An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 3, North West. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1934.
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46 LEOMINSTER (E.c.)
Leominster is a municipal borough and market-town 12 m. N. of Hereford. The town still retains a considerable number of its old timber-framed houses, of which some fourteen appear to date from the Middle Ages. Of the individual monuments, the Priory Church with an interesting 12th-century nave, the Market Hall (now Grange Court), and the houses numbered (6), (13), (41), (48), (76), (87), (114) and (138) are the most important.
a(1). Priory and Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul stands on the N.E. side of the town. The walls are of local sandstone rubble and ashlar with dressings of the same material; the roofs are lead-covered. There appears to have been a convent of nuns here, at least as early as the 9th century; this was dissolved in 1046. No trace survives of the buildings of this establishment. The manor of Leominster was granted by Henry I to his new Benedictine abbey of Reading in 1123, and the cell or priory of Leominster was probably established then or shortly after. To this date no doubt belonged the destroyed eastern arm and transepts, and the consecration of the altar of the Holy Cross soon after 1130 probably implies that the works had then extended to part of the existing nave. The original design of this nave was not proceeded with above the main arcades and probably extended W. only as far as the existing W. tower. The superstructure shows the adoption of an entirely different design and may date from about the middle of the 12th century; at the same time the central solid pier in each arcade was replaced by an open arch and its two responds were transformed into cylindrical piers. An alteration in alignment in the N. arch of the W. tower shows that this did not form part of the original design though the details are still indicative of a mid 12th-century date, much of the carving showing a close affinity with that at Shobdon, which is definitely dated before the middle of the century. It is, however, possible that the W. doorway, on which this carving occurs, was built before the tower was contemplated and that the tower itself was an addition with the reconstruction of the N. and S. arches supporting it. The North Aisle was built at the same time as the nave, and with it a S. aisle, of which only the base of the W. wall remains. The first addition to the church was the main South Nave, which replaced the original S. aisle in the 13th century; a dedication in the 5th year of Bishop Ralph of Maidstone (1234–40) probably indicates the date of this addition, which may have had an aisle on its S. side, of which there are no remains. At some uncertain period the central chapel of the main apse of the church was replaced by a much larger Lady Chapel, of which the foundations of the side walls have been found. The existing South Aisle and South Porch were added early in the 14th century, the 13th-century S. doorway and porch-entrance being re-set in their new position. Probably in the first half of the 15th century the upper part of the W. tower was re-built or added on a smaller scale than the substructure; it rests on an inserted E. arch and arches thrown across on the N. and S. sides of the earlier tower. About the same time the great W. window of the S. nave was inserted. The priory was suppressed in 1539, when the E. arm and transepts were demolished, and the E. end of the original nave built up; the E. bay of the N. aisle was perhaps destroyed at the same time. In 1699 a great fire demolished the roofs and the arcade between the S. nave and the S. aisle. The arcade was then re-built and the church restored and reopened in 1705; this arcade had pillars of the Tuscan order, but much earlier work was re-used in the arches. The original nave was restored under G. G. Scott in 1866, and the pavement lowered; the rest of the church was restored by the same architect in 1878–9, when the arcade piers were cut down to their present form, and an additional bay inserted at the E. end. The S. aisle was again restored in 1886, and the W. tower in 1891. The E. windows of the S. nave and aisle were inserted in 1923.
The destroyed Presbytery, Transept and Crossing were excavated in 1853, and some attempt has been made to outline the remains on the surface of the ground. The remains were again excavated in 1932. The general outline of portions of the building is partly preserved above ground, but little of this is actually ancient work, except for part of the S. wall of the S. quire-aisle, together with the lower part of the S. wall of the S. transept, which forms part of the boundary of the churchyard.
The excavations showed that the presbytery was apsidal with side aisles, ambulatory and three apsidal radiating chapels; no remains however were found of the eastern chapel, which was replaced in the 13th or 14th century by a larger rectangular Lady Chapel. The axis of the E. arm is tilted slightly to the S. from that of the nave. The arms of the transept were of unusual length, judging from the surviving remains of the S. transept, which had an apsidal chapel projecting to the E. of it. The partly surviving S. wall of this transept contains a 14th-century recess (see Fittings). The W. respond of the S. arch of the crossing still exists on the E. wall of the nave; it is recessed in four plain orders but does not survive as high as the capitals; the corresponding respond on the N. has been entirely removed. The W. arch has been destroyed except for the S. springing of the arch, visible inside the nave and incorporated in the later blocking wall.
The North or Monastic Nave (104½ ft. by 27½ ft.) has a 16th-century E. wall and window, the latter of four trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label. The 12th-century N. and S. arcades were originally of three semi-solid bays divided by single open bays. The middle solid bay on each side was removed and replaced by an open arch with the result that only two solid bays now remain, with three open arches between them and a single open arch to the W. The purpose of these solid bays was presumably to carry very broad transverse arches, perhaps in connection with a barrelvault; the scheme, however, was abandoned before the triforium was built. The E. solid bay (Plate 137), on the N. side, is pierced by a narrow round-headed arch of two square orders; inserted in the S. face is a 13th or 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred head and label; the next three bays have round arches of two square orders resting on cylindrical columns and half-round responds with moulded bases, scalloped capitals and moulded or enriched abaci; the middle bay take the place of a former solid bay, the joints in the columns and the wall above being apparent; the scallops of the original work have a convex outline, while those of the later work are straight; the solid fifth bay is pierced by a narrow round-headed arch of one plain order with chamfered imposts; the sixth bay has a round arch and responds generally similar to those of the open bays further E., but the W. respond is of shallower projection; the moulded base has plain pointed spurs and the abacus is cut back to follow the outline of the orders of the arch. The S. arcade (Plate 135) is generally similar to the N. arcade, but there is no inserted doorway in the E. bay (Plate 137). The triforium, on both sides, is designed irrespective of the bays of the arcade below; it is of eight bays on the N. and nine on the S., each having two round-headed openings (now blocked) enclosed in a plain round outer order and all with chamfered imposts; the E. bay on the N. has been destroyed and replaced by a 15th-century window of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head. The clearstorey, on each side, is designed without reference to the triforium and has five round-headed windows separated by two blind arches of similar form and making a continuous arcade; the E. arches on the N. side have been destroyed by the 15th-century alteration to the triforium; on the outer face the bays of the clearstorey are divided by narrow pilaster buttresses.
