The development comprised of the refurbishment, part reconstruction and part extension of the buildings at 23, 25 and 27 the Old High Street, Folkestone, extending onto the gap site at 29 Old High Street. The buildings in this area have great heritage value.
23 and 25 are shown as a single building in the 17th century, standing on a large cellar, with large open rooms on ground and first floors and an original floored attic. In 1650, 23-25 was owned by a licence victualler, so there is speculation of a public house there. By 1688 it was used as a butcher’s shop with a slaughterhouse at the rear. No. 23 Old High Street still incorporates significant amounts of 17th century fabric.
By 1851, 23-25 had been subdivided into two premises and 23 was bought by a miller operating a windmill on Cheriton Road. The shop initially sold corn and subsequently became a bakery. No. 25 probably became a greengrocer at this time and subsequently by 1889 was taken over by a confectioner and pastry cook.
23 continued as a bakery until it became the “Little Dog Shop” around 1934, selling mostly dog food. Later it became an antiques shop for some time until it was taken by Goldpoint Jewellers in 1996, who extended into 25.
25 remained a confectioner in the hands of various owners until around 1938, when it is listed as a toy dealer. Around 1970, the toy shop extended into 27. We have less evidence of the history of 27, but we know it largely shares a common history with 23 and 25.
The upper end of the High Street was severely damaged by shellfire on 12 March 1943 when parts of the Earl Grey Pub and World's Stores were destroyed, along with the Folkestone Express offices at number 31, now the gap between 23-27 Old High Street and the Big Boys Fine Burger Co.. The blast may also have prompted the unsympathetic refacing of no. 27.
In 1972, one Councillor suggested demolishing the street altogether and rebuilding, but its heritage value was recognised and it was then included in the Folkestone Conservation Area and therefore protected. Around 1973, the High Street was renamed the Old High Street.
In March 1975, no. 23 and 25 were listed. For the past 5 or 6 years, all the buildings have stood empty and the first and second floors have become infested with pigeons.