Market Place

Pages 59-62

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

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Market Place

For monuments on the N. side of the Market Place, see p. 132; for those on the E., p. 81. For notes on the evolution of the Market Place and surrounding streets, see p. xl.

(34) House, No. 32 Cheesemarket, of three storeys with brick and ashlar walls and with slate-covered roofs, dates from the second half of the 18th century. The lower storey of the four-bay facade has 19th-century stone rustication; the brick upper storeys retain original stone quoins, plat-band, cornice and parapet. The square-headed sashed windows and other original woodwork remain. A photograph (Plate 14) taken before 1859 depicts the facade of No. 32 very much as it is today.

(35) House, No. 31 Cheesemarket, of three storeys with a modest 18th-century brick facade and a tiled roof, is substantially a timber-framed building of 14th-century origin. Described in mediaeval leases as a messuage with shops and cellars, it was owned in 1396 by Nicholas Taillour, citizen and draper of London and Sarum; 1396–1417 by William Baly, draper; 1417–22 by Richard Oword; then by Richard Gage. (fn. 1) A market regulation of c. 1440 orders 'that victuallers bringing cheese, milk, grapes, plums, apples, pears and other fruits to the city shall be constrained in future to keep the place assigned them opposite the tenement once of Richard Oword, now of John (sic) Gage, where the new cross is built'. (fn. 2) The mediaeval tenement occupied the sites of Monuments (35) and (36) and perhaps also (34). In 1541 it was sold by Sir Henry Lang to Robert Eyre, with a garden which lay across the river, behind the mill. (fn. 3)

During the second half of the 17th century, when Sir Samuel Eyre built a large house (36) on land immediately to the W., part of the lower storey of the old house was opened up to make a carriage through-way. The S. wall of the original building, with very stout chamfered posts and curved braces, is visible on the S. side of the through-way. Inside the house a few chamfered beams, stout posts and braces are exposed, but the 14th-century structure is largely masked by plaster. In the roof a collar purlin and some curved braces are seen. For a time during the 19th century the building was the Post Office. (fn. 4)

Monuments W. and S. of the Market Place

Map based on O.S. 1880.

(36) House, No. 29 Cheesemarket, a large town house of the latter part of the 17th century, is of two storeys with cellars and attics and has brick walls and tiled roofs. After being acquired in 1541 by Robert Eyre (see (35)) the tenement remained with the Eyre family until 1780. The house was built by Sir Samuel Eyre between 1663 and 1689. A lease of 1697 granted by Robert Eyre to Ferdinand Younge, apothecary, provides a schedule of goods and a list of rooms, including a withdrawing room and a great parlour; it also mentions a bridge with two doors leading to a garden on the other side of the river. (fn. 5) The old house (35) was used for service rooms, but there were 'two wainscot rooms' over the coach house, wood house and coal house.

(36) No. 29 Cheesemarket

First-floor plan.

The symmetrical five-bay S. front has been partly covered by additions, but the rusticated brick quoins, plaster eaves cove and moulded cornice remain visible. The central doorway has gone. Many windows have 18th-century sashes, but the staircase window in the N. elevation retains an original oak mullion and transom with leaded iron casements. Inside, the 17th-century oak close-string staircase (Plate 87) has panelled newel posts, turned and twisted balusters, stout moulded handrails and dados with fielded panelling. Some first-floor rooms have moulded plaster cornices, panelled dados and bolection-moulded chimneypieces. The attic stairs have original turned balusters and moulded handrails. Beams with 15th-century mouldings in the cellar are presumably reused.

