A HAMPSHIRE architecture and design practice has moved into the former offices of the Romsey Advertiser.

EP Projects has been looking for a base in central Romsey for three years and has now taken the lease at 21A Market Place. 

Jacob and Johnson Ltd, the owners of the Hampshire Chronicle and Romsey Advertiser, bought it in 1979 and after an intermediate transfer, it was purchased by the current owners, Jembir Estates, a long-standing family business in Hampshire, in 2008.

EP Projects has moved into the upper floor office, with Charters Estate Agents and Kit and Caboodle on the ground floor.

Hampshire Chronicle: 21A Market Place

Managing director Gary Wilburn said: “Our team is enjoying being in the town centre and the wonderful light levels in the main studio space provides an excellent working environment for our colleagues, clients and fellow consultants, within easy walking access of both the railway station and bus station.”

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Behind the deceptively modern appearance of the Victorian frontage, within its warren-like interior and sloping floors, the building conceals a history that dates back to the early 17th century.

In 1624, the yeoman Robert Thomas sold the freehold to Walter Godfrey of Broadlands, a wealthy clothier and weaver, for the sum of £60. Despite the family selling the property less than 50 years later, their descendants were later tenants of the property 200 years later.

Hampshire Chronicle: Market Place from the air

The property passed through the hands of various Romsey families until the early 19th century, when the properties, known as 5, 7 and 9 Market Place were divided and sold separately. After leasing the property and living above the shop for close to 40 years, the Ely family ultimately purchased No.7 (No.21) at the end of the First World War and held onto it for a further 40 years.

EP Projects is planning drop-in workshops at the office to allow members of the public and local business to attend and gain advice about their upcoming projects, construction, and planning queries. 

Hampshire Chronicle: 21A Market Place

The first is planned for Friday, December 1 between 3pm and 5pm.

James Lemanis director of architecture at EP Projects, said: “We hope to engage with the local community and encourage positive dialogue on both public and private projects to encourage the adoption of environmentally conscious and positive impact focussed approach to all building projects.”