation of buildings using the new style, can be found at 20 High Street (Ivy House) built c.1700 and 36 High Street (Cull’s House) and 1 Coleshill Street, which both adopted a new classical façade c.1736 and c.1712 respectively.
The Historic Core: Mill Street, High Street, Coleshill Street and Trinity Hill
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