Major Secular Buildings
(13) The Guildhall, at the S.E. corner of the Market
Place, is mainly of two storeys with cellars and has brick
walls with stone dressings, and slate-covered roofs. It was
erected in 1788–94 on the site of the former Bishop's
Guildhall, demolished to make room for it. The demolished building was probably of early 14th-century
origin. (fn. 1) A drawing in Salisbury Museum (Plate 8) depicts
the mediaeval hall in the course of demolition; a plan by
Buckler (Plate 12) is in Devizes Museum. The drawing
shows the scars of the roofs of a row of low buildings
which formerly adjoined the hall on the S.; no doubt
they formed the N. side of a courtyard which lay S. of
the hall, as shown on Naish's map (Plate 16).
The present building, containing a council chamber, a
banqueting room, mayor's parlour etc. and a court of
justice, was designed by Sir Robert Taylor and erected
with some changes by his pupil, William Pilkington. (fn. 2)
The foundation-stone was laid on 14 Oct., 1788. (fn. 3) A view
by E. Dayes, engraved by Frederick Jukes (1795),
shows the building with a recessed portico on the N.
and a projecting portico on the west. (fn. 4) In 1829 the
building was enlarged by Thomas Hopper, the N. portico
being rebuilt in projecting form with a room above it for
the grand jury. (fn. 5) In 1889 the W. portico was demolished
and a wing containing rooms associated with the lawcourts was built in its place. Internally, the building was
extensively refitted in 1896–7.
In the N. front (Plate 18), the two main lateral bays,
with large round-headed windows with vermiculated
archivolts and quoins, are of 1794. The Roman-Doric
portico of 1829 probably incorporates four columns
and part of the entablature of the original N. portico;
above are the three round-headed windows of the
grand jury room. The central stone panel, with dedicatory inscription of 1794, appears to have been in the
parapet of the original portico. The E. elevation retains
its original form, with a large projecting bay with three
round-headed windows. In the S. elevation the two main
lateral bays of the N. front are repeated, but with
simpler details; the central bay, altered in 1829 and
later, has round-headed windows in the lower storey and
three square-headed windows above, the latter lighting
the council chamber.
Inside, the entrance hall contains a reset chimneypiece of c. 1580; it was brought from the former Council
House, burnt down in 1780 (fn. 6) and demolished in 1800,
which stood some 40 yds. N. of the Bishop's Guildhall.
The jambs of the chimneypiece have coarse Ionic pilasters; the frieze has strapwork panels and centrally the
arms of the city, barry of eight, or and azure, supported
by double-headed eagles ducally gorged.
The banqueting room has plaster enrichments and
joinery of 1794. Joins in the dado and skirting of the W.
wall show the original position of the doorways, before
the enlargement of the entrance hall in 1829 allowed
the present more spacious arrangement. The fireplace
surround is of grey marble with the city arms on a white
marble panel; above is a replica of Winterhalter's portrait
of Queen Victoria in coronation robes, and over this a
trophy with the royal arms as borne from 1707–1714.
According to Britton, (fn. 7) the Corporation's portrait of
Queen Anne by Dahl formerly hung in this position. (fn. 8)
The grand jury room has a marble fireplace surround
of 1829. A carved oak chair in the mayor's parlour
(Plate 21) bears the date 1585, initials TB. HH, and
RBM for Robert Bower, mayor, 1584; a similar chair has
the date 1622, WM. II, and MGM for Maurice Green,
mayor in 1621. Another chair, richly carved in mahogany
(Plate 21), has the initials I T M for Joseph Tanner,
mayor, and the date 1795.
The inventory of civic plate compiled in 1895 by L.
Jewitt and W. St. John Hope, (fn. 9) remains unchanged in
respect of pieces earlier than 1850. The great mace of
1749 is illustrated on Plate 21. A collection of bronze
standard weights and measures, engraved 'New Sarum,
1825' with the city arms and supporters, is now in
Salisbury Museum (Plate 21).
