Our architectural picks of Lymington
We are fortunate to be based in the historic and picturesque town of Lymington, uniquely situated between the New Forest National Park and the sea. This stunning location nurtures us and inspires our work, as such we thought we would share some of our favourite architectural aspects of the town.
There is an abundance of interesting architecture around the town and numerous Listed Buildings, so many we could not share them all so felt it would be better to share our personal favourite points across the town, these are not necessarily the ‘best’ of Lymington but aspects which really resonates with us.
“Beautiful is Lymington, Terraced by the sea: Queenly from her wooded steep, She looks down upon the deep, Where on shining beaches leap Waves exultingly” - Songs of Lymington by Henry Doman
- The Burgage Plots, nominated by Wendy
‘Burgage’ is a Medieval land term. A burgage plot refers to a (“borough” or “burgh”) rental property, owned by a king or lord. The property “burgage tenement” usually consisted of a house on long narrow plot of land with a narrow street frontage. Lymington’s burgage plots were created at the foundation of the original Borough in 13c Medieval era. The layout of these plots, typically 100m in length and 9m in width, is the strongest reminder of the town’s Medieval origins and they are a key aspect of the conservation area.
The traditional burgage plots consist of long and narrow parcels of land, in Lymington these can be found run off at right angles from the High Street. The plots have been enclosed by high walls, creating a series of small and winding alleyways behind them in parallel to the High Street.
These confined narrow walkways have a sense of intrigue, twisting down the hill with the old textured brick walls on either side there is a slight feeling of claustrophobia to the space. The walls are punctuated by closed doorways, with no glimpses into the gardens beyond, it gives a magical feel for the secrets the gardens lying just beyond. Stanwells House Hotel is a wonderful example, abet a slightly grander than usual.
- Buckland Rings project, curated by SPUD youth, nominated by Ricky.
Buckland Rings is a well preserved Iron Age fort located to the north of the town, the banks and ditches enclose an area of about 4.5 hectares.
In 2017 SPUD youth developed a project to create a collection of installations in the site including new entrance for the site, information points and seating, previously there was little to highlight this important site.
The collective project beautifully evokes the hidden history of Lymington’s Iron Age past. A beautiful sculpture has been placed at the entrance, ‘Guardians of the Gates’ by Katie Surridge depicts two mysterious figures linger like shadows along the road, they appear like ghostly iron age warriors through the early morning mist, by day break they stand with the joys of spring and a new harvest.
At the highest point of the site an iron age inspired seat has been located, by artist Nicola Henshaw. The site, at the brow of the hill, was specifically selected to be reminiscent of the clans requirement to defend and working farm land to support life. The intriguing design was inspired by the tools used during the Iron Age period.
- Curved window, Six Bells pub, High Street, nominated by Ben
The Six Bells pub is located next to St Thomas’s church at the top of the hill on the High Street. The site was originally a pub which was destroyed by an incendiary bomb during WW2, it was then rebuilt in 1961 as home furnishing shop but converted back to a public house in 2012.
The window is an interesting and understated feature on a well-designed building with generous internal spaces and lots of light. It would have been much more challenging to produce and install curved glazing of this size 60 years ago than today and this shows architectural intent and the desire to create a building reflecting 60’s zeitgeist. The window is located just inside the pub, now overlooking a small sculpture garden and St Thomas’ church beyond, connecting the building to one of Lymington’s landmarks.
- Yellow Door, Twynham House, 64 High Street, nominated by Collette
Twynham House is a mid-terrace property, part of an 18th Century block of former houses which are now used as offices for professional firms, located at the top of the High Street adjacent to St Thomas’ church. Although this is a fine example of a Georgian period home, it is the door which I have selected.
There is something about the bright hue of the yellow door, complete with period lion door-knocker that I feel makes a positive design statement to the High Street. I feel this is a good example to highlight the importance of design detailing, often it is the small aspects of a building which linger longest with you.
- Crinkle Crankle Walls, Church Lane, Lymington, nominated by Nancy
The design of these walls are often misunderstood, the composition originally came due to necessity, rather than for aesthetic reasons. The design was popular during post war times, when materials were hard to come but labour was cheap.
The alternating concave and convex waves were introduced to give the walls strength, allowing the walls be built as in just a single skin rather than double brick.
An example of these walls can be found down Church Lane, on the boundary to Elm Grove House, which were believed to be constructed in the early 19th Century by Hanovian Soldiers exiled in the town. The walls are now beautifully weathered, with a texture which only can be achieved through age.
- The Cobbles, Quay Hill, nominated by Amy
Quay Hill is located at the bottom of the High Street, linking the town to the quay, paved with cobbles. Although Quay Hill is arguably the highlight of Lymington, with its Georgian townhouses flanking the cobbled street, meandering down the hill, the reason for picking this aspect of Lymington was more for the feel rather than the look.
When you walk on the Cobbles it is the feeling of them underfoot which I enjoy, a feeling of being integrated in the towns history and literally walking in the footsteps of past generations.