The West Tower (16 ft. square at the base) (Plate 134) is of three stages with an embattled and panelled parapet and angle pinnacles. The ground stage is of mid to late 12th-century date, but has an inserted 15th-century arch in the E. wall which almost entirely envelops the responds of the 12th-century arch; the later responds are panelled in two heights, the lower with cinque-foiled and traceried heads and the upper with cinque foiled heads; the arch is moulded and two-centred with impost mouldings at the springing level. From the responds of this arch two similar arches spring to the W. wall and are set against the 12th-century side walls of the earlier tower; these arches carry the side walls of the superstructure; below them is the 12th-century structure consisting of a main arch and a triforium arch on each side; the main arches are two-centred and of two plain orders with chamfered imposts; that on the N. is noticeably skewed from the E. respond; the triforium-arches are round-headed and of two plain orders with chamfered imposts; the arches are now blocked. The W. wall contains a 12th-century doorway (Plate 136) and window divided by an enriched string-course and flanked by broad pilaster buttresses; the W. doorway has a slightly pointed external head of five main orders, all plain except the middle and outer orders, which have cheveron-ornament; there is a small subsidiary order between the two innermost orders; the jambs have each three attached shafts with moulded bases and spur-ornaments and elaborately carved capitals (Plate 138); those on the N. are carved with (a) doves in interlacing foliage, (b) two men cutting foliage, (c) snakes and interlaced foliage; S. side, (a) scrolled conventional foliage, (b) two lions, (c) conventionalised corn; the abaci are carved with conventional foliage, diapering, etc.; the round rear-arch is of two plain orders springing from attached shafts with capitals (Plate 138) carved as follows: on N. and S., (a) mask and vine-scroll, (b) simple one or two-strand interlace; the inner abacus on the N. side is plain but the outer abacus is elaborately carved with scrolls, etc., and a figure of Samson and the lion (Plate 139); the abaci on the S. are carved with foliage and flowers. The figure of Samson almost exactly reproduces the much larger figure on the tympanum at Stretton Sugwas and the figures of men closely resemble those at Shobdon and Kilpeck. The large round-headed W. window is of three orders, the middle being moulded and resting on attached shafts with moulded bases and capitals carved on the N. with linked rings enclosing birds, as at Brinsop; the abaci are carved with foliage; the rear-arch rests on attached shafts with capitals carved with enriched scallops and having carved abaci. The two upper stages of the tower are of the 15th century and are set back within the lines of the earlier tower. The lower stage has in each wall a restored window of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, with moulded reveals and label; in the E. wall is a stone inscribed, "This steeple was poynted in the yeare 1690 by the order of Mr. Humphrey Laurence gent. Mr. William Apperly, Churchwardens." The bell-chamber has in each wall a window similar to those in the stage below. The parapet and pinnacles appear to be modern.
The North Aisle (12¼ ft. wide) is mainly of the 12th century, but the E. bay is a modern restoration. In the N. wall are six windows, the easternmost is modern; the second and third windows are each of three transomed lights carried up into a gable; below the transom the work is of stone, and perhaps of the 13th century; the transom and the work above is of oak, and probably of the 18th century; the much restored 13th-century fourth window is of five pointed and graduated lights set in a gable; the fifth window is similar to the second; the 12th-century westernmost window is of one round-headed light with reveals of two square orders; further W. is a doorway with a segmental head, and perhaps of the 12th century; W. of the fourth window is a blocked doorway, perhaps of the 15th century, and with traces of a square head; the W. bay of the aisle is divided from the rest by a 12th-century arch of stilted round-headed form and of two plain orders on the E., with chamfered plinths and imposts; the W. bay has a groined vault, part of which, at any rate, is of the 12th century, but it is plastered on the soffit and only a small part of the plastering is old; in the W. wall is a 13th-century window of three lancet-lights; above the vault is a chamber lit by a 12th-century round window in the W. wall.
The South Nave (130 ft. by 28½ ft.) (Plate 137) has a modern E. window. The N. wall is formed by the S. arcade of the N. nave; against the last pier is a heavy buttress which incorporates the springers of an arch over the original S. aisle. On the face of the original clearstorey are a series of moulded and carved 15th-century corbels for a former roof. The S. arcade of six bays is, in its present state, modern; the two-centred arches, however, probably incorporate much 13th-century material, particularly in the inner order. The lower part of the W. wall is partly of the 12th century, being the W. end of the original S. aisle; further S. the wall is of the 13th century with a heavy pilaster buttress of this date, opposite the S. arcade; rising above the buttress is a square 14th-century sanctus bell-cote with a single pointed opening and a modern capping; the restored 15th-century W. window is of eight transomed and cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label; two of the mullions have external buttresses of four stages; below the internal sill, towards the N. is a half-arched recess, perhaps of the 13th century; the back of the recess is the internal face of the original aisle-wall.
The South Aisle (130¾ ft. by 29¼ ft.) (Plate 137) is an early 14th-century building of six bays. The E. window is modern. In the S. wall are five windows, each of four trefoiled lights with geometrical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded labels and head-stops; the reveals, mullions and tracery are moulded and enriched with ball-flower ornament; the external stonework was refaced in 1923, and the whole of the tracery of the second window is a modern restoration; the re-set 13th-century S. doorway has a two-centred arch of three moulded orders carried on moulded jambs with two plain and three filleted shafts with moulded bases and abaci and capitals carved with 'stiff-leaf' foliage. In the W. wall is a window similar to those in the S. wall.
The South Porch is of early 14th-century date, but the outer archway is re-set work of the 13th century much restored on the outer face; the two-centred arch is of three moulded orders, with shafted jambs and triple shafts carrying the inner order; the bases and capitals are similar to those of the S. doorway; above the archway are three completely restored niches with ballflower ornament.