(37) Offices and Shops, formerly the Vine Inn, Nos. 28 Cheesemarket and 2–4 St. Thomas's Square, are mainly two-storeyed and have walls partly of brick and partly of timber framework, tile-hung to simulate brickwork; the roofs are slate-covered and tiled. Although the buildings appear to be mainly of late 18th and early 19th-century origin the plan indicates a large mediaeval courtyard house, and this is confirmed in several documents. In 1400 Thomas Boyton, bowyer, bequeathed the tenement to his wife Gunnora (fn. 6) and in 1421 his executor sold it to Robert Okebourne. Many later deeds survive. (fn. 7) Early in the 17th century, when the house belonged to the Webb family, it was occupied as a town house by Edward Penruddock of Compton Chamberlayne. The lease included a schedule of 'thinges to be left att the end of his tearme' listed room by room. The document shows that the house comprised nine ground-floor rooms including a hall, a large parlour hung with pictures, and a study; there were eleven upper chambers. Subsequently the house declined in status and later tenants were a tanner, a clothier and a goldsmith. In 1637 Sir John Webb sold the house to William Joyce. In 1647 Joyce let it to William Vyner, vintner, again with a room-by-room schedule; a new staircase rising through three storeys is mentioned. Hence forward the building was called the Vine Inn. A trade token issued by Vyner in 1657 shows the device of a bunch of grapes; (fn. 8) he was mayor in 1668 and died in 1677. In 1679 John Joyce or his executors sold the property to the Corporation. A survey made in 1716 shows that some of the main rooms overlooked the street while others, including the hall, lay on the N. of a courtyard and extended as far as the river; (fn. 9) eleven chambers had names such as Lyon, Dolphin and Vine (the latter on the first floor at the N.E. corner of the house, overlooking Cheesemarket). A range on the S. of the courtyard contained kitchens and stables.

In 1795, as part of an exchange made when the Guildhall (13) was built, the Vine Inn became the property of the Dean and Chapter. (fn. 10) In 1835 a row of buildings adjoining the Vine Inn was pulled down for the enlargement of St. Thomas's churchyard and the S. range of the inn was refronted. (fn. 11) In 1861–2 the part of the tenement adjacent to the R. Avon was leased to the Church for the construction of a school. (fn. 12) The school was pulled down in 1974 to make way for two new houses, one of them St. Thomas's Rectory.

Of this extensive inn, the yard and the carriage through-way leading into the yard from Cheesemarket are still distinguishable. The through-way has become a shop (No. 28). The jettied first floor can be seen in the northern part of the E. front (No. 28a) behind 19th-century and later facings. Inside, an 18th-century closestring staircase with a moulded handrail and turned balusters, on the N. of the former through-way, is probably the 'substantial staircase up to a room called the Vine' covenanted for in a lease of 1702. (fn. 13)

(38) House, No. 27 Cheesemarket, of three storeys with late 18th-century walls of ashlar and brick and with a modern flat roof, occupies the site of the mediaeval Council House (1416–1584). It was built in or soon after 1797 by H. Jeffrey, who acquired the tenement from the Corporation in that year. In 1783 the former building was still known as 'the old council house'. (fn. 14)

The W. front, of ashlar in the lower storey, has three bays. A 19th-century shop window occupies the N. bay. The middle bay has a doorway of c. 1797 with a panelled door-case with reeded pilasters and an open pediment hood with a wreath in the tympanum (cf. (415)). The S. bay has a plain sashed window. The brickfaced upper storeys have plain sashed windows with gauged brick heads and keystones, or blind recesses. At the top is a moulded and bracketed wooden cornice and a plain parapet. The two-bay N. elevation and the S. elevation have similar features. Inside, the stairs have open strings and scrolled spandrels ornamented with guttae. Several rooms have panelled dados.

(39) Warehouse, of three storeys with brick walls and slate-covered roofs, is of the early 19th century.

(40) House, No. 19 Oatmeal Row, of three and two storeys with timber-framed walls and tiled roofs, is of 15th or 16th-century origin but has been much altered. The jettied E. front is hung with mathematical tiles and has sashed windows. Inside, the E. first-floor room retains some original plasterwork with roses and estoiles. The winding stairs are largley modern, but retain an original circular oak newel post and some original oak steps.

(41) House, No. 18 Oatmeal Row, demolished 1958, was timber-framed and of three storeys with an attic; it probably dated from late in the 16th century. The E. front was jettied at the second floor. The building had been altered inside and the roof had been renewed, but the moulded barge-boards of the E. gable were probably original. Being of later date than the houses on each side, the building had no lateral walls.

(42) House, No. 17 Oatmeal Row, of three storeys with attics, with timber-framed walls and tiled roofs, is of the first half of the 17th century. Above a modern ground-floor shop window the gabled E. front has an original two-storeyed bow window with moulded timber mullions and transoms and a flat roof supported on shaped brackets with turned pendants; between storeys the mullions continue, enclosing plaster panels with fleur-de-lis enrichment. The roof is of five bays.

(42-3) Nos. 17 and 16 Oatmeal Row.

