Flat 21, Ladymead House, 110 – 112 Walcot Street, City Centre, Bath,
Ladymead House is a Grade II early-mid-19th century house and former Women’s Penitentiary, now Housing Association accommodation, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms the adjoining corner of the principal street-facing elevation of the Grade II mid-19th century Penitentiary Chapel which has also been amalgamated to form additional Housing Association accommodation. Ladymead House includes the two rear wings tucked behind the chapel that form an enclosed courtyard; both wings appear to be contemporaneous with or slightly later than the street-facing section of both buildings, with a less formal and simpler construction in a mix of Bath stone ashlar and rubble stone. A more formalised window layout and fenestration of six-over-six sash windows has been retained on the courtyard-facing elevations, with a mix of window sizes and styles on less significant ‘rear’ elevations that are now visible from areas such as Chatham Row.
BPT previously raised strong comments in response to application 21/02600/LBA for the replacement of windows in another flat within the same building. Whilst we supported, and continued to support the principle of thermally efficient window upgrades in this location, we previously concluded that the use of a standard specification double glazed sash window would not be in keeping with the special interest of a listed building and would not set a desirable precedent for further, possible window upgrades across the building in future.
In light of this latest application, we reiterate our support of energy retrofit where this is sensitive to and compatible with the special interest of a listed building and the character and appearance of the conservation area.
We take this opportunity to highlight the potential heritage gains and associated benefits as follows:
- The existing windows at Flat 21 are indicated to be aluminium-framed single glazed mock sash casements and as such are of NO historic or architectural value.
- The condition of the existing windows is given as poor “and of low thermal efficiency”, offering an opportunity for the fitting of a higher performance alternative. This in turn would ensure greater residential comfort through a more consistent internal temperature, as well as reducing emissions in line with the council’s net zero objectives.
- Proposed replacement with a timber-framed double hung sash window would reinstate the original fenestration style and profile of this Grade II building.
- Development has the potential to set a positive precedent for retrofit and establish a coherent window style and approach to be used across the building in its entirety as part of an anticipated programme of upgrades.
We are pleased to see the proposed use of slimlite units with through glazing bars, more materially and visually in keeping with the traditional material appearance and construction of the listed building. An ovolo profile is proposed; it would be helpful for ongoing clarity to include the proposed measurements of the glazing bars in thickness and depth. Whilst it is indicated that the majority of windows across the building, particularly the east-facing courtyard, have been replaced with metal equivalents, it may also be useful to draw on existing examples of six-over-six sash windows on the north elevation to ensure a coherence in glazing bar profile and finish.
BPT is ultimately supportive of the proposals; we would be very interested in working with the applicant to potentially monitor the thermal benefits of the windows pre- and post- installation to create a retrofitting case study that could be used to inform similar works to Bath’s listed building stock.