Fittings—Bells: twelve and sanctus; sanctus late 15th-century and inscribed "Sancta Maria Ora pr." Chairs: In S. nave—two made up with pieces of 16th and 17th-century carving, including back panels with Dives and Lazarus and God the Father with angels and a wine-press respectively, terminal figures at sides, the date 1567 inlaid in back of each and other inlay-work, probably not old. Chest: In E. vestry, N. aisle— plain panelled front with moulded lid and three locks, probably early 18th-century. Coffin and Coffin-lid: E. of S. transept, stone coffin. In N. aisle—in sill of third window, coffin lid re-set in window-sill. Communion Tables (Plate 50): In N. nave and in S. aisle—two with turned legs, rails with shaped brackets, lower rails of scissor-form, probably early 18th-century. Consecration Cross: In recess at W. end of S. nave—cross formy, repainted. Door: In S. doorway—of two folds with wicket and of six ranges of fielded panels, early 18th-century. Monument: In churchyard—W. of S. porch to John Groubb, 1667, head-stone. Paintings: In N. nave—on pilasters of S. triforium, 6th, 7th and 8th bays, remains of painted zig-zag and diapered ornament, similar ornament on imposts, late 12th-century. In W. bay of N. aisle—on N. wall, large painting of the 'wheel of life,' large circle with remains of inscriptions in Lombardic capitals and enclosing ten smaller circles connected by spokes with a central circle; defaced subjects in smaller circles; one inscription remains in part —"[Putavi quod] Vive[rem] vita me decepit"; W. of the circle is a large seated figure playing a harp; background treated with masonry lines and scrolled foliage; string-course plastered and painted with scrolled ornament and decoration carried a short distance on to the springing of the groined vault at the N.W. angle; 13th-century, design similar to that in the Arundel Psalter (Proc. Soc. Ants., XXVI, 47). Piscina (Plate 61): In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with moulded jambs and trefoiled head under a pointed label with headstops and bishop's head above, 13th-century, re-set and drain destroyed. Plate: includes a late 15th-century chalice (Plate 59), shallow bowl with enriched band inscribed in blackletter "Calice(m) saluta(r)is accipia(m) et nomē dnī invocabo," enriched hexagonal stem with buttress-projections and knop with facetted projections, engraved and enriched base with concave sides, with the initials IHC and XPC alternately; late 15th or early 16th-century paten (Plate 59) with sex-foiled sinking enclosing an engraved vernicle and with foliated spandrels; cup and cover-paten (Plate 60) of 1576, the former with band of engraved ornament round bowl; stand-paten of 1698 and a large brass alms dish of Dutch make with repousse figures of Adam and Eve, 17th-century. Rain Water Heads: On S. aisle—one with cresting, initials and date I.S. 1668; another with cherub-heads and T.L. 17.9. Recess (Plate 79): In destroyed S. transept—in S. wall, with moulded jambs and segmental-pointed arch with ball-flower ornament and moulded label, early 14th-century, probably tomb-recess. Scratchings: On S. W. respond of crossing, on N. arcade of N. nave and on tower, various 12th-century masons' marks; 15th-century masons' marks on E. arch of tower and W. window of S. nave. Sedilia (Plate 61): In S. aisle—in S. wall, three seats, with shafted jambs and piers and moulded and trefoiled heads, enriched with ball-flower ornament, under gabled labels also with ball-flower ornament; sedilia flanked by buttresses and pinnacles with carved finials; seats stepped up towards the E., early 14th-century. Tiles: In S. nave—in recess at W. end, various slip-tiles, mainly with foliage but also with a lion, shield of old France and part of an inscription, probably 14th-century. Miscellanea: In N. aisle—the old Ducking stool (Plate 80) of the Corporation, consisting of a framework on four solid wheels and supporting a seesaw beam, on the long end of which is a seat, probably 17th-century.
The Monastic Buildings lay to the N. of the church, the cloister adjoining the N. aisle of the nave. The string-course on the external face of this wall no doubt marks the height of the cloister-roof, and there are, perhaps, traces of the division into bays. No traces remain of the buildings round the cloister, but a range of buildings incorporated in the Workhouse probably represent the rere-dorter and perhaps the infirmary. This building is described separately.
a(2). The Priory House (Plate 140), now part of the Workhouse, is now of three storeys but was formerly of two only. The original walls are of sandstone, and the modern alterations and additions of brick; the roofs are slate-covered. The range formerly projected E. from the N. end of the dorter-range of the priory and probably comprised the rere-dorter at the W. end and a block to the E., probably either the Infirmary or the Prior's Lodging. Under the whole building, from W. to E., runs a water duct or stream, called the Pinsley Brook. The eastern block was built in the 13th century and has a smaller block of the same date projecting to the E. and perhaps forming a chapel on the upper floor. The western block was evidently re-built after the suppression of the Priory, but no doubt stands on old foundations. The building was fitted up by Thomas Lord Coningsby (1692–1729) as a gaol, afterwards becoming in turn a mansion-house and a workhouse. In the 19th century the top storey was added and many alterations made.
The E. end (Plate 140) of the building has a segmental-pointed arch spanning the stream; above it are two 13th-century lancet-windows, and the upper floor has remains of a window of three grouped lancets, the head of which has been destroyed since Price's views were taken about 1795. The N. side of this block has three original lancet-windows, one on the lower and two on the upper floor. The N. side of the main block has on the lower floor two 13th-century windows, each of two lancet-lights; the head of the western window has been restored; further W. is a blocked doorway, of the same date and with a two-centred head. The upper floor has a restored lancet-window towards the E., and a window of two transomed and pointed lights towards the W; both have labels. The rest of the front has no ancient features. In the W. wall is a segmental brick arch over the stream. The S. side of the building is partly covered by modern additions; there are two restored, transomed windows similar to that in the N. wall. Inside the building, the supposed chapel has a blocked 13th-century doorway, with a pointed head, in the W. wall and S. of it an original window now opening into a modern addition. In the chapel-wing is a Tudor fireplace, now blocked.
a(3). Forbury Chapel, now offices, was originally of one storey but now of two; the walls are of stone and the roofs are slate-covered. The chapel of St. Thomas of Canterbury is said to have been built under the influence of Archbishop Peckham in 1282. The chapel stood to the N.E. of the Great Gatehouse of the priory and within the precinct. After the Reformation, it became in turn a court-house, school, assemblyhall, and finally offices.
The Chapel (58 ft. by 26 ft.) is of late 13th-century date and has an E. window (Plate 140) of three plain pointed lights in a two-centred head with a label. The N. wall has, in the W. part two original windows each of a single trefoiled light with a label; the other openings are modern. The S. wall (Plate 140) is divided into three bays by tabled buttresses; in each bay is a restored window similar to those in the N. wall; there is a modern doorway in the middle bay and an original doorway in the W. bay with chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed head. On the roof is a small timber bell-cote with a weather-vane dated 1729.
