St. Peter's Street

Pages 152-156

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the Town of Stamford. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1977.

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St. Peter's Street (Fig. 201)

St. Peter's Street is part of an E. to W. road which is at least as early as the earliest settlement at Stamford and takes its name from one of the oldest churches in the town. As Stamford expanded a new parish of St. Mary Bynnewerk was formed at the W. end of the street, perhaps in the early 12th century. The church, and by implication the parish, was not very rich and it was one of the first to become redundant in the 15th century. The W. section of the street declined, but during the 17th and 18th centuries the E. part maintained a modest respectability, being occupied mainly by craftsmen and tradesmen.

Fig. 201 Map showing monuments in Austin Street, King's Mill Lane, Rutland Terrace, St. Peter's Hill, St. Peter's Street, St. Peter's Vale and West Street.

(396) House, No. 1, two storeys and attics with first-floor jetty to the street, class 5 plan, originally timber framed but partly rebuilt in stone, has a late medieval origin. Early 19th-century modernization included a two-storey timber-framed rear wing. The rear of the original building is traceable; the lower stage of the timber-framing has been replaced in brick and stone. Beneath the encased jetty is a bay window of c. 1830 with canted sides and slender mullions; a reeded door-case shaped to the jetty supports an open pediment. Inside, the fittings are mostly early 19th-century.

(397) House, No. 2, three storeys and cellar, four storeys at rear, walls of coursed rubble, was built c. 1830. The plan, class 14b, comprises single front and rear rooms, each with slightly projecting bay windows. Inside, heavily ornamented ceiling plasterwork of c. 1830 survives.

Fig. 202 (398) Former Williamson's Almshouses.

(398) Former Williamson's Almshouses, now No. 3 (Fig. 202), one storey and semi-attics, has stone rubble walls; the street front has casements with wooden lintels and leaded lights, and hipped-roofed dormers. It was probably built in the early 17th century. The first-floor E. room contains decorative plasterwork of elaborate but provincial character (Plate 84), also early 17th-century. The ceiling is divided by ribs into quatrefoils and diamonds, each compartment being filled with conventional patterns including foliage, scrolls, cherubs, human and animal heads, and hippocampi; the wall decoration includes vine trails, goose between foxes, mouse between cats, and woman between men, possibly Susannah and the Elders.

Behind the almshouses is a two-storey building in coursed rubble except for the plastered timber N. wall. It was built in two stages in the 18th century and originally comprised two dwellings, probably to provide further almshouse accommodation. Most of the windows retain their wooden casements with leaded lights.

(399) Wells House, No. 4, two storeys and attics, originally timber-framed, may have an early 17th-century origin but subsequent alterations have obscured its development. A building described throughout the 17th century as having a hall, parlour and chambers presumably survives in the present structure (LAO, 99/102, 165/91, 165/202). It was refitted in the 18th century when the E. section was rebuilt and heightened; a kitchen wing was added in c. 1800 and other alterations followed. The timber-framed and stone walls are now plastered. The three-room plan with timber partitions on the first-floor may denote the original arrangement. In the E. block is a ground-floor mid 18th-century fireplace surround with swags and figures in a central panel; the central part was lit by a stone two-light hollow-moulded mullion window in the back wall. The W. block, extended to the rear in c. 1830, has a gothic window with ogee glazing bars, and a fireplace of that date.

(400) Houses, Nos. 8–9 (Plate 142), a reflecting pair of class 14 plan, two storeys, ashlared walls with platband and centrally placed plaque bearing shield inscribed 'w w 1804'.

(401) Shop, No. 9A, two storeys, coursed rubble walls, ashlar quoins and dressings, is mid 19th-century. Surrounds to the wide shop front remain. Behind the single-room shop is a warehouse with a wide opening from the yard and two opposing upper doors probably once with hoists.

(402) House, No. 10, two storeys and attics, rubble walls rendered on N., originally class 2 plan, may be late 17th-century. On the street front a two-storey bay window with canted sides and hipped roof was added in the 18th century. Inside, the central passage has been widened to take a new stair; the former stair was probably sited against the rear wall.

