Plans submitted to turn Rainham Hall’s 18th century bakehouse into second-hand community bookshop

Views of Rainham. Rainham Hall

Views of Rainham. Rainham Hall - Credit: Archant

The National Trust is hoping to turn a historic bakehouse building at the Grade II listed Rainham Hall into a second-hand community bookshop, planning documents have revealed.

Views of Rainham. Rainham Hall

Views of Rainham. Rainham Hall - Credit: Archant

Havering Council has confirmed the National Trust submitted a planning application on February 7 seeking permission to install electric lighting and an electrical supply in the currently unused space , which is built onto the side of the listed stable block building just off Rainham Broadway.

The stables were built during the first half of the 1700s, with the bakehouse built sometime shortly thereafter. The main building was built in 1729.

In terms of heritage significance, the bakehouse's worth is derivedn from the glimpse it gives us into that period's domestic fittings - consisting of a much-damaged bread oven that was once attached to the side of a much larger fireplace.

According to a National Trust document drawn up in 2012, the bakehouse supplemented the hall's smaller ground floor kitchen and provided a space where activities such as fireside cooking, which would have been too large a fireplace inside the hall, could be carried out nearby.

Views of Rainham. Rainham Hall

Views of Rainham. Rainham Hall - Credit: Archant


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In documents submitted alongside the planning application, the National Trust writes: "The work is necessitated to allow light fittings to be installed to the bakehouse.

"This will bring this currently unused space into use as a secondary retail space, either as a second-hand community bookshop or botanicals retail space.

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"It is intended to add fire detection measures at the same time. This will improve fire safety for the building and the adjacent stables building."

The quantity of work would be minimised to ensure as little damage as possible to surrounding areas, and the location of electrical sockets carefully chosen to maximise coverage while minimising the number actually required.

"This scheme, while modest in scope, will provide an appropriate level of power to the building," the application continues.

"Every effort has been made to ensure that the proposed development is balanced with the significance of the building and its use."

Any residents wishing to view the plans in more detail or comment on the application can visit havering.gov.uk/planning.

Residents can also email comments to planning@havering.gov.uk or write to Planning Control, Mercury House, Romford, RM1 3SL.

All comments must be received by March 4.

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