The cottages of Black Swan Terrace had undergone varying levels of alteration throughout their lifetime. By far the least altered was 122. It had more of the original medieval structure surviving and able to be seen than any of the other buildings which would have made it extremely difficult to bring it in to use for any modern purpose. This meant that the aim of the trust to tell people about the history of the site could be achieved best by restoring it to something to show off the history, as opposed to turning in to an office or workshop.
Various changes have been made to the Weaver’s cottage, and the restoration tries to reflect this. It has been reinstated to its medieval appearance (circa 1540).
Because there is limited space in the Weaver’s House it was decided that the next cottage along, 121, was best used as an activity centre for the Weaver’s house. This house was mainly Georgian (18th Century) in its alterations and finishes, so we have restored it to mainly reflect that period.
Next (120) is a 19th century shop-front and we have rebuilt the ruin of Court 34 (also 19th Century).
At the end (119) the roof had already been raised and a 20th Century shop front had been installed, so we’ve left that to be an honest interpretation of the early 20th Century.
Behind 119 we have built a modern extension on the site of the old Court 33 building. This has allowed us to provide toilets for visitors and the shops, and to create a viable third apartment. This, together with our solar water panels and rainwater recycling, represent the 21st Century part of the development.
There is an important difference in restoration philosophy between here and, for example, the row of cottages in Tewkesbury (Abbey Cottages) where all were restored to be as they originally were, or the approach taken in medieval Spon Street.