(43) House, No. 16 Oatmeal Row, with characteristics as in (42), is of the late 16th or early 17th century. The gabled E. front is jettied at the second floor. Inside, the E. first-floor room has 17th-century oak panelling and a contemporary chimneypiece with shafted uprights and chip-carving. At the W. end of the W. room the posts of a former outside wall retain mortices for a window which projected under the second floor jetty. In the third storey the W. elevation has a rectangular projecting window of seven lights. The S. wall of this house comprises the former N. front of the adjacent house (44), an earlier building.

(44) House, No. 15 Oatmeal Row, perhaps originally two houses, each three-storeyed with attics, has tile-hung timber-framed walls and tiled roofs and is of the mid 16th century. The building was originally isolated and the upper storeys are jettied on all four sides; where revealed, the jetties have heavily moulded oak sills. Mortices for the mullions of projecting windows, now gone, are seen on the underside of the jetties. The two lower storeys have been combined by the removal of the first floor and the space so formed is occupied by a shop. On the N. side the two upper storeys are seen inside the adjacent house (43).

(45) House, No. 14 Ox Row, of three storeys and attic, with brick walls and a tiled roof, is of the early 18th century. In the upper storeys the original stairs have close strings and turned balusters. The roof has collared trusses with cruck-shaped principals.

(46) Warehouse, No. 13 Ox Row, demolished in 1962, had a four-storeyed N. front of brickwork, with three bays of plain sashed windows; externally the building appeared to be of the late 19th century. Inside, however, there was an early 18th-century staircase with square newel posts, moulded close strings and twisted balusters. The N. room on the first floor had contemporary bolection-moulded panelling in two heights. Removal of this panelling revealed a two-storeyed late mediaeval building with timber-framed walls with wattleand-daub infilling.

(47) City Arms Inn, of two storeys with tile-hung timber-framed walls and tiled roofs, is of 16th-century origin, but considerably altered. Inside, a ground-floor room retains a moulded beam and a stone fireplace surround with a moulded four-centred head and jambs with shaped stops. Scratchings on the fireplace fascia include a unicorn, a stag, other animals and numerous initials; these appear to the of the 17th century or earlier.

(48) Houses, two, Nos. 6–7 Ox Row, now united and used as a shop, are three-storeyed and have brick walls and tiled roofs; they are probably of mid 18th-century origin, but retain few original features. On the S. front each building has an early 19th-century elevation, but on the N. they are united by a common facade with a wide pediment-like gable with a moulded wooden cornice, often a conspicuous feature in early views of the Market Place (e.g. Rowlandson, c. 1800, V.C.H., Wilts. vi, opp. p.138). In the top storey the facade retains three original windows with false round heads, the lateral windows being of Palladian form. The two lower storeys have modern windows. Probably reset at the W. end of the ground floor is an original pedimented door-case, the entablature of which includes a window.

(49) Shop, No. 5 Ox Row, of three storeys with cellar and attic, with rendered and tile-hung timber-framed walls and a tiled roof, is of the early 18th century. In the first and second storeys the N. front has original bow windows, each of three bays with hung sashes, curved on plan.

(50) Duchess of Albany, former inn, demolished in 1973, was of three storeys with cellar and attic; it had brick walls and slated and tiled roofs. It was partly of the late 18th and partly of the mid 19th century.


  • 1. Dom. Bk. ii, ff 1, 140v; iii, ff 33v, 79v.
  • 2. Sar. Corp. MS., D/32, Ledger A, ff 147–8. Benson & Hatcher (p. 122) mistakenly assign the regulation to an earlier date.
  • 3. Eyre Papers, Newhouse, Redlynch.
  • 4. Kindon & Shearm.
  • 5. Eyre papers, Newhouse, Redlynch.
  • 6. Dom. Bk. ii, ff. 30v–31.
  • 7. Sar. Corp. MS., Deeds, W. 205.
  • 8. Rowe, Coinage, 32.
  • 9. Sar. Corp. MS., 0/117/4.
  • 10. Sar. Corp. MS., 0/117/8, f. 39.
  • 11. ibid., 0/108/3, 1835, June 9.
  • 12. Sar. Corp. MS., St. Thomas's deeds (with plan).
  • 13. ibid., Deeds, W.205.
  • 14. Sar. Corp. MS., 0/117/8, f 11.