Context 162 - November 2019

40 C O N T E X T 1 6 2 : N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 9 TEGAN CORNAH, TIM CORNAH, EMILY HATHAWAY and SHEENA PAYNE LUNN Controversy at the Commandery and other tales While some of their renovations might now be thought harsh, their archive shows that Freddie and Mary Charles saved much of Worcestershire’s heritage from demolition. FWB ‘Freddie’ Charles (1912–2002) was an architect and nationally recognised expert on the conservation and repair of timber-framed buildings. He and his wife, architect Mary Charles (nee Logan, 1924–2005), set up a pri- vate practice, initially based in Bromsgrove and then in Worcester, that eventually specialised in the conservation and restoration of historic timber-framed buildings. Throughout their long careers Freddie and Mary were involved in the restoration of many important buildings, including the Ancient High House inStafford,theOldWhiteHart Inn,Newark (Notts) and over 250 buildings inWorcestershire, many of them of national importance. Their publications include the seminal Conservation of Timber Buildings , first published in 1984, and Medieval Cruck-building and its Derivatives: a study of timber-framed construction based on buildings in Worcestershire (Society for Medieval Archaeology Monographs, No 2, 1967). In terms of the practice’s wider influence, it was a training ground for many of the next generation of architects working on the conservation of timber buildings. The practice also completed the accelerated resurvey of listed buildings in Herefordshire andWorcestershire in the mid-1980s for English Heritage, resulting in a collection that documents many of our most important timber-framed buildings. The archive of FWB and Mary Charles Chartered Architects was deposited with Worcestershire Record Office (now part of Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service The Commandery, Sidbury elevation, after restoration and (from a different angle) before (Photos: Worcestershire County Council)