St. Edmund's College
(14) St. Edmund's College, now The Council House,
is of two storeys with a cellar and in part with a mezzanine floor; it has rubble and brick-faced walls with stone
dressings, and slate-covered roofs. The present building
presumably takes the place of the College of St. Edmund
which was founded in 1269; (fn. 10) stonework in the cellar
below the W. part of the S. range may be mediaeval. In
1546 the college was surrendered to the Crown and sold
first to William St. Barbe, three years later to John Beckingham, and in 1575 to Giles Estcourt. The S. range,
which appears to be of late 16th-century origin, retains
plasterwork in which the Estcourt arms occur. In 1660
the college was bought by Wadham Wyndham of
Norrington, whose heirs retained possession until 1871. (fn. 11)
Known as The College throughout this period, it was the
largest and handsomest private house in the town. In
1873 it became a school and additions were made on the
north. In 1927 it was acquired by the City and converted to local government offices and committee
A drawing dated 1670 in the possession of the
City Council (fn. 12) shows the S. front of the 16th-century
building as approximately symmetrical and of seven
bays, with projecting bays at the centre and at each
end of the facade and with an eighth bay on the W.,
beyond the western projection. The same features are
shown on a drawing dated 1690 in Salisbury Museum
(Plate 3). The centre bay contained a porch and had a
gabled roof; the lateral projecting bays had flat roofs
with ball finials at the corners. A stable range stood on
the W. of the court in front of the house. The original
windows of the S. front were square headed and of three
to five lights, many of them with transoms. Above the
first-floor windows there were six gables containing
attic windows; similar gables occurred on the E.
About the middle of the 18th century the S. front,
perhaps originally of rubble and ashlar, was cased in
brickwork with ashlar dressings in a style showing the
influence of James Gibbs. The attic storey was removed
and new roofs of shallow pitch were masked by brick
parapets with ball finials above a moulded stone cornice
(Plate 18). In the projecting end bays, mezzanine windows with elliptical heads replaced the former ground
and first-floor openings. A single-storeyed stone porch
with Roman-Doric details and clustered columns replaced the former two-storeyed porch bay. In the main
plane of the S. front the fenestration was completely
changed and the place of four bays of transomed casements was taken by six tall sashed openings with rusticated classical surrounds. In the E. elevation a two-storeyed bay window was added at the end of the
In 1790, (fn. 13) under the ownership of Henry Penruddock
Wyndham, the N. wing was added, containing the staircase, library, kitchens and service rooms on the ground
floor, and bedrooms in mezzanine and upper storeys.
The architect was S.P. Cockerell; plans for the projected
works, signed S.P.C., 1788, are preserved (Plate 3). (fn. 14)
Although adapted to new uses the rooms still remain
much as originally planned. The large Venetian window
of the library and the adjacent bay window, which
together with the mid 18th-century bay window to
S. make the E. front into a symmetrical composition,
are not shown in the plans of 1778, but probably were
added to the design before construction took place.
Buckler's watercolour of 1811 (fn. 15) shows the building
almost as it is today.
The westernmost bay of the S. range, beyond the W.
projection of the S. front, has rendered walls and the
windows are asymmetrically disposed. A panel in the W.
elevation, with a two-centred head simulating a blocked
mediaeval window, appears in Buckler's drawing of St.
Edmund's church, 1805 (fn. 16) and dates probably from c.
1790. The rendered N. front of the W. bay retains, in the
lower storey, a late 16th-century stone window of four
transomed square-headed lights with ogee-moulded and
hollow-chamfered surrounds; doubtless the windows
seen in the drawings of 1670 and 1690 had similar
details. The N. wall of the S. range also retains a 16th-century stone string-course with a strong cyma recta
Inside, the main staircase has cast-iron balustrades
and mahogany handrails of 1790; the staircase window
has a stained glass panel with the arms of Wyndham. The
oak stair in the W. projecting wing of the S. front, with
fluted column-shaped newel posts and turned balusters
(Plate 89), dates from earlier in the 18th century; on the
plans of 1788 it is shown as already in existence. The W.
ground-floor room of the S. range (bed-chamber) has a
late 16th-century ceiling with interlacing moulded
plaster ribs and small panels of foliate enrichment. The
16th-century N. window noted above lights this room,
and the embrasure of a similar window, now partly
blocked, occurs further E. in the same wall; the remains
of a third window are seen in the plan of 1788. A large
16th-century chimneybreast, attested by the thickness
of the walls, but hidden by 18th-century and later
plasterwork, is shown on the plans of 1788. On the first
floor, a room near the W. end of the S. range has a late
16th-century ceiling with interlacing moulded ribs with
foliate enrichment and a moulded wall-cornice with a
frieze in which shields-of-arms of Estcourt alternate
with arabesques. Elsewhere, the principal rooms have
decoration of c. 1790 with neo-classical plasterwork of
good quality. Francis Bernasconi was employed at the
house in 1804, but his bills (fn. 17) relate to exterior work and
cannot be used as evidence that he was engaged on the
A 15th-century stone Porch in the garden 150 yds. E.
of the house (Plate 59) was removed from Salisbury
cathedral during Wyatt's restorations and rebuilt here in
1791; it formerly sheltered a doorway at the N. end of
the N. transept (fn. 18) and was known as St. Thomas's
Porch. (fn. 19) The plain E. buttresses evidently take the place
of the cathedral wall. The octagonal spire and pinnacles
seen in John Buckler's perspective views of the rebuilt
porch (fn. 20) were added in 1791; engravings show that the
porch at the cathedral was flat-roofed. Inside, the two-centred arches have spandrels heavily enriched with
15th-century leaf carving and are outlined by casement
mouldings with spaced flower bosses. The shallow elliptical vault with false ribs is of 1791.