The Roof, now partly concealed, is of six bays with trusses of hammer-beam type but without collar-beams; the side-posts have moulded pendants and the wall-posts terminate in carved heads; from the wall-posts spring curved brackets to the hammer-beams; the principal rafters cross at the apex, and resting on them is an outer pair of principals which support the purlins. Fixed to the S, side of the roof is a band carved with the date "Anno Dom. 1659," but this would appear to apply to an alteration or repair; the roof itself is probably of the 16th century.
a(5). Grange Court (Frontispiece), formerly the Market Hall, 140 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are covered with stone slates. It was built by John Abel, 'King's Carpenter,' in 1633, and formerly stood in the town at the junction of High Street and Broad Street. It was sold by auction in 1853 and re-erected in its present position, the open lower storey being closed in, a wing added on the E. side and the roof renewed.
The W. front (formerly the E. front) is of four bays. The lower storey, formerly open, has Ionic oak columns resting on stone pedestals and supporting segmental arches; the arcades have central pendants and spandrels carved with foliage and monsters; above the columns rise moulded posts with grotesque brackets supporting the overhang of the upper storey; on the frieze above the arches is an inscription carried round the building and reading, "Vive Deo gratus, Toti mundo tumulatus Crimine mundatus, Semper transire paratus; Where Justice rule, There vertu flow; Vive ut post vivas, Sat cito si sat bene; Like columnes doo upprop the fabrik of abuilding, so noble gentri doo support the honor of a Kingdom; In memoria aeterna erit Justus 1633." The upper storey projects with a panelled and enriched frieze and cornice as a fascia and having carved heads above the brackets and flanking the bays of this storey are fluted and carved Doric pilasters on modern pedestals; the timber-framing is exposed and is partly set diagonally. The four bay windows have modern frames and mullions but rest on brackets carved with foliage and grotesque heads; eight of these brackets are original. Above the middle bay is an 18th-century gable. The N. end has a lower storey, formerly of two bays and generally similar to that on the W. front. The arch-spandrels are carved with foliage or cherubs; the brackets of the upper storey are carved with masks and scrolls; the fascia is similar to that on the W. front. The upper storey has a central bay-window resting on modern brackets reproducing the old brackets which are preserved in an outbuilding; between the brackets are small enriched arches. The timber-framing, in part, has ornamental curved braces to the panels, mostly restored. The gable projects on six brackets carved with various devices including a mermaid and a dove; the framing of square panels has ornamental braces. The S. end is practically uniform with the N. end, but the brackets under the gable are carved only with rosettes and foliage and the brackets under the window are modern. On the E. side the two exposed bays are similar to those on the W. front but without carving. Above the middle of the roof is a hexagonal cupola with open arched sides and a copper-covered dome with a weather-vane dated 1687. The royal Stuart arms of oak formerly on the N. end of the building are now fixed on the front of the modern Town Hall.
Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams. There is also an early 18th-century door, possibly from the former staircase. Preserved in the garden of the house are the following pieces of early stonework probably from the church: (a) a 13th-century font with a square chamfered bowl, stem with four attached shafts, moulded caps and bases; (b) part of a coffin-lid; (c) tapering cylindrical bowl of a 12th-century font; (d) quatre-foiled drain of a piscina; (e) torso of effigy in a loose gown, probably 14th-century; (f) various architectural fragments; and (g) a stone mould for casting a crucifix.
a(6). Townsend House, and stable, on the S. side of Green Lane, 610 yards W. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls are mainly of brick and timber-framing and the roofs are slate-covered. The house was built early in the 16th century and consists of a hall-block with a long cross-wing at the E. end. About 1604 the two projections N. of the hall were added and other alterations made. Late in the 18th or early in the 19th century the exterior was much altered and the N.W. projection from the hall-block partly re-built. There was perhaps a W. cross-wing which has been destroyed. The N. front of the hallblock has a large early 17th-century window of five transomed lights with moulded frame and mullions. The early 17th-century projecting porch, further E., has a round outer archway (now blocked) with moulded imposts and gadrooned archivolt; it is flanked by enriched Ionic pilasters with busts below the capitals and standing on pedestals; the entablature is enriched, and in the spandrels of the arch are raised disc-ornaments. The N.W. projection has, on the ground floor, a window similar to that in the main block but of three transomed lights with moulded wood frame and mullions. At the N.W. angle of the cross-wing is a timber post and curved bracket supporting the upper storey which projects at the N. end. In the S. front is an original window, similar to that on the N. front but of four lights. Inside the building, the ground floor of the hall-block, formerly one apartment, has original moulded ceiling-beams forming fifteen panels and with remains of moulded plasterwork in some of the panels; in the inserted walls are two early 17th-century panelled doors; there is also an early 18th-century dresser. In the cross-wing the N. room has original moulded ceiling-beams; the walls have early 18th-century panelling, and there is a moulded surround, to the fireplace, of the same date. The staircase-hall has a dado of early 17th-century panelling; the stairs are of the 18th century. On the N. partition-wall is a moulded plaster panel (Plate 72) with the central device of a crowned heart; on the beam above are the initials IHS and the date 1604. The S. room is lined with early 17th-century panelling with an 18th-century cornice and other fittings of the latter date. The first floor of the cross-wing has some refixed early 17th-century panelling and two doors of the same date. The N. room has 18th-century panelling, and on the W. side is a moulded wall-post with a shaped head.
a(9). House, Nos. 13 and 15, 20 yards N. of (8), is of three storeys. It has been refronted and heightened, and at the back is a double-gabled extension of late 17th or early 18th-century date; this has exposed timber-framing. The back door, of battens with ornamental strap-hinges, is perhaps of the same date. Inside No. 13 is an early 17th-century staircase with turned balusters, moulded strings and grip-handrails and moulded newels with shaped finials and pendants.
