Three Cups Chequer

Pages 135-140

Ancient and Historical Monuments in the City of Salisbury. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1977.

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Three Cups Chequer

Monuments in Three Cups Chequer.

(351) Balle's Place, demolished in 1962, (fn. 1) comprised the remains of a substantial 14th-century courtyard house and associated tenements. The timber-framed buildings had been extensively remodelled and many walls were rebuilt in 18th and 19th-century brickwork, but much of the original three-bay hall roof survived, together with a range on Winchester Street.

The hall was built during the third quarter of the 14th century by John Balle (d. 1387), a wool merchant who appears to have come to Salisbury from elsewhere and who held no public office in the town. Soon after 1416 the property was acquired by Walter Shirley (mayor 1408, 1416). In 1455 the tenant was the bishop's bailiff, John Whittokesmeade, the place having by then become city property. (fn. 2) Between 1477 and 1565 documents are lacking, but after 1591 when the tenant was Zachary Lyming (mayor 1598) the sequence of leases preserved in the city archives is almost uninterrupted. (fn. 3) During the 17th-19th centuries the buildings were divided among numerous tenants. The accompanying plan of the property as it was in the middle of the 19th century is taken from surveys of 1851–5 by J.M. Peniston; (fn. 4) it shows that the original walls had by then largely gone. Nevertheless, in the two areas where shading has been added by RCHM to Peniston's survey, mediaeval roofs remained in situ. The middle part of No. 27 Winchester Street, a two-storeyed house with brick walls and tiled roofs, was spanned by the original hall roof; to S., Nos. 25 and 29 Winchester Street also enclosed mediaeval timber framework.

(351) Balle's Place

Plan of houses in Three Cups Chequer, 1851–5 (after Peniston).

Apart from the roof, No. 27 had few notable features. The oak stairs were of 18th-century origin, but early in the 19th century deal lattice work imitating 'chinoiserie' of the 1750s had been put in place of the balustrades; at the same time pairs of elliptical wooden arches with square pilasters were inserted in both storeys, doubtless to strengthen the staircase floors and ceilings. In the attic (Plate 83) the middle part of the 14th-century hall roof remained, with stout cambered tie-beams supporting crown-posts, collar-purlins and collar-rafters. Below, in the party-wall which divided the former hall between two tenements were the chamfered arch-braces, queenposts, hammerbeams and lower braces of a hammerbeam queen-post truss. The spandrels of the truss were filled with vertical boarding. Mortices in the queen-posts indicated longitudinal arch-braces to support arcade plates. The W. truss survived because it was built into the party-wall; that on the E. had perished below the level of the tie-beam. The arcade plates rested on the jowled heads of the queen-posts and had moulded oak cornices. In the W. end truss of the hall, large vertical speres in place of the queen-posts indicated the probable position of the original hall screens. A stout brick chimneybreast at the E. end of the former hall was probably added in the 16th century.

(351) Balle's Place

Hall roof.

To S. of the hall, Nos. 25 and 29 Winchester Street were small two-storeyed houses with brick walls and tiled roofs. Demolition revealed that the early 19th-century brickwork masked a 14th-century timber-framed range with chamfered posts, about 10 ins. square, braced to a crown-post rafter roof in which the crownposts were braced longitudinally, but not laterally. The first floor was jettied on the S., but had been under-built. The range was of four bays, but that to W. was narrower than the others;doubtless the narrow bay was an original through-way to the courtyard, presumably corresponding with the S. entrance mentioned in a document of 1423. (fn. 5) Another entrance, wide enough for carts, led into the tenement from Rolleston Street. The garden contained a dovecot. (fn. 6)

During demolition some mediaeval ridge-tiles with glazed and serrated cresting were found.

(352) House and Shop, Nos. 23 Winchester Street and 2 Rolleston Street, occupying ground originally part of Balle's Place (351), were demolished in 1962. Most of the building was three-storeyed with brick walls and slate-covered roofs; it dated from the first half of the 19th century. There is a plan of 1851 by. J.M. Peniston (W.R.O., 451/185).

(353) Storehouse, Cottages and Shop, Nos. 4–8 Rolleston Street, were demolished in 1962. Of two storeys with brick walls and tiled roofs they appeared to have been built early in the 19th century.

(351) Balle's Place. Nos. 25–9 Winchester Street.

(354-5) Nos. 10–14 Rolleston Street.