Porch from Salisbury Cathedral
rebuilt at St. Edmund's College in 1791.
In the garden is part of a stone Urn, probably of the
17th century, with guilloche decoration; the neck and
foot are missing. In 1774 it was set on a pedestal inscribed to record the discovery near that place of bones
and rusty armour, (fn. 21) supposed to be evidence of
Cynric's victory over the British, A.D. 552. (fn. 22)
Part of the City Rampart survives in the garden (see
(15) The Poultry Cross (Plate 57), of Chilmark ashlar
with a lead-covered timber roof, stands at the corner of
Minster Street and Butcher Row. The hexagonal arcade
has piers with weathered and pinnacled buttresses
supporting ogee-moulded and hollow-chamfered segmental-pointed arches with ogee labels; above is a
moulded string-course and a pierced parapet with a canopied niche at the middle of each side. The monument
thus far described is datable by style to the end of the
15th century; it cannot be the cross mentioned in the
reign of Richard II. (fn. 23) The upper part, with flying buttresses surrounding a central pinnnacle with six ogee-headed niches and a cross finial, was designed by Owen
Carter following a proposal published in 1834 by Peter
Hall; (fn. 24) the work was executed by W. Osmond in 1852–
4; (fn. 25) the masonry of the lower part of the monument was
restored at the same time. Pictures of the Poultry Cross
as it was before 1852 include two drawings in Salisbury
Museum, (fn. 26) Buckler's view of 1810 (Plate 2), a drawing
by A.W. Pugin, (fn. 27) and an oil painting of c. 1850. (fn. 28) Other
views are in Salisbury Museum. (fn. 29)
Inside, the hexagonal central shaft and the re-entrant
angles of the buttresses retain traces of former vaulting.
Each vault rib sprang from a carved corbel; those which
survive represent angels holding shields. There are traces
of heraldic colouring, barry of eight, or and azure.
(16) City Defences. The royal charter of 1227
granted the bishop the right to enclose the city with
adequate ditches (fossatis competentibus). The expression presumably means 'defences' since a ditch with an
accompanying bank or wall, or a combination of both,
would have been normal, and without it would scarcely
constitute an effective defence. (fn. 30) Although work may
have begun in the 13th century it was certainly unfinished in 1306–7. (fn. 31) A deed of 1331 concerning a
tenement at the N. of Endless Street speaks of novum
fossatum, presumably a newly built part of the town
defence, on its N. side. (fn. 32) In 1367 Bishop Wyvil gave
the citizens permission to fortify the town with four
gates and a stone wall with turrets and also 'to dig in
his soil on every side to the width of eight perches for a
ditch'. (fn. 33) Such an enterprising scheme was altogether
too ambitious and it remained unrealised. In 1378 the
citizens sought help of the king to complete the ditch
around the city and also a wooden fence or palisade, presumably to surmount the rampart. Despite a grant and
subsequent levies on property-owners within the city,
the work was still unfinished as late as 1440, but it was
probably completed soon after that.
On the W. and S. of the city the R. Avon formed a
natural defence; on the E., where the ground rises
steeply, and on the N., earthwork defences were constructed. From the marsh at Bugmore on the S. a rampart and ditch extended along the E. side of the city to a
point N.E. of St. Edmund's Church (5), where it turned
and continued westwards to the E. arm of the R. Avon,
in reality the leat of the Town Mill. The marshy nature
of the ground foiled an attempt to carry it as far W. as
the R. Avon proper. Two fragments of the rampart still
survive, immediately N.E. and S.E. of the Council House
(14). The bank (Plate 17) is about 60 ft. wide at the base
and stands up to 18 ft. high; the surrounding land, and
especially the ditch, has been much altered by shallow
quarrying and by garden landscaping. Along the W. side
of Rampart Road, remains of the bank (6 ft. to 8 ft.
high) were revealed and demolished during the construction of a road in 1970; evidence of 13th-century
occupation was found in a number of places under the
bank. An incomplete section of the ditch (at SU
14852982) showed that it had been recut once and
suggested that it was 40 ft. across and nearly 20 ft.
deep at that point. (fn. 34)
There were eight entrances to the city (Plate 16 and
map on p. xxxix) and control over some of them is evident as early as 1269 when there is mention of 'the
eastern bars of the city' and of a bar in Castle Street. (fn. 35)
Bars or barriers, presumably mainly of wood, served
to protect most of the entrances even in the 15th
century, and formal gateways appear to have been built
only in Wynman Street (modern Winchester Street) and
Castle Street. The gateways are shown on Speed's map
(Plate 1) as rectangular towers with embattled parapets.
