Conservation Areas in Harborough district - Smeeton Westerby Conservation Area

Record details

Title Smeeton Westerby Conservation Area
Description (character statements)

Smeeton Westerby Conservation Area covers the whole of the dual settlement of Smeeton and Westerby but excludes recent developments at Beaker Close, and at the entrance to Westerby Lane. Smeeton is to the north and Westerby the south west, but there is now no strong physical division.

Smeeton lies either side of its sinuous 400m-long Main Street and its side roads leading off. At the northern entrance is Smeeton House, a large 19th century rendered house facing the road. The village houses lining the main road are mainly of red brick and slate, although many are colourwashed. There are two significant vista stops going south along Main Street. The first is in the middle where the street moves sharply around Debdale Farm at the staggered cross roads junction with Blacksmiths and Debdale Lanes. The 17th century iron-stone gable end of the Debdale Farmhouse faces directly up the street. This house of several rebuilds is partly timberframed with brick infill panels and forms one side of a farmyard court. The second vista is at the southern end of Main Street. Here the road falls slightly and widens to form an intimate enclosed space having a small central green with a specimen Robina (locust) tree. Directly in front facing up the Main Street is Westerby House, a compact 18th century red brick house with Swithland slate roof and neat garden wall with cast iron central gates. To the east is the similar sized mid 19th century Wrenbury House, also with a central doorway, low garden wall and cast iron central gates. Its former farmyard is alongside. Opposite to the west is a group of colourwashed cottages.

The road drops and curves to the west of Westerby House between tall brick walls to link with the less compact Westerby. This link section is marked by these red brick walls, the many trees in the garden within the road curve and the little mid 19th century Christ Church.

The settlement of the Westerby end of the Conservation Area is less compact then Smeeton and has no focal point. There are two distinct areas. The first is a large triangular open area (now allotments) within 3 roads which is the pit of former mineral workings. The Church and red brick churchyard wall faces one side. The space is overlooked on the west by houses on the west side only of Pit Hill. These include a tall 3-storey red brick terrace whose tallness is emphasised by the comparative depth of the pit. Other terraces are lower and at right angles. Pit Hill drops to the south by Highfields Farm House with its red brick gardens walls along the road.  

The second distinct area of Westerby is Westerby Lane. The main part runs parallel to the Mowsley Road, some 100 metres from it, and ends abruptly overlooking open country. Houses and cottages in red brick and render of the 18th and 19th centuries line this road with former farms and farmyards to the south. The 100 metres of the lane from the corner of its principal part to the Mowsley Road is now developed by mid/late 20th buildings. The special nature of Westerby Lane is its segregation from through traffic and the road network and its collection of varied older buildings.

Map of Conservation Area