a(13). House, No. 29, immediately N. of (12), is of late 14th or early 15th-century date. The upper storey formerly projected on the E. front (Plate 141) but has been under-built, probably early in the 18th century. The bressummer is moulded, and there is a moulded string with embattled cresting below and first-floor window-sill. The upper storey has heavy exposed timber-framing with two trefoil-headed panels below the base-beam of the gable. The gable has original barge-boards with elaborate cusped and traceried enrichment. The back is largely faced with late brickwork.
a(14). Old Cross Keys Inn, No. 31, immediately N. of (13), has exposed framing to the upper storey of the E. front. In it are two original and slightly projecting windows with moulded frames, heads and sills.
a(15). Houses, four tenements, Nos. 33–39, immediately N. of (14), have a continuous modern front. The two northern tenements are probably of early 17th-century date, but the two southern appear to have been built early in the 18th century. Some timber-framing in exposed at the back.
a(22). House (Plate 143), No. 97, 35 yards N.N.W. of (21), has exposed timber-framing; that of the ground storey is fairly close-set vertical framing, but the upper storey has diagonal framing in panels. The upper storey projects slightly on the E. front on a moulded bressummer; at the S. end is an original panelled door with two carved scrolls above, refitted in the 18th century. The windows also appear to be of 18th-century date. The back elevation has plain framing. Inside the building is a dado of original panelling, and other panelling and fittings of the 18th century. An original newel-staircase leads to the attics.
a(28). House, two tenements, Nos. 56 and 56a, 45 yards S. of (27), is of two storeys with attics. The ground storey has been faced with brick but the timber-framing is exposed above, with a range of square panels under the eaves. Inside No. 56 is a re-used early 16th-century moulded beam.
a(30). Anchor Inn, No. 46, at the S. corner of Mill Street, is of three storeys. It has been heightened and much altered but some original framing is exposed at the back. About 15 yards to the E. is an early 18th-century stable-building.
a(34). House, No. 28, 20 yards S. of (33), was built in 1718, the date on a rain-water head. A room on the ground-floor is lined with re-set early 17th-century panelling. Over the fireplace are six early to mid 16th-century carved panels set in carved framing: (a) helmeted head of a woman, (b) shield-of-arms, a cheveron between three boars' heads razed, (c) helmeted head of a man, (d) cartouche with the initials A.B., (e) cartouche with the same initials, (f) head of man in grotesque cap and collar with the monogram T.C.
a(35). House, No. 22, 25 yards S. of (34), is of three storeys. It was altered and heightened in the 18th century, but has some exposed timber framing at the back and a chimney-stack with pilaster-strips.
a(38). House, No. 2, immediately N. of the bridge, is of two storeys with attics. It was built early in the 18th century and consists of a rectangular front block with a projecting wing on the E. The walls are of brick with rusticated stone quoins and a hipped roof with an eaves-cornice to the main block. There is a band-course between the storeys. The W. front has a central doorway with a semi-circular fanlight with radiating bars; above the door is a half-round hood with a moulded archivolt and scrolled brackets. Inside the building are a number of original panelled doors, cased beams with cornices, some panelled linings to the windows and other woodwork of the same character. The original staircase (Plate 74) has heavy twisted balusters, moulded strings and handrails, and panelled newels with moulded cappings. On the first floor landing is a round arch with moulded imposts and key-block with a shaped pendant.
a(39). House, No. 1, at the junction with Bridge Street, is of two storeys with attics. It is probably of early 18th-century date but has been much altered. Some timber-framing is exposed at the back.
a(41). The Poplands (Plate 141), formerly the Harp Inn, house, No. 61, 360 yards E. of (40), was built probably early in the 16th century on a rectangular plan. Early in the 17th century the house was extended towards the N., and in the 18th century the W. front was largely refaced and a central wing added on the E. The gabled S. end has close-set timber-framing except to the ground floor, which is of modern brick. At the first floor level is an original moulded bressummer terminating at a pair of elaborately carved and scrolled brackets, perhaps of later date. The gable projects on an original moulded base-beam with a band of carving above consisting of intersecting arches with cusps and foliated spandrels. The side-posts of the upper storey have attached shafts with curved brackets supporting the gable. The barge-boards are carved with running leaf-ornament, and have a Jacobean apexpost. The E. face has close-set framing up to the added wing. The N. end has later timber-framing in square panels. Inside the building are some original ceiling-beams.
a(42). House and shop, No. 2, at the N. corner of Church Street, is of three storeys. The W. and S. fronts are modern, and the roofs have been raised, but the framing of the original gables is retained in the attics.
a(46). Houses and shop, Nos. 12 and 14, N. of (45), appear to have been built as one house in the 18th century and subsequently altered. At the back of No. 12 is a long range of 17th-century building, with exposed timber-framing in large squares; the E. part is of late 17th or early 18th-century date. E. of this addition is an early 18th-century stable-building with exposed timber-framing. In an addition to No. 14 is a re-used 17th-century door with ornamental strap-hinges.
a(47). House and shop, No. 16, immediately N. of (46), is of three storeys with attics. It is perhaps of early 18th-century date, but the front is modern. The back is of brick with band-courses between the storeys.
a(48). House (Plate 142) and shop, No. 18, immediately N. of (47), is of three storeys with attics, and was built c. 1600. The W. front, above the modern shop, has exposed framing in squares and is finished with two gables. The second and attic floors project on shaped brackets; the bressummer to the attic floor is moulded, as is a beam below the windows. The barge-boards are enriched with two rows of billets and have apex-posts. On a post above the second floor level is the date 1600. Inside the building, the upper staircase (Plate 73) is original and has flat shaped balusters, heavy strings, moulded handrails and square moulded newels with moulded terminals.
a(49). House and shop, No. 22, 10 yards N. of (48), is of three storeys. The front is modern and forms one composition with No. 24. At the back is a long range mostly refaced except for the top storey, which has exposed framing and formerly projected; the moulded bressummer remains. The E. gable has moulded and dentilled barge-boards and a shaped apex-post. Inside the building the front room, now a shop, has a plaster ceiling with a lozenge-shaped panel in the middle.
a(50). House, No. 24, immediately N. of (49), has like it a modern front. At the back (Plate 142) is a projecting wing with exposed framing and with diagonal framing in the gable; the roof has been raised. The chimney-stack has four grouped shafts with diagonal pilaster-strips. Inside the building, the front part has plaster mouldings set against the ceiling-beams, and the main room has a lozenge-shaped plaster panel with acorn enrichments. The room above has a similar ceiling. The back room has some original panelling. The staircase has an original newel with a shaped terminal.
