The form and Style of Buildings

The villages and hamlets that comprise Micheldever parish have evolved as diverse agricultural communities over many centuries, and consequently a great variety of buildings, building materials and architectural details are present in the housing stock.


There are many thatched properties, some dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. Virtually all are "individual" in design. Thatched dwellings are usually timber framed and in-filled with brick or flint. Often the exterior walls are painted white, but there are examples of other light pastel colours being used. Some weatherboarding, usually painted black, has been used in buildings dating from the 16th century onwards. Other properties, some large and impressive, date from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Many have been extended, to meet the demands of their owners, using 20th century materials to incorporate increased accommodation or additional modern facilities.

A little more than half the village houses were built in the 20th century, often replacing more ancient dwellings that were not considered worthy of renovating and improving. While individual in style, many modern properties contain features compatible with the older housing stock. They tend to be set back from the road, usually screened by walls or hedges. Plot sizes are generous. Most buildings are single or double storied, with very few of three stories.

There are no large modern estates. Local authority housing, constructed in stages at Southbrook Cottages, some built of brick and others of timber, was designed to integrate well with other village homes. Hawthorn Close is a small development of ten modern "executive" homes tucked away off Winchester Road. A development of about 20 low-cost affordable houses, built in 1990/1 at Dever Close, is recognised as a good example of how to integrate affordable housing into a rural setting.

Micheldever Station

Micheldever Station has a variety of housing styles and materials. Buildings of interest include the railway station, the public house, the "Old Stores" and adjoining cottages built in 1896 and designed by Edwin Lutyens for Lord Northbrook and 17th century Warren Farm House, the latter lying within and retaining its traditional farmyard atmosphere. In addition, The Tower House, Northbrook Farm House and Bridge Cottages are noteworthy. They were constructed in Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee year in 1897 and were entered in a National Farm Building Competition in that year. A significant modern housing scheme occurred in 1990/1991 at Brunei Close consisting of about 40 houses. The style of these modern houses, set into a discrete cul-de-sac, is in keeping with the rest of the parish architecture and residents believe this is also a sympathetic and well-integrated development. "Mill Place" is the most recent development providing a variety of properties to meet a range of housing needs.

East Stratton

East Stratton housing consists mainly of thatched properties, most of which were built in the 19th century, but many 17th and 18th century buildings also exist. The majority of dwellings are Grade II Listed and the village is an important Conservation Area. In the middle of the 20th century the District Council and the Forestry Commission erected a dozen "modern" homes. These properties extended the village southwards as far as Cold Harbour. The village is an architectural gem to be zealously guarded and conserved.

Conversion of agricultural and other structures into private residences

In recent years some redundant farm buildings have been converted into residences. The conversion of the redundant barns at Manor Farm, Micheldever into three large private homes in 1992, is a fine example of the way that such work should be undertaken. Even more impressive is the conversion of the redundant barns and farm buildings at Church Barns, East Stratton into half a dozen dwellings, completed in 1999/2000. Two barns have been converted into cottages in West Stratton. The former school at Micheldever Station, and the Forge at The Crease, Micheldever, have also been converted to private residences.

Commercial and light industrial buildings

Commercial and light industrial buildings are generally nondescript with little architectural merit. Exceptions are the conversion into offices of a single-storey redundant farm building at Cowdown Farm, Micheldever; a conversion of farm buildings at Burcot Farm, East Stratton; and the construction of light industrial units at the Calvert Centre, Woodmancott, on the site of a former piggery. The conversion of a barn into offices at Warren Farm Lane, Micheldever Station, is also noteworthy. It was moved, timber by timber, from Borough Farm Micheldever and reconstructed on site at the end of the 1980's. These four different design approaches to the conversion or re-use of redundant agricultural buildings are excellent models for future conversion proposals.

In the following pages attention is drawn to specific features of the vernacular architecture of the parish, with Guidance Notes that suggest how new buildings or developments might be designed to incorporate these.


There are many properties with thatched roofs in Micheldever. Other roofs generally use natural slate, small hand-made clay tiles or other forms of plain or interlocking tiles.The use of solar panels should be introduced to the existing street scene with sensitivity. There is a variety of gables, half gables, hips and half-hips, the pitches varying with the materials used. Many eaves are open with exposed rafter ends, while others are enclosed with soffits and fascias. There are few examples of decorative bargeboards, but where these appear they create a distinctive feature, such as at Old School House, East Stratton, and at Bridge Cottage, Micheldever Station.


SB1thatching should, wherever possible, be undertaken in the Hampshire tradition, preferably using long straw. Combed wheat reed is an acceptable alternative
SB2thatched ridges are not traditional, but are now commonplace and feature on many properties
SB3clay tiles or natural slate should be utilised, if thatch is not appropriate
SB4concrete tiles should be avoided


The walls of timber-framed houses usually comprise infill elevations of flint, facing brick or painted brickwork, and some are rendered and painted. Walls of many other houses are also rendered and painted, usually white. A small amount of weatherboarding, frequently painted black, can be found on 16th century through to 20th century dwellings. Facing bricks are generally multi-coloured red/brown. Tile-hanging to the upper storey is featured on some dwellings, employing both rectangular and decoratively shaped plain tiles.

