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Churchill Conservation Area

Churchill Conservation Area was designated in 1991. It is based upon a rural hamlet containing buildings that date from the 18th. and 19th. Centuries, which are strung out with varying cohesion along a narrow winding lane; together with adjoining landscape features.

The Manor of Churchill is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. A church was constructed towards the southern end of the area during the 13th. Century, being replaced with the current church (of sandstone) in 1868.

An Act for enclosing Churchill Common was passed in 1773 and that began the current pattern of the settlement. Field boundaries have changed very little in Churchill since their creation.

A school was established in Churchill in 1798. The current school building, located at the southern end, was built in 1895 and has been converted into a house. The adjoining old School House is of a similar date and is now the Village Hall. There are three large houses within the Conservation Area standing in their own grounds and occupying important positions; Churchill House, Glebe House and Churchill Court. Church Farm is a working farm with several surviving traditional farm buildings. Churchill Old Farm Barns and one of Church Farm Barns have been converted into dwellings but survive as an indication of 19th Century agricultural architecture.

The predominant building material is red brick, with some of the older agricultural buildings including timber framing. Styles include polite Georgian, hints of gothic revival and rural vernacular. Traditional plot boundaries and outbuildings generally survive intact.

A stream runs parallel to the southern edge of the settlement and has been dammed to form a substantial pool in the eastern part of the Conservation Area. Associated with this is Baches Forge, an important group of industrial red brick buildings dating from the late 18th. and early 19th. This was the location for the local manufacturing of spades and shovels. These buildings and the pool are a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and form part of a network of water powered forges associated with the streams and pools in the vicinity.

Numerous deciduous trees throughout the Conservation Area add significantly to its character, opening and closing seasonal views and providing seasonal variations in colour. Trees line both banks of the stream that runs through the Area, as well as the banks of the forge pool. The western boundary of the Conservation Area includes a small hill covered with a patchwork of fields, hedges and trees, and accessible via public footpaths, which forms an important backdrop to the hamlet, particularly when viewed from the east.

There is an absence of street lighting in the Area, which helps it retain a rural and uncluttered feel.

The character of Churchill can be summed up as a rural hamlet containing: clusters of 18th and 19th Century cottages; some more stylish houses; important industrial buildings; and a church, bordered by and interspersed with attractive landscape features.

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