Wynman Gate was demolished in 1771, but part of its N.
side may have survived until late in the 19th century,
appearing as a rubble wall in an old photograph (Plate
15). An 18th-century painting (Plate 9) shows the
round-headed archway. The ground was excavated in
1971 for the building of the inner ring-road, but no
trace of the former gateway was found. Castle Street
Gate was partly demolished in 1788, (fn. 36) but the E. abutment remained until 1906; its thick walls are recognisable in a 19th-century plan preserved in the City
Engineer's office. In the upper part of the abutment was
a stone panel with the royal arms (Plate 20); presumably
it was originally over the archway. Since 1908 the panel
has been reset in an adjacent building. It probably dates
from 1638, (fn. 37) and it appears to have been taken down
during the Commonwealth and re-erected in 1662, (fn. 38)
No. 180 Castle Street
demolished in 1906, including the E. side of Castle Street Gate.
Upkeep of the defences seems to have been neglected
from the end of the 15th century, but precise information on the stages of their demolition is lacking. Encroachment on the ditch had started by 1499 and in the
following century parts of it on the E. side of the city
were regularly leased out. Excavations on the S. side of
Milford Street have shown that the ditch was filled with
rubbish in the 15th and 16th centuries. (fn. 39) Naish's plan
of 1716 (Plate 16) shows defences only on the E. side of
the city; those on the N. had presumably been levelled
already. By 1880 (O.S.) about 150 yds. of rampart on
the E. side of Barnard's Cross Chequer and the present
fragments near the Council House were all that survived.
(17) Ayleswade Bridge, (Plate 19) spanning the R.
Avon on the S. of the city, was built by Bishop
Bingham, c. 1240, (fn. 40) at a point where the river is divided
by an eyot into two channels. The wider channel on the
S. is spanned by six two-centred arches of Chilmark
stone; that on the N. has three arches; the northernmost
arch is now blocked. The intrados of each original arch
is plain and the end voussoirs have double chamfers. The
arches rise from stone piers with up-stream and downstream cutwaters and support a roadway originally some
17 ft. wide. In 1774, to widen the roadway, supplementary arches were built on top of the cutwaters, thus
adding 3 ft. to each side of the six S. spans and about
6 ft. to the W. side of the three N. spans. A semicircular
pedestrian refuge was built in 1774 on the E. side of the
N. part of the bridge; a triangular refuge on the adjacent
pier is of the 19th century. Late 18th-century inscriptions record the building of the bridge by Bishop
Bingham and its widening in 1774.
(18) Crane Bridge, crossing the R. Avon at the W. end
of Crane Street, is of ashlar quarried from the Upper
Greensand and has four segmental arches springing from
piers with up-stream and down-stream cutwaters. On
the N. side (Plate 19) the E. arch has two rings of chamfered voussoirs and may be partly mediaeval. The other
arches have wide chamfers and keystones and are probably of the 17th century. In the 16th century a former
bridge had six arches. (fn. 41) The S. side of the bridge was
rebuilt when the road was widened in 1898, and again
in 1970. To the E. of the supposed mediaeval arch, a
smaller opening, now blocked, admitted water to the
Close Ditch (see p. xxxvi).
(19) Milford Bridge, of squared rubble and ashlar,
carries a narrow and apparently ancient road across
two distinct channels of the R. Bourne on the E.
boundary of the city. The road probably led to Clarendon Palace, (fn. 42) but the present bridge appears to be no
older than the late 14th or early 15th century. As the
watercourse is divided, the bridge has two pairs of arches
separated by a length of causeway (Plate 19). The most
westerly arch is semicircular; the others are two-centred.
On the S. side the voussoirs of all four arches are mediaeval, with chamfered and hollow-chamfered mouldings.
On the N., unmoulded voussoirs indicate rebuilding and
lengthening of the vaults for the widening of the road,
probably in the 18th century; the semicircular W. arch
of the S. side was presumably rebuilt at this time. The
piers between both pairs of arches have cutwaters with
weathered heads. Road-level is indicated on the N. and
S. sides of the bridge by a continuous roll-moulded and
hollow-chamfered string-course, evidently mediaeval and
no doubt partly reset. The ashlar parapets have 18th-century torus-moulded and weathered coping.