(403) House, No. 11, formerly The Greyhound Inn, of two storeys, coursed rubble walls, class 10 plan, freestone quoins, mansard roof, is late 18th or early 19th-century. Interior now gutted, the stairs being in a new wing.

(404) House, No. 14, two storeys, attics and vaulted cellar, rubble walls, class 6 plan, is probably 18th-century. The windows, mostly with sliding sashes, and the central doorway have wooden lintels. An upper room contains an early 19th-century reeded fireplace surround with angle-roundels.

(405) House, No. 15 (Plate 83), class 6 plan, two storeys and attics, coursed rubble walls, containing two features of the late 12th century, is ostensibly of the 17th century, probably c. 1663. The street elevation comprises: a 12th-century round-headed doorway with chamfered jambs and arch, abacus, and hood-mould, and heavy keystone of the 17th-century; a two-storey bay window with canted sides, ovolo mullions, and lozenge panel inscribed 'AM 1663' set in the gable; other win dows have 17th-century surrounds and later fittings. Part of the rear wall was removed in the 17th century when a wing was added; at a high level is a small rectangular window with chamfered surround, possibly of the 12th century, which may have lit a former stair. Inside, axial beams are reused timbers each having sloping mortices and peg holes in the soffit, not in the sides, suggesting an early date for the timbers. In the entrance passage is some later 17th-century bolection-moulded panelling. The 17th-century roof has clasped purlins.

(406) House, No. 19, has a street range of 17th-century, or possibly late medieval, origin having a class 2 plan; a rear wing is probably later 17th or early 18th-century. The street elevation of two storeys is a late 19th-century refacing in coursed rubble. (Inside not seen.)

(407) Exeter Court (Plate 155), early 19th-century row of eight houses, two storeys and attics, each of class 15 plan, with squared-rubble walls and stone-slated mansard roof. The ashlared S. end elevation comprises doorway with triple keystone, platband, and two-storey bay window mostly of timber. A corresponding row on the W. has been demolished. An arch which linked the ends of the rows leads to a yard formerly containing privies.

(408) Former Chequers Inn, No. 27, two storeys and attics, dressed rubble walls, and mansard roof, class 15 plan, is late 18th or early 19th-century. The inn was recorded in 1813 (Blore, 256). Openings in the front wall have wooden lintels.

(409) House, No. 28, two storeys, stone and brick walls, class 13a plan, is early 19th-century.

(410) House, No. 29, two storeys, coursed rubble outer wall, large freestone quoins and dressings, class 6 plan, is probably 17th century in origin. The E. chimney stack may be 18th-century. The present shop windows are later; the building had become a grocer's shop and dwelling before 1858 (Mercury, 21 May). The rear wall of the house is apparently timber-framed, and beyond is a continuous outshut, perhaps an original feature. Inside, is a later 17th-century door with scratch mouldings.

In yard, a stone barn with rubble walls may be late 18th-century; it was occupied in 1813 by Charles Reesby, miller (Blore, 256), and may be associated with the industry of sack-making, carried on here before 1799 (Mercury, 21 June).

(411) House, No. 30 (Fig. 203), two storeys with barrel-vaulted cellar, stone walls, class 10, is mid 17th-century; it has a central entrance and one original end chimney stack. The street front has two secondary, slightly projecting, two-storey bay windows with canted sides. In the rear wall, a doorway has chamfered jambs and wave-stops, and a blocked two-light window has ovolo-moulded mullion. An original winding stair survives in the cellar beside the E. stack.

Fig. 203 (411) 30 St. Peter's Street.

