Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009
The day the High Town house moved
Black and whire building
The building as it is today, still in the 60s facade

In 1965, a 17th century black and white house, in Hereford's High Town, was moved on rollers to allow a new shop to be built.

The 70 ton building stood in High Town for some months while the shell of the new building was put up.

It was then moved back to a slightly different location, and incorporated into the new building.

The moving operation was carried out in a single weekend, to minimise disruption to city centre traffic.

British Pathe News film of the house move

House being moved
The operation to move the house took 14 hours

You can watch a film made by British Pathe News in 1965 of the house being moved through High Town in Hereford.

The film shows the special track used, and the 70 ton building being pulled along by an ordinary lorry.

Large crowds turned up to watch the big move, and were allowed remarkably close to the building on its rollers.

Watch the British Pathe News film

Campaign to save

The house had once been part of Marchants Grocers, and had to be moved to make way for a new £300,000 store.

The city council insisted that the 17th century timber framed building was incorporated into the front of the new store.

Black and whire building
The old building is wrapped up in the new

This meant that the whole structure had to be moved to allow the building work to be carried out, and then moved back again.

The Hereford Times reported that Mr S L Beaumont, who'd been a leading figure in the fight to save the building, was on hand to watch it being moved.

The work was carried out by a 35-year-old civil engineer called John Pryke.

He was calmness personified when questioned about the difficulty of the operation by the Hereford Times, telling them: "There was nothing to it - we planned all this months ago, right down to the last detail."

The whole operation took 14 hours, and the building, on a special chassis of steel girders, timber and hydraulic jacks, stood in High Town, where the taxi rank was.

It was later moved back, and the facade of the new store was wrapped around it.

It can still be seen today, a 17th century oddity, wrapped in 60's architecture, as a memorial to some far-sighted town planners.

If you have any memories of the great house move, send an email to hereford@bbc.co.uk .




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