Martock Neighbourhood Plan - Built environment



Village centreThe Green. Martock village centre. Hamstone builtings dating from the eighteenth century

Home - Environment - Built environment  

Our Historic Built Environment

Martock is an ancient settlement known for its beautiful buildings. We have 163 structures listed by Historic England as of national importance. (Ilminster has 154, Crewkerne 167). Of these, about 150 are buildings and the rest are structures like walls, memorials and molestones. We have many other buildings that are important and attractive but are not nationally listed.

In the Neighbourhood Plan we want enhance and strengthen our reputation for beautiful buildings. We want to make sure that both new buildings and alterations to existing ones look good and fit in. This is not easy to do and we need to take note of the many attempts elsewhere to wrestle with this problem. This page tries to provide information and examples on how we might do this.

The Conservation areas
Our old street scene is preserved by Conservation Areas in Martock and Coat. The Martock Conservation Area includes the houses along the main road from Higher Street, Bower Hinton in the south as far as the Precinct. It also extends along to the end of East Street.
The Conservation Area does not stop development but ensures that building changes, or felling trees, can only happen if the street scene is preserved. For more, including a map, go to the Conservation Areas page.

The conservation areas
More on the conservation areas including maps




Locally listed buildings
The Sparrows Works building pictured has been the first view of Martock for people coming from the south for some 150 years. It is an important part of our history. It is a fine industrial building with many ‘Bower Hinton’ features such as the window lintels and the curved corners.

We could put it on a list of locally important buildings. These are buildings that are not significant nationally, and so are not on the Historic England list, but which are important to us in the village. We need help compiling such a list. More information on the conservation area page.


A 'Sense of Place'; the Village Design Statement
What do we like about Martock? What is it that makes Martock, Martock? Easy questions difficult to
answer. But we need answers if we are to ensure that new buildings 'fit in' and, we hope enhance old Martock.

The shape, function and layout of the old village was determined by its place along an ancient road in a valley bottom below low hills. The houses were built close together for warmth and security and, on the lower land the water supply was not far underground. This place defined the buildings.

But once we are in the village it is the buildings around us that give us the 'sense of place'. The buildings now define the place. We need to try and describe what is important about these buildings and how we can
ensure that new ones blend in with them but at the same time are of the 21st Century. This problem will be analysed in a supporting document, the Village Design Statement.

Fortunately, other villages have struggled with the dilemma of how to ensure that the new complements the old and help is available in the form of publications that offer advice. Five guides can be downloaded from links on the right.



Links to rural design guides

The Essex Design Guide. This was was produced some 20 years ago by Essex and set the standard for rural development guides.

The Hampsire Rural Design Guide. A similar more recent guide produced by Hampshire

The SSDC Guide for conserving historical assets (2016 draft)

The Settins of Heritage Assets. A Historic England guide on conserving the settings of important buildings

Affordable Rural Housing. A Historic England Guide on creating affordable housing in rural settings