The Hare and Hounds public house on the A4 is famous for having been the residence of Moses Pickwick, founder of the celebrated Moses Pickwick Coaches. Charles Dickens, in traveling this route became acquainted with Mr. Pickwick and his unique history and gave his name to the “Pickwick Papers”. The Ostlers House was at that time a stable block and associated accommodation connected to the Hare and Hounds.
In July 2002 North Wiltshire District Council approached Wiltshire Historic building Trust regarding the outbuildings at the Hare and Hounds which for some years had been on the Buildings at Risk list. Apart from limited use as a beer store the building was empty and neglected. The Trust acquired the property and commissioned Harrison Brookes Architects to undertake the project to convert the existing beer store to residential accommodation whilst at the same time repairing and enhancing the historic fabric. The Trust was extremely keen to ensure that the works were of the highest quality and were to act as an exemplar of good craftsmanship in an area of the town that was rapidly being denuded by substandard work.
The project involved some careful design work to introduce a new staircase into the heart of this very small building and achieve the maximum usable internal space.
The masonry works forming part of this project involved a number of different skills and included dry stone walling, banker masonry, letter cutting, stone carving, stone repairs, gravity grouting and lime rendering.
Once complete this Grade II listed building was sold on at no loss and is currently used as 5 star holiday accommodation.