History of 137 Corve Street

At first glance, Number 137 presents a handsome early-Georgian facade.  But behind the large oak door lies a fascinating complex of buildings and courtyards, ranging in date from Medieval to Victorian.

Like many properties in Ludlow, everything is contained within a long, narrow 'burgage plot', which was laid out in the 12th century.  The Medieval cellars remain, but the original house was destroyed during the English Civil War (1642-51).  It was rebuilt by the Hattam family, who lived here from the late 17th - late 18th centuries.  Walter Hattam (1706-84) was a master builder and carpenter who worked on some of Ludlow's principal public buildings.  He added spacious workshops to the back, and these were used subsequently by the various glovers, ironmongers, grocers and maltsters who owned 137 until the late 19th century.  

In the early 1890's, 137 Corve Street became a 'Temperance Hotel' (see black & white photo at left) and it remained a boarding house for nearly a century.  

When the last proprietress died, it was left to deteriorate.  In 1996, an architectural historian (who was also a Director of The Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, London) bought the property, determined to save it from ruin.  Although many original features were disguised under layers of paint, wallpaper and lino, they were largely intact — to a degree which was rare even in Ludlow.  The next owners undertook further painstaking restoration, and this continues to the present day.  

In 2011, 137 Corve Street won a special Conservation Award and HRH The Prince of Wales came to tour the property in 2012.

The Maltings

Malting is the process of fermenting grains — especially barley — for use in brewing, distilling and foodstuffs.  Until the early 1800's, Corve Street was well-known for its excellent glove makers and leather workers.  However, by the 1840's, foreign competition was sending the industry into rapid decline and malting was quickly taking its place.  Several properties in the area have malting ranges from this period.

The Maltings at 137 is rare in that it still retains its original brick-vaulted drying kiln (located under the bedroom floor).  It also belonged to the Marston family, Ludlow's foremost maltsters.  Their fine 19th-century mill warehouse — one of Ludlow's most distinctive Victorian buildings — is located just beyond the end of our garden.