SB5red/brown bricks with traditional flint elevations should be utilized whenever possible
SB6associated tile-hanging to the elevations of a building should be compatible in style, size and colour
SB7in some locations timber weatherboarding may be used to clad walls, garages and outbuildings as an alternative to the materials mentioned above, where this is characteristic of the locality


"Georgian" casement, usually painted white, is the predominant window type. Some properties retain leaded lights featuring either small rectangular or diamond panes. There are some flat dormer windows but gabled dormers are more common and are considered more suitable. Only a small number of properties feature sash windows.

SB8should match the existing type on the same or neighbouring buildings
SB9if dormer windows are included in a design they should be gabled


There are many different door types throughout the parish reflecting the changing construction techniques over the centuries, with a particularly wide variety on modern houses. Those built during the latter half of the 20th century have doors ranging from fully glazed to solid flush, with many designs imitating to a greater or lesser extent the traditional forms. Earlier properties usually feature planked, braced and battened doors.

SB10planked, braced and battened doors should be used in new and renovated buildings
SB11the inclusion of small glazed panels within the door, at head height, is common, is suitable for existing housing stock and for new buildings, and should be included if possible
SB12fanlights, if used, should be above the door head, not integral in the door

Porches & Conservatories

Porches on older buildings vary in character both in materials and formality, reflecting the design of the buildings they serve. Thatched, tiled and slated porches exist, usually with a pitch that compliments the roof pitch. Flat roofed porches are uncommon, unless they are leaded. Conservatories tend to be modern, and the use of UPVC is almost universal.

SB13porches should be constructed to give the appearance of being part of the original structure
SB14conservatories should be visually unobtrusive, built behind the building line
SB15glazing should compliment the building's glazing pattern
SB16should have a similar roof pitch falling in the same direction as the building's roof


All the older properties and many of the 20th century houses have chimneys with pots in a wide variety of styles. There is no traditional "Micheldever" chimney pot. The resulting diversity of styles and sizes adds to the village scene, and the retention of chimneys and their pots is to be encouraged. The absence of a mains gas supply means that many householders continue to use wood and coal to heat their homes, so that chimneys are an essential architectural feature.

SB17whenever possible new dwellings should include chimney stacks and pots
SB18the removal of existing chimney stacks and pots should be avoided

Domestic garages

Garages are, of course, a 20th century feature and a wide variety of types ranging from timber to concrete to brick exist in the villages. Most have been built on or behind the building line of the property to which they belong, and this is to be encouraged. Those that have been built in front of the building line tend to be more intrusive on the street scene. Some have been built with storage rooms or small "home offices" in the roof space. Generally these have been sympathetically designed. Recently a number of garages have been built that are similar in structure to farm buildings or small barns, and these make a pleasing addition to the street scene in the villages.

SB19garages should be sited on or behind the building line
SB20materials used should harmonise with and reflect the style of the property served


These vary in construction from flint to shingle, from tarmacadam to block paving. Materials are generally appropriate to the local scene and to the building that the driveway serves.

SB21should be constructed to prevent the materials used from migrating on to the public highway
SB22that consist wholly of brick paving or brick imprint concrete should be avoided

Plot Boundaries

Low boundary walls in brick and flint (or plain brick) often with pointed or "half round" capping, are common within the parish. Short traditional picket fences front many properties. Hedges are frequently used to mark plot boundaries, and when kept short they enhance the rural nature of our settlements. These varied plot boundary treatments contribute significantly to the local character. While high hedges do front some properties, they can cause great vision difficulties and arouse traffic accident fears for pedestrians, children and horse riders.

SB23low boundaries of natural features (brick, flint, picket fences, hedging) should relate to the boundary materials of neighbouring plots
SB24walls, hedges and picket fences are preferred to close-boarded timber fencing in defining boundaries that are visible from highways and footpaths
SB25hedging should be planted using indigenous plants, with the hedges set back from the road to give adequate sight-lines for vehicles exiting from properties, and for pedestrians in the road

Alterations to existing properties - general comments

When designing alterations to existing houses, the owners, designers and developers need to be sensitive to the existing local environment. They should ensure proposals are in harmony with the local context, protect local character, and visually improve areas where local character might have previously been eroded. Innovation is generally welcomed, particularly when it acts to reflect the building traditions of Micheldever and can be recognised as relevant to the locality. Each proposal to alter or improve a property should be considered on its merits. It is important that good quality materials are used. Sufficient details should be included in the design to ensure, while maintaining individuality and style, that any alteration results in the dwelling integrating well with the original structure and its surroundings.


Proposals to alter, extend, convert or subdivide existing properties should:

SB26use materials and components that match or enhance the existing building
SB27aim to conform with existing proportions of window to wall, and the design of the roof, especially where they impact on the existing "street-scene"
SB28reflect the character of adjacent frontages, where properties form part of a group
SB29ensure existing walls, boundary hedges and trees are retained where possible, or replaced
SB30conserve the existing open areas and views from the property to be altered
SB31not increase on-street parking requirements
SB32ensure that large dwellings, even when converted, retain the existing curtilages