Old Bolsover Yard Historic Building Recording

The northeastern elevation of the cafe flat, facing onto Castle Street. © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020
South-east facing elevation of western-most outbuilding. © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020
The large wooden frame attached to the ceiling, which may have been used for lifting large animal carcasses. © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020

In July 2020, Archaeological Research Services Ltd undertook a descriptive and analytical building recording of the historic structures at Old Bolsover Yard, Castle Street, Bolsover with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This included an inspection of ‘The Coffee Cup’ café and the above flat, along with the outbuildings to the rear within ‘Old Bolsover Yard’ itself.

Bolsover is considered to be a planned fortified town, with the urban area probably laid out after the establishment of the castle in the 11th century. The clear linear grid pattern is now represented by Church Street, Middle Street and Castle Street. The site of ‘The Coffee Cup’ café is located within this medieval core which fronts Castle Street, with the outbuildings of ‘Old Bolsover Yard’ to the rear. Early maps suggest there was a building facing onto Castle Street from the late medieval period onwards, though extensive remodeling mainly in the 20th century has made it difficult to identify any surviving historic fabric.

The buildings within the site appear to have once been closely linked to the butchery trade, with records in trade directories and census returns for a butcher operating at the site since at least 1899. Whilst the main café/flat structure fronting Castle Street has been altered, the basement is relatively untouched and contains an original salting slab, comprising large blocks of sandstone propped up on red brick pillars, which were formerly used for curing meat and storing perishable goods. One of the outbuildings within Old Bolsover Yard also has a large wooden frame just below the roof line which was probably used to lift animal carcasses for butchering.

Archaeological Research Services Ltd