(20) Laverstock Bridge, crossing the R. Bourne on the
E. boundary of the city and comprising three spans of
cast-iron girders on ashlar piers, was built in 1841 to
replace the bridge swept away by floods in that year
(Salisbury Journal, 25 Jan, 4). The girders are embossed
with the maker's name 'Figes Sarum'.
(21) Dairyhouse, Mutton's and Hatches Bridges,
carrying the Southampton road over the R. Bourne and
adjacent conduit, S.E. of the city, have been altered in
the course of modern roadworks, but retain original
features. Dairyhouse Bridge, spanning the main stream,
consists of a segmental brick arch between ashlar abutments; the parapets are of wrought-iron with twisted
uprights and ball finials. The ashlar coping at road level
is inscribed J S 1836. Mutton's Bridge, about 60 yds. to
the W., is of ashlar and has two segmental arches. The S.
side has been rebuilt in modern times, but the ashlar
parapet includes a date-stone of 1732. Hatches Bridge,
250 yds. E. of Dairyhouse Bridge, is of the first half of
the 19th century and has two segmental brick arches
springing from an ashlar pier with a rounded cutwater.
Inside the W. arch are the voussoirs of an ashlar arch,
presumably part of an earlier and narrower bridge.
(22) General Infirmary, of five storeys with brick
walls and tiled roofs, was designed by 'Mr. Wood of
Bath' in 1767 and opened to patients in 1771. (fn. 43) Attribution to the younger John Wood is confirmed by analogies at Standlynch House, Downton, where he was
active in 1766. Four plans (reproduced on p. 53) and a
N. elevation by T. Atkinson, 1819, show the original
form of the building. Although somewhat altered and
masked by extensions, the 18th-century structure is still
in use (Plate 23). (fn. 44)
Wood designed a tall building with symmetrical elevations capped by crenellated parapets. Turrets projecting
on the E. and W. contained privies and nurses' bed
closets. The main entrance was originally at first-floor
level, the inconvenience of an exterior stair being mitigated to some extent by artificial heightening of the
forecourt; an old photograph (Plate 15) shows the
arrangement. The principal administrative rooms and
the chapel were on the first floor, with the chapel just
inside the main entrance. (The entrance has now been
transferred to what originally was the basement level,
and the forecourt has been lowered.) The three wards
were named after the principal benefactors of the
hospital, the Duchess of Queensberry and the Earls of
Pembroke and Radnor. Queensberry Ward survives
nearly in its original form.
The foundation stone was laid in September, 1767
and tenders from contractors were invited early in 1768.
Robert Surman was appointed bricklayer and tiler;
Robert Schafflin plasterer; Minty & Godwin glaziers,
painters and plumbers; carpentry and joinery was undertaken by Mr. Edmund Lush who also was Clerk of the
Works; James Kellow of Tisbury was stonemason.
In 1819 the chapel was converted into an accident
ward and the former committee room became the
chapel. In 1822 part of the old city gaol (see (476)),
which stood between the Infirmary and the R. Avon,
was converted into a fever ward, but it was dilapidated
and inconvenient and in 1845 it was replaced by a new
three-storeyed wing named for a Mr. Bartlett who in
1818 had left money for extensions. In 1846 the
accident ward was restored to its original use as a chapel
and fitted with a columned and pedimented 18th-century reredos from Warminster parish church. The
silver-gilt communion vessels have assay marks of 1793,
donor's inscriptions of William Batt, 1794, and shields-of-arms of Batt quartering Clarke.
(22) General Infirmary
Early 19th-century plans.
(23) Police Station and Lock-up, near the S. end of
Devizes Road, are of two storeys with brick walls and
slated roofs; they do not appear on the Reform Act map
of 1833, but they are on Botham's plan and probably
were built before 1850. The station, now shops, comprised dwellings and offices and has a symmetrical W.
front of six bays. The lock-up on the E. has been stripped of floors and partitions and is now a warehouse. The
scars of the dismantled brickwork indicate ten vaulted
cells in each storey, each cell having a lunette window
set high above the floor, with an iron grille in an ashlar
(24) Former County Gaol, 100 yds. S.E. of (23), was
of three storeys with cellars and had rendered brick walls
and slate-covered roofs. Built between 1818 and 1822, (fn. 45)
the administrative building (a) and the chapel (c) were
still in existence in 1959, but were demolished soon
afterwards. From 1875 to 1901 the administrative building was in private occupation; thereafter it was used as
The former County Gaol
From a drawing of 1854 (City Surveyor's records).