(412) House, Nos. 31–32, two storeys, timber-framed and plastered, may be 15th-century; there are two rear wings. A photograph of c. 1900 (NMR) shows the house with a stone front wall, now entirely removed; openings then visible suggest that this is the building drawn by Stukeley in 1735 as 'Sempringham Hall' (Plate 70; Designs, 75; Stanfordia Illustrata II, 73). The main range, of four bays with carriageway in the third bay, has a roof with clasped purlins and wind-braces. In the W. rear wing of two half bays length, one arch brace is visible; the end of the wing has been curtailed by a 17th-century stone range which continues beyond. The wing is timber-framed except for the lower stage on the E. and probably 15th-century. Reset in the E. wing are two 15th-century stone doorways with continuous moulded jambs, depressed heads and headstops; until the late 19th century at least one doorway was within the carriageway. In the yard is a lead pump of c. 1800.

(413) House, No. 33, two storeys with attic and cellar, dressed coursed rubble walls, mansard roof, is late 18th-century. In the S. wall is a reset date slab, '1660'. The symmetrical street front has two bay windows, with canted sides and sashes, flanking a central plain round-headed doorway. The plan, of class 11a, comprises two front rooms, central passage and staircase, and kitchen in a rear wing.

(414) House, No. 34 (Fig. 204), two storeys, coursed rubble walls, incorporates part of a roof of an open hall at right angles to the street, possibly of the 15th century. The present appearance of the house is due to extensive alterations by the Dixon family in the last quarter of the 18th century. This house is probably that leased by the Corporation to Joseph Dixon, carpenter, and after his death to John Dixon his son, also a carpenter, in 1778. In 1783 'Mr Dixon' was presented at the Court Leet for two bay windows which were encroaching on the street (Ex. MS, 90/27).

The house now has an L-shaped plan with timber-framed stair turret in the entrant angle (class 11b). The main range was originally timber-framed but has been partly refaced in stone. The street front has a central doorway with reeded surround, and another doorway above, presumably replacing a window. The two twostorey canted bay windows, mostly of timber, and the wooden eaves cornices are doubtless carpentry work by the Dixons. The medieval roof, which extends over the S. end of the rear wing, comprises nine pairs of rafters, all heavily smoke-blackened, with a straight, lapjointed collar at every third pair of rafters, and clasped purlins. The four-bay roof over the front range is probably 16th or 17th-century and cuts the S. end of the earlier roof; it has clasped purlins and incorporates two cambered tie beams. The late 18th-century alterations include an extension to the rear wing, and internally, a fireplace with wooden fluted sides and central panel.

Fig. 204 (414) 34 St. Peter's Street.

(415) House, Nos. 35–36 (Fig. 205; Plate 71), two storeys, is a late medieval timber-framed house of class 1b plan, partly encased in stone in the 17th century. The original house has a two-cell cross wing; part of the rear wall of the hall remains, showing that the chimney stack was external. The hall roof has braced crown posts (Fig. 205). In the 17th century the hall was floored over and the front wall replaced in stone on the same front line. There is a two-storey gabled bay window in stone with mullions and canted sides. In the early 18th century a stone-walled rear wing was added behind the hall. A shop front with central door and flanking round-headed windows was added to the cross wing in the early 19th century.

Fig. 205 (415) 35–36 St. Peter's Street.

(416) House, No. 37, two storeys, stone rubble walls, class 10 plan, has an early 19th-century appearance, but the inserted jambs of the windows, and other features, imply an earlier origin; it is built parallel to the street. The W. window has a triple sash and the upper windows have segmental heads rising above the eaves. Inside, some early 19th-century architraves survive.

(417) Torkington House, No. 38, comprises a twostorey range on the S., probably of the 17th century, lesser 18th-century additions on the N. and W., and a large three-storey rear wing of the early 19th century built in coursed rubble. The 19th-century work was carried out for the influential family of Torkington; a strong-room suggest that it was partly used for business. The rendered street range has two-storey timber bay windows with canted sides, and a mansard roof of c. 1800. The early range consisted of two rooms and central passage. The interior has some early 19th-century fittings including reeded architraves and reset panelling. In garden, a terrace contrived out of the former Town Walls (11) has a reset four-centred doorway of the 17th century, now blocked, and two round-headed recesses in the thickness of the wall and two in the retaining wall of the terrace. Visible masonry is early 19th-century.