HCUK Group's archaeological department assisted the client in addressing a condition for historic building recording on planning permission for the proposed conversion and extensions to create a single residential premises at the site of 15 Ecton Street, Northampton, NN1 5RA. A written scheme of investigation for a Level 2 historic building recording was prepared and approved prior to the historic building recording work being undertaken.
The late 19th century building lies within the Northamptonshire Boot and Shoe Conservation Area and is a former workshop associated with the industry. The building was derelict and all internal fittings had been removed, but some features associated with its former use were visible within the structure such as the metal framed hopper opening windows, which were very characteristic of the industrial buildings within the Conservation Area. The large windows on the south façade indicate how important light was within these buildings to assist the workers.
Research enabled more information on the history of the building to be collated and demonstrated that it fitted into the category of a large workshop associated with the Boot and Shoe Industry. Such workshops were often attached to domestic houses which would typically have been the residence of the owner or manager. Map regression demonstrated that the building was a later addition to a former end terrace building. A doorway at first floor would have connected directly into the former domestic building, presumably the residence of the owner or manager. Kelly’s Directories for Northamptonshire shows that 15 Ecton Street is first mentioned in 1898, recorded as occupied by John Jackman, Boot Manufacturer.