BIG changes are coming to a historic Herefordshire building.

Number three Church Street in Leominster, which currently houses Montez Architecture, will be greatly remodelled in order to reflect and celebrate its half-millennia of history.

Originally constructed in 1455, the building served as a jettied shop featuring an overhanging upper storey that extending beyond the ground floor. This architectural feature not only maximised space but also showcased the timber framing technique prevalent during the era whilst providing a covered area on the street to sell one's wares.

The building's main range and its transverse wing share the same medieval origins, hinting at a complex history intertwined with the town's economic and social life.


The ground floors chamber ceiling, which is adorned with highly decorated joists and coffered floorboards, is believed to have originated from another location, likely repurposed during the period of the dissolution of the monasteries from 1536 to 41. This element, along with the building's near-complete timber framing and original plan form, offers a fascinating glimpse into Leominster's medieval past.

Around 100 years after its construction, the ground floor was embellished with a painted scheme and frieze, adding to the building's aesthetic and historical value.

The 18th century saw the building refronted in brick, and in 1903, it received its current shop front a change made with little regard for the underlying medieval structure. Despite these alterations, the building, the oldest tree-ring-dated domestic dwelling in Leominster, has retained its integrity and historical interest.

Montez’s restoration plans include repairing the shop front with careful recreation of mouldings to splice in new timber, installing new window sills, designing a new shop sign with hand-painted sign-writing, and adding new frosting to match the original.

They will also apply a fresh coat of paint in a historic dark green and plan to reinstate the brass railings that once adorned the windows.