The administrative building had a symmetrical W.
front of three bays with a central doorway, round-headed sashed windows in the two lower storeys and
square-headed upper windows. The N. and S. elevations
were similar but respectively of six and five bays; the
E. side was masked by a later building. Inside, the
stone stairs had plain iron balustrades. The cellar had
The chapel had long been converted to secular use
and in 1959 was much altered from its original form.
At the time of demolition it had a basement and two
upper storeys; a single-storeyed projection on the E.
was probably the former chancel.
(25) The Market House, or Corn Exchange, with walls
of ashlar and of brick, with an iron and glass roof, was
built in 1858 and thus falls strictly outside the scope of
this inventory, but it is included because of its prominence as a public building. A Corn Exchange was
mooted in 1854 and at first it was intended to build it
on the site of the old Council House, in the E. part of
the Market Place, (fn. 46) but in a revised project the site was
transferred to the W. side of Castle Street, whence a
'tram road' might connect it with the newly constructed
London and South Western Railway. (fn. 47) A plan of the site
by Peniston, c. 1855, is in W.R.O. (451/222). The
Market House Railway was opened in 1859 with the
Corn Exchange as its E. terminal. (fn. 48) The E. front of the
Exchange, designed by John Strapp, Chief Engineer
of the L.S.W.R., is ashlar-faced. It has three bays defined
by rusticated pilasters, and three large round-headed
archways; the middle bay has a pediment. In 1975, when
much of the building was pulled down, the facade was
incorporated with the structure of a new public library.
The site, between Cheesemarket and the R. Avon,
was occupied in mediaeval times by a large courtyard
house. Early in the 15th century it belonged to a dyer
from Longbridge Deverill and was called Deverell's Inn.
In 1423 it passed to John Porte (mayor, 1446) and his
wife Juliana. (fn. 49) By 1721 the building had become the
Maidenhead Inn and it so remained until demolished to
make way for the Market House. (fn. 50) The 18th-century E.
front of the inn is seen in an old photograph (Plate 14).
The remains of a 15th-century hall roof and a stone
chimneypiece, discovered during demolition, were saved
and re-erected in a school (475) near St. Edmund's
(26) St. Nicholas's Hospital, of one and two storeys,
with walls mainly of flint and rubble with ashlar dressings, and with tiled roofs, dates from the second quarter
of the 13th century. Although the buildings were
extensively restored and altered between 1850 and
1884, (fn. 51) the outlines of the original structure are clearly
distinguishable. In the 13th century there were two
parallel buildings; to the N. a range 62 ft. long (E.—W.)
and 24 ft. wide; to the S. a much larger building, 146 ft.
long and 48 ft. wide. The N. building was probably two-storeyed. The S. building was single-storeyed and comprised two aisles parted by a central arcade of seven
arches (Plate 58); each aisle had its own pitched roof. A
chapel was contained within the E. end of each aisle, and
each probably had its own W. porch although that of the
S. aisle alone remains. The dual nature of the S. building
presumably reflects the obligation of the hospital to
care for the sick and poor of both sexes. It was built by
Bishop Bingham, probably in 1231 when royal grants
were made of timber 'for building the hospital'. (fn. 52) Bishop
Bingham's reference to 'the old hospital towards the
north' suggests that the smaller N. building may be an
earlier hospital of St. Nicholas which occurs in documents of 1227. (fn. 53) When the S. building had come into
being the N. building was probably retained as accommodation for the warden and chaplains.
Enough of the hospital survives to afford a particularly interesting example of mediaeval planning: a
single building designed for the separate needs, both
spiritual and physical, of men and of women.
St. Nicholas's Hospital
Architectural Description — The North Building was
restored in 1860 and its masonry repointed, but original
stonework is seen in the lower part of the walls. In the
S. wall are jambs of four blocked doorways. That on the
E., with a chamfered two-centred head springing from
square jambs, is probably original; the next doorway
corresponds with a modern window, but the threshold
and chamfered jambs are partly mediaeval; further W.
a blocked doorway with a chamfered elliptical head and
continuous jambs is perhaps of the 17th century; a
similar blocked doorway occurs near the W. end of the
wall. A weathered string-course below the first-floor
window sills is of the 19th century, but it may replace
a mediaeval feature. Above, at the W. end of the S.
elevation, a blocked first-floor window of two trefoil
headed lights in 13th-century style, but wholly restored,
presumably represents an original opening. The other
windows in the S. elevation are modern. The W. wall of
the range has a ground-floor window of two pointed
lights, perhaps partly original; the upper window is
modern. At the E. end of the N. elevation a blocked
first-floor window of two pointed lights, fully restored,
probably replaces an original opening. In the E. wall the
trefoil heads of two 19th-century first-floor windows
may echo mediaeval features. Inside, the building has
been modernised, but the reveal of a mediaeval S.
window is indicated by a niche near the middle of the S.
