Project: Westwick Cottage

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Westwick Cottage is Grade II* listed and widely acknowledged to be one of the oldest, continually inhabited houses in the United Kingdom. An aisled hall house, the house has been at times, sub-divided into cottages, although works by the previous owners consolidated the house in the 1950's. The house itself has been the cause of much study, with timbers from the earliest part of the house having been felled (dated by dendrochronological analysis) between 1184 and 1219.

The history of the property is well documented and in 1828 there is reference to a claim on the property to Edward Fearnly Whittingstall and Simeon Child.  The Fearnly Whittingstalls were originally brewers from Watford, who later ran a bank in Hemel Hempstead. And the celebrity chef of the same name is directly descended from this branch of the family.

The property was previously occupied by Sheila Macqueen MBE VMH, one of the foremost flower arrangers of her day. Mrs Macqueen is noted not only for providing flowers to Mrs Wallis Simpson in fashionable London in the late 1930's, but more importantly, being responsible for the flower arrangements in Westminster Abbey for the Queen's wedding and also assisting at the Queen's Coronation.

The property was in a poor state of repair and the present owner refurbished it to become his family residence.  The remedial works involve re-doing repairs that had been poorly carried out as well as strengthening the structure and general refurbishment.

David French Partnership acted as full Designers and Structural Engineers as well as Project Managers.  DFP prepared scheme drawings and schedules of works and delat with obtaining Listed Building Consent for the works.


Gary Kane