City surveys mention a number of small tenements on
the W., N. and S. sides of the chequer. (fn. 1) They were
humble dwellings with small gardens or with no gardens
at all and fringed a large property at the centre of the
chequer. The property, clearly shown on Naish's map
(Plate 16), had a large isolated house towards its N.
end. (fn. 2) In 1504 this 'capital place' with a gateway, together with a barn and a stone house facing St. Edmund's
Church, belonged to Richard Freeman. (fn. 3)
(410) Cottages, Nos. 58–60 St. Edmund's Church
Street, are two-storeyed with attics and have brick walls
and tiled roofs. They were built early in the 19th
(411) Cottages, pair, Nos. 68–70, of two storeys
with brick walls and tiled roofs, appear to be mainly of
the 18th century, but they incorporate a single-storeyed
timber-framed building of 16th-century origin; this came
to light in 1974 while the interior was being replastered.
The 16th-century roof has a braced tie-beam truss with a
cambered collar and lower angle braces.
Monuments in Vanner's Chequer.
(412) Cottage, No. 72, is two-storeyed with an attic
and has brick walls and a tiled roof; the W. front is
rendered. The building appears to be mainly of the 18th
century. Beams and joists inside are probably 17th-century material, reused.
(413) Cottages, pair, Nos. 36–8 Bedwin Street, are
two-storeyed with attics and have timber-framed walls
and tiled roofs. Of 17th-century origin, they provide a
late example of exposed timber framework. The common
gable in the attic storey of the symmetrical four-bay N.
front is a 19th-century addition; the roof purlin retains
mortices for rafters removed when the gable was added.
A carved corbel set centrally in the gable is of the 19th
century. Inside, some reused chamfered beams are
exposed. (Rebuilt, 1977.)
(414) Houses, two adjacent, Nos. 54–6 Bedwin
Street, are two-storeyed and have timber-framed walls
faced with brickwork, and tiled roofs. They are of late
16th-century origin, altered in the 18th century. Inside,
stout timber framework and chamfered beams with
shaped stops are seen. The roof has collared tie-beam
trusses with lower angle struts; some members are
notably smoke-blackened, but there is no evidence of
a former louvre. Originally the building is likely to
have comprised a single house.
(415) Croft House, at the N.E. corner of the chequer,
is partly of two storeys with attics and cellars and partly
three-storeyed; it has brick walls and tiled roofs. The N.
range, with a symmetrical three-bay front to Bedwin
Street, is of the early 18th century; the central doorway
has a late 18th-century moulded wooden surround with
an open pediment on shaped brackets and a tympanum
with swags and paterae. The E. range, flanking Greencroft
Street, was added towards the end of the 18th century
on ground which Naish's town plan (Plate 16) shows
unoccupied. The N. bay of the E. range contains a staircase; the next two bays are three-storeyed and have
sashed windows with keystones, plat-bands at two levels,
and a modillion cornice; the two S. bays are two-storeyed.
During the 19th century two more two-storeyed bays
were added at the S. end of the range.
Inside, the N. range originally had a class-T plan. In
the lower storey the original staircase has gone, but part
of it remains between the first floor and the attic. The
staircase in the late 18th-century extension is of oak,
with slender turned balusters and a dado with fielded
panelling. The first-floor room in the three-storeyed part
of the E. range has late 18th-century joinery and a
carved wood chimneypiece.
(416) Coach House, Stables and Dwelling, Nos. 83–5
Greencroft Street, partly two-storeyed, with brick and
flint walls with ashlar dressings and with tile-covered
roofs, were built early in the 18th century. Several openings have ashlar surrounds with elliptical heads, keystones
etc. resembling those on the S. front of the Council
House (14). Presumably these were the stables of that
house, built when it was a private residence.
(417) Houses, pair, Nos. 49–51 Salt Lane, are two-storeyed with attics and cellars and have timber-framed
walls faced with brickwork, and tiled roofs. Of 16th-century origin, they were refronted and extensively
altered in the 18th century. No. 49 has recently been
demolished. Previously the S. front was symmetrical and
of five bays, with plinth, plat-band and coved eaves-cornice, and with plain sashed windows in both main
storeys. The doorways were coupled in the middle bay,
the corresponding first-floor window belonging to No.
51. The gabled N. wall of No. 49 retained original timber
framework. Inside, the ground-floor rooms have stop-chamfered beams.
(418) Houses, pair, Nos. 45–7, demolished c. 1967,
were of the 16th-century and had characteristics similar
to the adjoining pair (417), but they were slightly lower
in elevation and the S. fronts had no plinth and no
cornice. Inside, No. 45 had an open fireplace with an
oak bressummer. The first-floor rooms of both houses
had fireplaces; some chamfered ceiling beams had shaped
stops. The roofs had collared tie-beam trusses with