In the South Building, restored by Crickmay in 1884,
the two E. chapels are preserved; that on the N. is used
as a common-room by the pensioners of the hospital; the
southern remains a chapel. The E. wall has a steeply
chamfered plinth and clasping corner buttresses of two
stages with moulded plinths and weathered offsets. In
the square-set middle buttress the weathered offset is
roll-moulded. The E. windows of the chapel have chamfered lancet-headed surrounds, wide splays and hollow-chamfered two-centred rear-arches with moulded labels.
Above, the gable has a round window of eight lobes with
foliate cusps;this is modern, but a drawing by J. Buckler,
1803, (fn. 54) shows a similar feature. The N. chapel or
common-room has a restored N. lancet and two lancets
on the E., all similar to those of the S. chapel. The gable
has been rebuilt.
The S. wall of the S. range has a plinth as before and
pilaster buttresses of one weathered stage. The remaining
original windows have lancet heads, chamfered
surrounds and hollow-chamfered segmental-pointed rear-arches. In the second bay from the E. is a small original
doorway with a chamfered two-centred head, continuous jambs and run-out stops. Buckler's drawing shows a
pair of lancet windows near the S.E. corner, but these
have gone. The W. part of the S. wall retains elements of
four single-stage buttresses and the jamb of another window, but the masonry has been rebuilt and much altered.
A small window near the W. end has a chamfered square
head and continuous jambs.
The W. gable of the S. aisle has two restored lancets
and a loop, as shown on another Buckler drawing (Plate
11). Further W., the W. wall of the former porch contains a blocked archway with a two-centred head and
continuous jambs of two orders, chamfered and hollow-chamfered, under a moulded label without stops.
The N. side of the S. aisle is composed of the original seven-bay arcade in which most of the arches have
been closed by modern or 19th-century walls. The
arches, two-centred and of two chamfered orders with
roll-moulded labels, spring from moulded capitals on
cylindrical shafts with moulded bases; the latter are
now below ground. Inside, the part of the S. aisle which
lies W. of the chapel has been converted into the
Warden's residence and other rooms. The former W.
porch of the S. aisle is likewise used as part of a
dwelling. West of the common-room the N. aisle has
Fittings—Aumbry: In S. chapel, in N. wall, with
rebated two-centred head and stone shelf, 13th century.
Bell: At entrance to S. chapel, by John Wallis, 1623.
Benefactor's Table: In S. chapel, on S. wall, marble
tablet in stone frame with four-centred head, recording
benefactions of Edward Emily, 1795. Piscina: In N.
chapel (common-room), in S. wall, with moulded
trefoil head, shafted jambs and three-lobed basin (Plate
40), 1231; in S. chapel, replica of foregoing, 19th
century. Table: In common-room, of oak (11½ ft. by 2½
ft.), with moulded rails, six turned legs and plain
stretchers, 17th century. Tiles: Reset in S. chapel,
thirty, with slip decoration including bowman, deer,
griffin etc., 14th century; Wall-clock: In common-room,
with painted wooden case, by Hugh Hughes, c. 1760.
(27) Trinity Hospital, founded in 1379 for twelve
inmates, (fn. 55) was entirely rebuilt in 1702. It is of two
storeys with attics and has brick walls with stone dressings and tiled roofs. The chapel was refurnished in 1908.
Modernisation in 1950 reduced the number accomodated from twelve to ten.
The symmetrical S. front (Plate 22) has a central
doorway with a stone architrave and a broken pediment
surmounted by a stone panel with a sundial. The doorway opens into an arcaded loggia at the S. end of the
central courtyard. At the N. end of the courtyard
(Plate 22) a doorway to the chapel, with a bolection-moulded timber surround and acanthus brackets supporting a broken pediment, has above it two reset
stones formerly carved and thought to be relics of the
original building. (fn. 56) In 1968 the lower stone retained a
fragment of a relief suggestive of the decoration seen on
some 13th-century coffin slabs, (fn. 57) but this has since
perished. Centrally on the roof of the N. range is a
square timber bell-cote with a clock and a concave lead
roof with an octagonal finial. This bell-cote, a prominent
feature in 18th-century drawings (cf. Plate 9 and the
view on Naish's plan, Plate 16), seems to perpetuate the
memory of a small spire which may have been a feature
of the mediaeval building (Plate 1).