a(51). House and shops, two tenements, Nos. 28 and 30, 16 yards N. of (50), is of three storeys. The front is modern, but at the back of No. 28 is some exposed timber-framing with a moulded beam at the eaves-level. Inside No. 30 is a dado of original panelling.
a(54). House, No. 44, 22 yards N. of (53), is of two storeys with attics. The S. part of the building is original and was extended to the N. in the 18th century. The chimney-stack is original, and has grouped shafts.
a(55). Buildings, at the back of Nos. 40 and 44. The E. building had an open timber-framed gallery on the W. side but is now faced with weather-boarding. It perhaps formed part of an Inn. The N. building is perhaps of early 18th-century date and has exposed framing to the upper storey.
a(56). Cottage, two tenements, 25 yards N. of (54), incorporates part of a crutch-construction which may be mediæval but may only be re-used material. The timber-framing of the original gable is exposed on the N. side with a subsequent heightening on the W. slope.
a(58). House, No. 33, immediately S. of (57), has like it a modern front. The back has exposed framing and diagonal framing in the gable. Inside the building is a blocked doorway with a pointed head and a door of original panelling.
a(59). House, No. 27, on the S. bank of Pinsley Brook, is of two storeys with attics, and is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. The upper storey projects on the N. front. Within the porch, on the E. front, is an early 18th-century doorway with brackets for the pediment, which is now removed. Inside the building is a little re-used early 17th-century panelling and some 18th-century woodwork.
a(60). House, No. 23, at the S. corner of New Street, is of three storeys. It has been entirely refaced in the 18th century. Adjoining the house on the W. is a long range of outbuildings with exposed timber-framing.
a(62). Range of three houses, Nos. 4, 6 and 8, at the bend of the road, 20 yards W. of Broad Street, is of two storeys with attics. No. 4 was built probably early in the 18th century, but Nos. 6 and 8 are of early 17th-century date. The gable of No. 6 has original billeted barge-boards. The timber-framing is exposed at the back. To the N. of No. 8 is an outbuilding with exposed framing.
a(68). House (Plate 143), two tenements, Nos. 25 and 27, on the S. side of the road opposite (67), had a later enlargement at the back. The front has exposed timber-framing and the upper storey projects on a simply moulded bressummer and shaped brackets.
a(69). House, No. 41, 30 yards W.S.W. of (68), was built in the 16th century, and probably formed part of a larger building. The upper storey in front has close-set timber framing and projects on an original moulded bressummer, partly under-built. Inside the building is an original moulded ceiling-beam.
a(73). Houses, Nos. 30–34, 35 yards W. of (72), have 18th-century additions at the back. The S. side and the two ends have been refronted, but some framing is exposed at the back. Inside No. 34 is a plaster ceiling with a moulded margin and a band of enrichment.
a(76). Grafton House (Plate 143), No. 9, W. of (75), was built probably late in the 14th century. The upper storey formerly projected in front but has been under-built; it has exposed framing with cusped braces; a similar brace remains at the back (Plate 143), together with an original window or panel with an ogee head. Inside the building, the middle portion, or hall, of two bays, was originally open to the roof; the central truss is of collar-beam type with curved braces forming a two-centred arch; the wind-braces are cusped, each pair forming a cinque-foiled arch. The framing at the ends of the hall-roof is probably also original. The roofs of the building at either end of the hall have plain collar-beams and chamfered rafters and purlins.
a(85). House and shop, No. 2, immediately S. of the Market Hall, is partly of four storeys. The front part has been largely re-built in the 18th and 19th centuries, but the back part has exposed timber-framing within the building. There is also an early 16th-century moulded ceiling-beam. The staircase in the front block incorporates some early 17th-century carved work. There are also some curious 18th-century paintings on the walls of view from the windows.
a(87). House and shops, Nos. 8 and 10, S. of (86), is of three storeys, and was built c. 1630–40. The top storey has three gables and projects on four brackets carved with scrolls and male and female heads and busts. At the back is a building, formerly detached and with exposed timber-framing.
a(91). House (Plate 142) and shop, No. 20, S. of (90), is of three storeys. The top storey has two gables and projects on shaped brackets with a moulded bressummer; the gables also project on a moulded bressummer and have dentilled barge-boards and apexposts with moulded terminals. The timber-framing of the top storey is exposed and is divided into squares with angle-braces; the central post has the initials and date I. and G.P. 1673. The framing of the gables has curved braces with projecting points similar to those in the Old Town Hall. The wing at the back has exposed timber-framing.
a(92). House and shop, No. 22, S. of (91), is of three storeys. It was perhaps heightened in the 17th century, as is indicated by the framing at the back. The upper storey and the gable project in front, the former on two shaped brackets. The barge-boards are dentilled and have a carved apex-post. At the back is a 17th-century window with a moulded sill.
a(94). House and shop, No. 26, S. of (93), is of three storeys. It has been much altered and re-built but contains a late 17th-century staircase with turned balusters, square newels with turned pendants, and moulded and pulvinated strings.
a(95). House and shop, No. 30, 5 yards S. of (94), is of three storeys. The front block has been much altered and heightened; at the back is a lower wing with exposed timber-framing. Further to the W. is a detached building of three storeys with a lower wing at the back; both have some exposed framing; in the higher building is a newel-staircase with a moulded post and an original framed partition.
a(96). House and shop, No. 38, on the N. corner of West Street, is of three storeys. The central portion was perhaps an L-shaped 17th-century building, heightened and enlarged to cover the whole triangular site in the 18th century. On the W. side at the back is an original timber-framed gable.
a(98). Houses and shops, Nos. 13 and 15, 20 yards S. of (97), are of three storeys. They have been much altered, and No. 15 has been refronted in brick. The second storey projects on part of the S. side and retains one shaped bracket.
a(99). House and shops, Nos. 17 and 19, S. of (98), is of three storeys. The front has been refaced in brick. The upper storeys project on the W. side, the lower projection having a moulded bressummer of early 16th-century date, which is presumably the age of the original building.