(354) Pair of Houses, formerly Nos. 10 and 12 Rolleston Street, now united and converted to offices, is of two storeys with basement and attic and has brick walls and tiled roofs. The building is of the early 18th century and in its original form was interesting as an early example of 'semi-detached' planning. It is mentioned in the city land survey of 1716 as 'Col. Kenton's new tenement and garden'. (fn. 7) The W. front (Plate 15), originally symmetrical and of seven bays, the central bay blind, has sashed windows in both main storeys, a first-floor plat-band and a prominent eaves cornice with modillions. Of the two original doorways, that on the S. has gone; that on the N., with a flat hood on scroll brackets with acanthus enrichment, remained in its original position until 1970 when it was moved to the middle of the facade. A flight of stone steps leading to a platform from which both doorways formerly opened is shown on O.S., 1880; only the N. part of the platform existed in 1970 and that part has now been removed. Inside, the stairs of the N. house remain, with turned and twisted balusters and a stout handrail, but the curtail has been altered.

The two houses are shown as separate on the plan of 1854, but they had been united by 1880 (O.S.). Since 1970 the blind recess in the upper storey has been opened and furnished with sashes, and a window has been put in place of the former N. doorway.

(355) House, No. 14 Rolleston Street (plan with (354), of two storeys with cellars and attics, has brick walls and tiled roofs; it dates from about the middle of the 18th century. The facade was evidently designed to combine with that of Nos. 10–12 to form a 'terrace', but the effect of uniformity has been diminished by the recent removal of the cornice. In the seven-bay W. front the main doorway with narrow flanking windows is arranged to occupy two bays; the wooden door-case has Tuscan three-quarter columns supporting a semicircular hood with a modillion cornice. In the lower storey the two S. bays of the facade are now occupied by a late 19th-century opening with columns supporting an entablature and a rounded pediment;it was made to give access to an industrial building erected in the garden E. of the house. In place of this opening, O.S. (1880) indicates an ordinary service or office doorway with a narrow flight of steps.

Inside, although used for offices, the main rooms retain joinery of very good quality. The entrance vestibule is spanned by an elliptical archway flanked by Corinthian pilasters with elaborate capitals (Plate 95). The stairs have turned balustrades and panelled dados. The N.W. rooms of each main storey are fully lined with fielded panelling in two heights. In the kitchen, part of the machinery for a turn-spit projects from the chimneybreast and there are traces of a former bread oven.

(356) Salvation Army Citadel, originally a Presbyterian Meeting House, is of one storey with rendered brick walls and a slate-covered roof. The E., S. and W. walls were built in 1702; (fn. 8) the N. wall is modern. In 1815 the hall became the Methodists' Sunday School and in 1882 it was acquired by the Salvation Army. The building is approximately square (45 ft. by 39½ ft.) and originally had two segmental-headed windows in each wall and a central doorway on the north (O.S., 1880). An old photograph (copy in NMR) shows the roof supported by two timber posts placed axially, and by two more in the S. which also supported the gallery. The present roof is modern.

(357) Cottages, four adjoining, Nos. 24–6 Salt Lane and 17–9 St. Edmund's Church Street, rebuilt in 1973, were two-storeyed with attics and had brick walls and slated roofs. The buildings were mainly of the 19th century, but during demolition the wall between Nos. 17 and 19 was revealed as timber-framed. Probably it was the S. end of a 16th-century house.

(358) House, No. 15 St. Edmund's Church Street, of two storeys with attics and cellars, with brick walls and tiled roofs, dates probably from the third quarter of the 18th century. Naish's maps show the site empty. The E. front is symmetrical and of three bays with a central doorway with a pedimented door-case and with plain sashed windows; the eaves have a modillion cornice. A join in the W. elevation shows that the S.W. room is a later addition. Inside, the plan is of class U. The two N. ground-floor rooms are fully lined with fielded panelling in two heights; the hall and stairs have panelled dados, so also have the E. rooms on the first floor. Several original chimneypieces remain. In 1975 the house was extensively restored and a late 19th-century shop-window was removed.

