Friends Of The Tumbledown Dick release their own Heritage Assessment report


Read the FTTD Heritage Assessment Report here.

Further to the commissioning of a Heritage Assessment report by RBC undertaken by

The Tumbledown Dick 1922

The Tumbledown Dick 1922

Turley Associates, we as a Community group, believe it to be a fundamentally flawed and poorly researched document missing significant evidence of the historical and architectural importance and value of this treasured asset to Farnborough.

It would be a tragedy for Rushmoor Council to allow just this evidence alone to sway opinion on the future of this building once the planning application is submitted by McDonald’s. As you may know, we as a campaign have submitted our own application for listing to English Heritage and we believe the outcome of this should have been awaited, rather than the Council pre-empting this by commissioning their own report, this is very unusual.

In the meantime, as a response to the Turley report, we have felt it necessary to publish our own Heritage Assessment Report findings. Please find attached our report which has been written without the benefit of access to the building, but nonetheless, you will see that a huge amount of research has been undertaken in libraries, museums and online. All this information is in the public domain and we are most surprised that Turley Associates overlooked nearly all of it.

The Tumbledown Dick 1782

The original of this painting (1782) was copied for an article in the The Graphic, Illustrated London News in 1891 and was edited to remove “offensive” material (a man who is probably the driver to the left of the image)

You may be aware that The Farnborough Society requested that the Tumbly be added to their proposed list of ‘Buildings of Local Importance’  but for some reason it never made the final list or any comment whatsoever passed on it, despite the TFS querying this, it being one of the oldest buildings in Farnborough and it being a Hampshire Treasure as stated in Hampshire Treasures Vol 3.

In the event there is any confusion or misunderstanding, let us clarify that Friends of the Tumbledown Dick has been formed as a Community Interest Group in order to enact our right to bid under the Localism Act to save a local treasured building for community use. We hope to obtain listing status of the building following our own application to English Heritage who are reviewing it now. We will also be submitting our report attached to English Heritage. We wish to see off the McDonald’s bid and we have significant local population support for our campaign plus of course considerable press interest. We wish to acquire the building and if we are able to use our ‘right to bid’ we will be granted 6 months leeway to fund raise in order to buy the building, following a new district valuer valuation of the existing bricks and mortar value of the site. Please note, it is our view that McDonald’s are offering to pay significantly more than the value of the site due to what they consider future value of the cinema complex and as they are intending to increase the boundaries of the site to accommodate their drive-thru, neither of which will be part of our future needs and will not be a factor in any new valuation.

Also the BBC have taken an interest in our campaign and have started filming from the last demo we did and will be airing a documentary on Inside Out show in February about our campaign.

9 thoughts on “Friends Of The Tumbledown Dick release their own Heritage Assessment report

  1. Anthony Pawley

    Gentlemen, please do not tear down your country’s heritage. I do not mean to compare the two events as to the relative age, size or the relative importance to the host country’s culture, but I’m sure you were shocked as was I, when the Taliban destroyed the Standing Buddahs in their country. The Tumble Down Dick is woven into the fabric of the country and area in which it sits, and is IMPORTANT to the citizens of your country which love it and use it. The Tumble Down Dick has been standing for SO many years! Is another McDonalds so desperately needed?!

    Most Sincerely,

    Anthony Pawley

  2. Rob

    The image “The Graphic, Illustrated London News in 1891″ (and some information in your independent report) is not the Tumbledown Dick in Farnborough – it is the Castle public house on Crown Hill in Alton. The Crown was called the Tumble-Down Dick until circa 1870.

    1. Scotty Post author

      Rob, thank you very much for adding your info.
      However, if you read the report, you will see that this point is raised and you can see the relevant discoveries in Appendix 2 –
      Appendix 2
      The Tumble Down Dick at Alton
      The location of the Tumble Down Dick as depicted in the painting by Thomas
      Rowlandson was wrongly attributed to Alton. Further research is required to
      establish the date of attribution and if in fact it was ever made by the artist.
      Historian Jane Hurst states in her correspondence:
      I know the picture that you refer to – it was certainly
      not the Alton establishment! Ours has always had a smallish plot as
      can be seen in our map of 1665.
      It seems that Rowlandson got muddled when giving captions to his
      pictures – our building being on a hill with others all around since
      at least 100 years before the picture. Our posting inn was the Swan
      and the other inns were the Crown and George [the White Hart had
      ceased in his day]. Our TDD had no way of taking coaches and was only
      a beer house.
      The Alton Tumble Down Dick location and design (which is contrary to the
      watercolour) is directly opposite the museum in Alton at the top of the very steep hill
      and has not changed in construction since the 1600s. The public house was for
      many years known subsequently as “The Castle” and can be easily seen in the “Frith
      Collection” series of photographs from 1967 and is currently a coffee house/retail
      unit within the original Georgian construction as can be seen in current Google road
      The Mary Evans Picture Library has changed the location to Farnborough.

  3. DN

    Very interesting read. So much better than the disinformation coming out the Turley Associates version.

    My sister owns a grade 2 listed building built in the 1930’s, famous architect apparently but not much else (few visits by the Iron Lady and certain Royalty over the years before she owned it but nothing historically important), So TA’s assumptions that a building must be a certain age to be considered by English Heritage for listing is just not fact, yet they call themselves “experts” (???).

    Your report is packed with documented evidence of the Tumbly’s age, local and national heritage – an amazing effort to bring this information together.

    I really hope those involved here that have shown such care for our local heritage actually consider standing for the next local elections; as the current lot don’t seem to care.

  4. Norman Sense

    The name appears to be a great deal older than the pub. English Heritage have rejected the listing application and confirmed the building dates from the early 19th Century, perhaps your website needs an update?

    1. Scotty Post author

      We are of course appealing against the desk based decision by English Heritage.
      They, like our heritage team, have not carried out an on site survey to confirm the earlier building of circa 17th century that Turleys identified in their report. In any case, buildings constructed before 1840 are of importance and English Heritage acknowledge the construction of early to mid 19th Century origin.

      The Turley report repeatedly states the building was refronted in the 1950s but as yet eveidence of this has not been provided and the statements seem contrary to the appearance of the building shown in photographs from the turn of the last century.”

  5. Soo Small

    I find it very disturbing that the both Borough and County Council appear keen to let this lovely building be destroyed without benefit of a detailed examination and published report of evidence.
    Why is there never any actual evidence provided to support what they say? There doesn’t appear to have been any really serious investigation into the building at all. So what exactly are our public servants basing their opinions on? It certainly is not facts.

  6. Pingback: Buildings of Local Historical Importance in Aldershot and Farnborough « Keithpp's Blog

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