(27) Trinity Hospital, 1702.
Inside, the chapel has the height of two storeys. The
plain walls have heavy moulded plaster cornices with
acanthus brackets; above is an elliptical plaster vault.
The windows are round-headed. The hall, of equal height
with the chapel, has a draught-lobby with early 19th-century fielded panelling; the fireplace is modern. The
adjacent kitchen has a wide fireplace with a cambered
and chamfered oak bressummer.
The four staircases have plain oak newel posts and
close strings; the balustrades have been boarded in. The
committee room on the first floor at the centre of the S.
range has a moulded plaster cornice and, above the fireplace, a panel with the arms of Queen Anne, in a bolection moulded frame.
Fittings- Altar: of stone with consecration crosses,
mediaeval, discovered and reset in chapel, 1908. Bell:
unmarked. Chairs: in hall, six, of oak with turned legs
and leather-covered seats, c. 1702. Clock: in bell-cote,
probably 1702. Glass: reset in chapel windows, late
mediaeval and 17th-century fragments including royal
shield-of-arms (1603–89). Plate: in chapel, includes
silver cup with engraved strapwork, probably late 16th
century; silver stand-paten with Britannia assay marks,
1706; pewter flagon with donor's inscription of William
Waterman (mayor 1702) and date 1707. Table: in hall,
oak, with six turned legs, c. 1702.
(28) Blechynden's Almshouses, No. 75 Winchester
Street, are a 17th-century foundation, but the present
group of single-storeyed brick cottages, with tiled roofs,
appears to result from total reconstruction in 1857. A
stone tablet reset in the S. gable of the E. range bears an
inscription of 1683 (not 1663). (fn. 58) Another tablet records
the rebuilding in 1857.
(29) Culver Street Almshouses, Nos. 28–32 Culver
Street, of two storeys with brick walls and slate-covered
roofs, were built in 1842 to replace almshouses said to
date from the reign of Elizabeth I. (fn. 59) They were demolished in 1972.
(29) Culver Street Almshouses.
(30) Hayter's Almshouses.
(30) Hayter's Almshouses, near the W. end of Fisherton Street, on the N. side, demolished and rebuilt in
1964, comprised a range of six two-storeyed dwellings
with rendered walls and tiled roofs. A segmental-headed
plaque was inscribed 'This Asylum built and endow'd
for six poor women by Mrs. Sarah Hayter, lady of this
(31) Thomas Brown's Almshouses, Nos. 129–135
Castle Street, of two storeys with brick walls and tiled
roofs were demolished in 1971. The seven dwellings appeared to be of c. 1800 although the charity was not
formally established until 1852 (V.C.H., Wilts. vi, 171).
(31) Thomas Brown's Almshouses.
(32) Taylor's Almshouses, at the N.E. corner of
Parsons Chequer, are two-storeyed and have brick walls
with ashlar dressings and tiled roofs. Founded in 1695
and first built in 1698, the building was entirely reconstructed in 1886. Stone tablets with inscriptions of 1698
(33) Frowd's Almshouses, at the N.W. corner of
Parsons Chequer, are two-storeyed with brick walls and
tiled roofs (Plate 23); they were built in 1750 to
accommodate 24 pensioners. (fn. 60) The middle bay of the
symmetrical N. front has brick quoins and a moulded
timber open pediment. The round-headed doorway is set
in an oak door-case with rusticated Tuscan pilasters
supporting a segmental open pediment within which, on
a panel with a rococo carved border, is inscribed 'Built
and Endowd by the Liberality of Mr. Edward Frowd,
Merch't late of this City, 1750'; above is a Palladian
window. Centrally on the roof is an octagonal lantern
with a lead cupola. The S. elevation has an arcaded
loggia in the lower storey and circular windows lighting a
corridor in the upper storey. Inside, the oak stairs have
close strings, square newel posts, plain hand rails and
Tuscan-column balusters. The vestibule and some lodging rooms retain moulded and coved cornices. The Audit
Room at the centre of the upper storey has bolection-moulded oak panelling. In 1974 the building was
adapted for use as a hostel and the interior was extensively altered.
(33) Frowd's Almshouses.
Lesser Secular Buildings
ST. MARTIN WARD
The secular monuments of St. Martin Ward are
divided for convenience of presentation into groups
based mainly on the chequers which the mediaeval
streets define. To assist in the identification of monuments, small maps based on O.S. (1880) are inset in the
text. The maps are conventionally orientated and are
printed at a uniform scale, approximately 1:1,600.