Leigh Street Furniture Heritage Conservation Area

We designated Leigh Street Furniture Heritage Conservation Area in December 2006. The designated area includes all the important elements of the chair making industrial community in the least altered industrial area to be found in High Wycombe.

High Wycombe was a world famous furniture making town, its chairs exported all over the world. The industry moved from small workshops to modern factories in the last decades of Queen Victoria's reign and many of these remained in production until after the Second World War. One of the leading chair and furniture makers of the pre-war era was William Birch. His factories of 1901 and 1913 to 1926 survive to the south of Leigh Street.

To the north, along Victoria Street are the former workshops of George Holt & Co, another leading chairmaker. These are of traditional earlier form, that is a brick ground storey and a boarded timber upper storey. This building is Grade II listed. The area around the factories represents the industrial and social history of the area in a very compact and coherent way. It includes some artisan housing for the factory workers, their school and two of their pubs. Within the tightly drawn boundary are most of the elements of the industrial community that made Wycombe the nationally important centre that it was from the later 19th century onwards.

A conservation area appraisal was prepared in April 2012 and adopted in November 2012. The adopted conservation area appraisal document may be downloaded below.