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The Old Farmhouse Gilbert Street

  • circa 1550

with later additions

on the grounds that these matters are too subjective (what is the local style?) or too expensive.

As time goes on of course there is less of an ob- vious “local style” to conform to, and there’s a dan- ger of the village becoming indistinguishable from a suburban development, as has been the lot of many similar villages.

There are two Conservation Areas in the centre of the village where strict planning restrictions do play a role, though they cannot force the extensive overhead wiring to be placed underground, as this was installed prior to the granting of the conserva- tion area status. Some would say that in the relative balance of conservation and expenditure this would be worth doing.

As a result of this housing in Ropley is a wide mix- ture of the old and new, ranging from the 16th C (some earlier) to the modern buildings seen today, which vary from excellent to poor in the way they blend in with the village. Though the population is approximately double what it was 150 years ago the number of buildings is many times that. Previously cottages would have supported several times the number of people that live in them now, and may have been of the “wattle and daub” construction, without substantial timber framing, which once abandoned can sink back into the earth in a matter of a decade or two.

Chalk Cottage, Soames Lane

  • in typical

“local style”

Ropley at the Millennium — 17

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