a(100). House (Plate 142) and shop, No. 37, 50 yards S. of (99), is of three storeys. The gabled front has exposed timber-framing, and the two upper storeys and the gable project on moulded bressummers; below the second floor projection are two scrolled and carved brackets, and the barge-boards of the gable are moulded. The back (Plate 142) also has exposed framing, and the projecting gable has a moulded bressummer; in the gable is an original two-light window with moulded frame and mullion.
a(101). House and shop, No. 39, S. of (100), is of three storeys. The gable has moulded barge-boards and an apex-post with a moulded pendant. The house was built probably late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(102). House (Plate 142) and shop, No. 41, S. of (101), is of three storeys. The front, above the shop, has exposed timber-framing and two projections with moulded bressummers. The lower framing is in squares with braces across the angles, but the framing in the gable has curved braces with projecting points like those in the Old Town Hall. The gable has dentilled barge-boards and a carved apex-front with a moulded pendant. Inside the building is some original panelling and three original panelled doors.
a(103). Houses and shops, Nos. 43 and 45, S. of (102), and at the corner of Corn Street, are of three storeys. The upper storeys project on both the W. and S. sides, but on the W. the ground storey has modern shop fronts. Below the upper storey on this side and below both projections on the S. side are scrolled and carved brackets. Inside the building some framing of the former E. wall is exposed and there is a panelled door with an arcaded panel at the top.
a(105). House (Plate 142) and shops, Nos. 9 and 11, S. of (104), is of three storeys. It was built probably in the second half of the 16th century, and the date 1575 is cut in comparatively modern letters on a ceiling-beam. The front has close-set timber-framing and two gables. The second floor projects on a moulded bressummer and curved brackets. The window in the N. gable has original moulded mullions. The added 17th-century back wing has exposed framing.
a(107). House and shop, No. 23, 15 yards S. of (106), is of three storeys. It was built probably late in the 16th century and extended to the W. in brick late in the 17th or early in the 18th century. The front has been refaced in brick. A chimney-stack at the back has two diagonal shafts. A detached outbuilding at the back has exposed framing.
a(110). House and shops, Nos. 20 and 22, S. of (109), is of three storeys. It was built early in the 16th century and the top storey was added probably early in the 17th century. The front has exposed framing, and the top storey projects on a moulded bressummer. On the N. side the upper storeys project over a passageway on shaped brackets; the diagonal bracket to the E. shows that the street front formerly projected also. In the passage is an original doorway, with a curved and shaped head, now blocked. The timber-framing is exposed at the back.
a(111). Conservative Club, No. 7, at the N.E. angle of the square, is of three storeys. The main building is of 18th-century date, but the E. wing is of the 17th century and has some exposed framing. At the back is a two-storeyed outbuilding of the same date, with exposed framing to the upper storey.
a(113). Three Horse Shoes Inn, W. of (112) and at the E. corner of School Lane, was built c. 1600. The upper storey projects on the W side and formerly projected on the N. front also, but has been under-built. The fronts are painted with sham framing.
a(114). House (Plate 144) and shop, at the W. corner of School Lane, was built probably in the 15th century. The upper storey projects on the E. side and formerly at the N. end, where it has been under-built; the projection rests on shaped brackets with a diagonal bracket at the angle springing from a moulded capital on the corner-post. The gable of the N. end has original foiled and sub-cusped barge-boards. The framing is exposed on the E. side. Inside the building the upper storey retains much of its original framing, including one heavy curved brace to a tie-beam. The S. end has an original window with a chamfered mullion; it is now blocked by the adjoining house. There is a 17th-century widening on the W. side at the southern end.
a(115). House (Plate 144) and shops, W. of (114), is of three storeys. The front block was built late in the 14th or early in the 15th century, but was heightened by one storey early in the 17th century and finished with two gables towards the N. The timber-framing of the second storey is fairly close-set and probably original; that of the third storey, which projects on a moulded bressummer, has a range of 17th-century square panels with angle braces; a further projection in the gable has a moulded base-beam; the barge-boards have carved zig-zag ornament. Inside the building are remains of the original roof-truss with cusped principals, collar and a strut above the collar; the original framing in the E. and W. gable walls is also exposed. The long S. wing is a 17th-century addition and has exposed timber-framing.
a(116). Houses and shops, Nos. 1 and 3, at the E. corner of Victoria Lane or the Butchery, are of three storeys but the two lower storeys of No. 3 have been thrown into one. No. 1 has been largely reconstructed, but No. 3 retains its timber-framing in the upper part both at the front and back.
a(118). House and shop, No. 4, 25 yards E. of Iron Cross, is of two storeys with attics. The front has been refaced in brick, but some framing is exposed at the back. The upper storey projects over a passageway on the E. on straight struts.
a(120). House and shops, No. 10, 5 yards E. of (119), is of three storeys. It was formerly the King's Arms Inn extending through to Etnam Street. The front block was built late in the 18th century but the adjoining rear-block is of 17th-century date and has exposed timber-framing in the S. wall. On the W. side of the yard at the back is an early 18th-century addition of two storeys with exposed framing. The lower part of the W. wall is of rubble. The upper storey forms a large hall.
a(121). House and shops, No. 18, 5 yards E. of (120), is of three storeys in front and of two behind. The front is of the 18th century, but at the back are remains of an L-shaped early 17th-century building. It was altered and heightened in the 18th century. Still further S. is a late 16th or early 17th-century wing, subsequently heightened. The upper storey formerly projected on the E. side, but has been under-built. Some timber-framing is exposed at the back of the main building and on the E. face of the S. wing.
a(126). House and shop, No. 3, 45 yards E. of South Street, were outbuildings of the former King's Arms Inn in Corn Street. The S. wall has been refaced in brick but the timber-framing is exposed on the N. side.
a(129). House and shop, Nos. 25–29, formerly the Old Iron Boat Inn, 15 yards E. of (128), is of two storeys with attics. It has been refronted in brick in the 18th century. The timber-framing is exposed in the W. gable and at the back. There is an outbuilding to the N. with exposed framing.
a(131). House, the Vinery, No. 43, 55 yards E. of (130), is partly of three storeys. The upper storey formerly projected in front, but the whole front has been re-built and heightened. The timber-framing on the W. side shows the former arrangement. The framing is also exposed at the back and in the long N. wing.
a(132). House, No. 45, E. of (131), is of three storeys. The front has been re-built and heightened. The back has exposed framing showing a later heightening; the N. wing also has some exposed framing. Inside the building is a re-used moulded beam of the 15th century.