(359) House, No. 47 Winchester Street, at the S.E. corner of the chequer, is of two main storeys with cellars and attics and has brick walls and tiled roofs; the S. front is faced with mathematical tiles. The house was built c. 1673 on city land which had been leased in 1671 to Gyles Naish; (fn. 9) in the lease Naish covenanted to pull down old buildings and rebuild within two years. The history of the former building, the Three Cups Inn, goes back to 1431. (fn. 10) Gyles Naish's house seems to have been designed as a private dwelling. Thomas Naish, Clerk of the Cathedral Works, was lessee in 1694 and 1705. In 1748 an inn licence was issued to Richard Sanborn, wine merchant, whose tenancy began in that year. (fn. 11) In 1773 John Wyche (mayor 1783) took possession, (fn. 12) and it was probably during his tenancy that the S. front was refaced in a contemporary style and the main rooms were replastered. In 1849, when the house was leased to John Finch, J.M. Peniston made a ground plan showing the S. and E. ranges, which still exist, together with a stable range on the W. of the court. (fn. 13) In 1877 the freehold was sold to William Hicks. After many years misuse as a warehouse for machinery, the building is now (1976) empty.

The 18th-century S. front is approximately symmetrical and of five bays with plain sashed windows; the central doorway has a pilastered wooden door-case with fluted capitals and a frieze with garlands. The E. elevation, presumably of 1673, but old-fashioned for that date, has mullioned and transomed windows with hollow-chamfered stone surrounds below brick relieving arches in which some bricks are set forward to give the effect of rustication (Plate 70). The E. end of the S. range is defined by pilasters of rusticated brickwork; a moulded brick plat-band marks the first floor; the gables have moulded and weathered stone coping. In the courtyard, the 17th-century N. and W. elevations have features similar to those of the E. elevation.

(359) No. 47 Winchester Street.

Inside, the rooms in the S. range have 18th-century moulded cornices and panelled dados probably installed by John Wyche. The staircase appears to be of the 17th century, with close strings, stout balustrades, square or chamfered newel posts and heavy moulded handrails; many of the newel posts have been truncated, but some retain square vase-shaped finials.

(360) Coach and Horses Inn, No. 39 Winchester Street, two-storeyed with walls largely of brick, but with some original timber framework and with tiled roofs, appears to be of late 15th or early 16th-century origin. Behind a modern facade of imitation timber framework the S. range has an original roof of three bays with collared tie-beam trusses, clasped purlins and curved wind-braces. An original chamfered post is visible at the S.W. corner of the range. The first-floor jetty is masked by the modern S. front. The N. wing at the E. end of the S. range is probably contemporary; that at the W. end, with brick walls, is of the late 18th century. Both wings were extended N. in the 19th century.

(361) House, No. 37 Winchester Street, of three storeys with brick walls and slate-covered roofs, is of c. 1800. The two-bay S. front has a shop window in the lower storey, a projecting window on the first floor and plain sashed windows on the second floor. The plot on which the building stands forms the S.E. corner of the mediaeval Balle's Place tenement (350). It is mentioned in the will of Walter Shirley, 1429, (fn. 14) and it certainly corresponds with the plot, 12½ ft. wide, held by William Kent in the city land survey of 1618. (fn. 15)

(362) Houses, range of three, Nos. 31–5 Winchester Street, are of two storeys with attics and have rendered timber-framed walls and tiled roofs; a few glazed mediaeval ridge tiles remain. The building appears to be of the 15th century and probably corresponds with Walter Shirley's legacy (1429) to John Park. (fn. 16) The upper storeys are jettied on the S. and the roofs are of collarrafter construction.


  • 1. Upon demolition the hall roof was dismantled and the timbers were stored for eventual re-use.
  • 2. Liber Niger, 85.
  • 3. W.A.M., 59 (1964), 155–67.
  • 4. W.R.O., 451/185–6.
  • 5. Dom. Bk., iii, f. 171.
  • 6. Sar. Corp. MS., Reg. of Demises of City Land, 1477.
  • 7. Sar. Corp. MS., O/117/1, f. 25. Probably Francis Kenton (1634–1720), alderman and chairman of the committee for rebuilding Trinity Hospital in 1702.
  • 8. Indentures etc., Salisbury Methodist Church.
  • 9. Sar. Corp. MS., O/117/1, f. 59v.
  • 10. Haskins, Guilds, 303–6.
  • 11. Sar. Corp. MS., O/117/7.
  • 12. ibid.
  • 13. W.R.O., 451/155.
  • 14. Dom. Bk. iii, transcr., ff. 243–4.
  • 15. Sar. Corp. MS., O/117/1.
  • 16. Dom. Bk. iii, transcr., ff. 243–4. W.A.M., lix (1964), 164.