a(133). Chequers Inn, No. 61, 40 yards E. of (132), is of two storeys with attics. It was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, and has a projecting timber-framed gable on the S. front with a moulded bressummer; the gable has moulded and enriched barge-boards. The back wing is a 17th-century addition and has exposed framing. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams and a panelled cupboard door with cock's-head hinges. The staircase retains an original newel with an ornamental terminal. In the back wing are two 17th-century doors of moulded battens.
a(134). Houses (Plate 143), Nos. 63–67, E. of (133), were built perhaps late in the 15th or early in the 16th century. The S. front formerly had a projecting upper storey but the eastern part has been refaced; the western part has an original gable with fairly close-set timber-framing. Some framing is also exposed at the back, but most of the original building is covered by a 17th and 18th-century addition. Inside the building (No. 65) is some early 17th-century panelling.
a(136). Houses, Nos. 89 and 91, 40 yards E. of (135), is partly of two storeys with attics. The E. wing with a gable fronting the street was built late in the 14th or early in the 15th century, and the house (No. 89) may represent the W. cross-wing of the same building; both it and the main block of No. 91, however, seem to have been re-built in the 17th century. Inside No. 91 is a considerable quantity of early 17th-century panelling. The roof of the E. wing is original and of three main bays with king-post trusses and collars cusped on the upper side and forming a large trefoil with the principal rafters; there are intermediate trusses, two of which have curved braces under the collars forming segmental-pointed arches; the wind-braces are cusped.
a(137). House, No. 97, 60 yards E. of (136), has been refronted in the 18th century. There is some exposed framing on the W. side and the gable at the back has diagonal framing. On the W. side is an old battened door with strap-hinges.
a(138). White Lion Inn (Plate 143), at the bend of the road, 120 yards E. of (137), was built early in the 16th century and has a modern gable on the E. side and modern additions on the W. It may have once projected further to the N. The timber-framing generally is exposed and the upper storey projects on the E. side and S. end on curved brackets and small shafts with moulded capitals; the bressummers are moulded; the S. gable also projects on two curved brackets. At this end the first floor has been partly under-built and the bressummer is covered by a fascia-board. Inside the building, the middle part formed a single room with moulded ceiling-beams forming four bays from N. to S. and three from E. to W. The S. part, also formerly one room, has similar but rather more elaborately moulded beams. The rooms above also have moulded ceiling beams.
a(140). House, No. 48, 190 yards W. of (139), was bought for the Baptists in 1696 and converted by them for use as a chapel. The existing chapel, to the S., was built in 1771, and the house converted again into two tenements. The upper storey projects on the N. front and the timber-framing is exposed. Inside the building part of the E. staircase is old and there is an old door with strap-hinges.
a(141). House, No. 32, 105 yards W. of (140), has been almost entirely re-built. In it is a re-set early 17th-century staircase with turned balusters, grip-handrails and square moulded newels with moulded terminals. In the back wing are some remains of another staircase of the same date, made up with later work and some early 17th-century panelling.
a(143). House, No. 22, W. of (142), is of three storeys. The front block is of 18th-century date, but at the back is a 17th-century wing. Inside the building is some linen-fold panelling said to have come from the church.
a(144.) Range of four tenements, No. 10 and Nos. 1–3 Miles Court, 70 yards W. of (143), was perhaps originally an inn and outbuildings. Some of the timber-framing is exposed but the front tenement has been refaced in brick. Inside the building is an early 18th-century fireplace with a stone surround and cornice.
a(149). House, No. 42, 70 yards W. of (148), is of three storeys. It was largely re-built in the 18th century, but the side wall next the entrance-passage has the exposed framing of the original building.
a(150). Talbot Hotel, Nos. 5 and 7, 15 yards W. of South Street, is of three storeys. The front block was largely re-built and heightened in the 18th century. The back wing has some exposed timber-framing.
a(153). House and shop, No. 19, 15 yards W. of (152), was built perhaps early in the 18th century. The front is of brick but some framing is exposed in the E. wall. A long outbuilding at the back has exposed framing.
a(157). Golden Cross Inn, No. 49, 17 yards W. of (156), has a modern front. The E. side has exposed timber-framing and an original gable. The outbuilding, S. of the house, is probably of early 18th-century date and has exposed framing.
a(158). Range of three tenements, Nos. 20–24, 45 yards W. of the E. end of the street, was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century. It has been partly refaced in brick, but some of the framing is exposed.
a(160). House, two tenements, Nos. 7 and 9, 15 yards W. of Dishley Street, has been partly refaced. The upper storey projects in front on curved brackets and has exposed timber-framing. The framing is also exposed at the back.
a(163). House, Nos. 21–25, W. of (162), was built in the 15th century but the main block, now Nos. 23 and 25, seems to have been reconstructed in the 17th century and has exposed framing of that date. The original gabled cross-wing, No. 21, also has exposed framing, and the upper storey projects on curved brackets and has two cusped braces in the framing.
a(167). Queen's Head Inn and adjoining house, Nos. 11 and 13, opposite West Street, were built probably early in the 16th century but were extensively altered in the 17th century and refronted and heightened late in the 18th or early in the 19th century. Inside the building, the front room of both houses has original moulded ceiling-beams and evidence of a former projecting upper storey; the beams form a series of square panels, and in No. 13 the moulded joists are also exposed.
a(168). Dutton House, at the S. corner of Etnam Street, was built probably late in the 16th century, and the part at the S.W. angle remains. The N. part of the house was re-built in the 18th century and there are various modern additions. The exterior has been completely refaced but one original chimney-stack remains; it has three square brick shafts with projecting diagonal nibs. Inside the building, the S.W. room is lined with re-set panelling of various dates. The room above has an original fireplace, with chamfered jambs and four-centred head; the room is lined with 18th-century panelling with some late 16th-century panelling over the fireplace. Panelling of the same date forms an overmantel in another room. The modern staircase incorporates some late 17th-century twisted balusters.
a(171). House and shop, No. 16, 20 yards S. of (170), has been altered and heightened in front in the 18th or 19th century. At the back is a series of three buildings of various dates in the 17th century, with some exposed timber-framing. A window at the back of the shop contains a number of fragments of mediæval glass, probably from the church.