The Angel Inn


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
The Angel Inn, 95, High Street, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 1ND


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Statutory Address:
The Angel Inn, 95, High Street, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 1ND

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Test Valley (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Inn, built by Winchester College in 1445-55. C16 and C17 modifications, façade refronted in brick in the late C18, C19 and C20 extensions and alterations.

Reasons for Designation

The Angel Inn, Andover, a timber-framed courtyard inn built by Winchester College in 1445-55, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Date & Rarity: a mid-C15 timber-framed inn and therefore a rare survival nationally * Intactness: the timber-frame is remarkably intact and the C15 courtyard plan and internal arrangements remain legible * Architectural interest: the unusual form of the ‘jointed cruck’ roof trusses in addition to original and thus rare stone chimney stacks, also the survival of decorative details, are indicators of the quality of the build and the degree of investment in its construction: such features are of more than special interest nationally * Historical documentation: the very detailed contemporary accounts of the inn’s construction as well as subsequent documentary sources allow a rare appreciation of the construction and operation of this medieval inn


In 1434 a terrible fire destroyed much of upper Andover, possibly starting in a Butcher’s shop in White Bear Yard on the High Street, and had a devastating effect on the inhabitants and economy of the town. No timber-framed pre-1435 buildings survived and recovery was slow: nine years later the contract for building The Angel describes the site on the west side of the High Street as ‘void ground’. Winchester College, which had acquired Andover Priory in 1414, began a programme of investment in the town, acquiring fire damaged properties and building new ones. The College accounts for this period survive in its archives and indicate not only the extent of its investment but also particulars of some of the buildings which were constructed including The Angel Inn. Details of the expenditure have been published by John Hare in his article Winchester College and the Angel Inn, Andover: a fifteenth-century landlord and its investments (2005).

The archives tell us that in 1445 a contract was signed between the Warden of Winchester College, one Robert Thurbern, and two carpenters, Richard Holnerst and John Hardyng, to build the college a timber-framed inn in Andover. The documentation is so detailed that the identity of this inn as The Angel has long been established. The period of construction covered by the accounts of the works runs from 1445-55 with the main frame completed in the 1440s but some minor works continuing into the next decade. The painting of the inn sign by John Messyngham of Winchester, completed the work.

The Angel was built at a cost of about £400 (Hare 2005, 189), a very large sum of money for the mid-C15. The King’s carpenter at Eton was consulted on the design and it is clear that the College intended a high specification inn which would attract the upper end of the market in terms of clientele. Andover was an important staging town lying on the London-Salisbury south-west road and also between Southampton and the Midlands. It was also an economic centre, particularly associated with cloth production in the C15. Timber to build the inn was brought from Hannington Wood near Kingsclere, Finkley in Chute Forest near Andover and from Ashmansworth. Tiles came from Mottisfort, Woodhay and Tytherley (all in Hampshire). A smith in Romsey supplied the locks and keys. Caen stone was used to build the cellar windows and steps, Beer stone from Devon was used for foundation walls, and other stone came from Chilmark and Pewsey, Wilts. Bricks were also used for the front of the inn, possibly for a plinth, although there is no visible evidence of their survival. An alternative suggested by Roberts (1992) is that given the number of bricks purchased (20,000 bricks bought from one Daniel Brykeman) and the documentary evidence that they were to be used to ‘stop-up’ the front wall of the inn implies an early and therefore high-status and showy use of brick nogging. Fine chimney pieces and stacks were by the mason Thomas Beere. The Hampshire Houses volume (citing Pantin’s 1961 article on Medieval Inns) indicates that there are no surviving inns nationally of a date earlier than the late C14 and that none survive in Hampshire before the mid-C15. The Angel is therefore the earliest such survival in Hampshire and probably the most complete example in the county.

As built, The Angel was a courtyard inn, a typical layout of this date. Only the north and east wings survive in full but the courtyard form remains legible. Its east gatehouse was deliberately aligned so that it directly faced the former London Road (now Newbury Street) which was one of the C15 town’s main streets. This necessitated a modification to the plan specified in the original contract whereby the Great Hall, intended for a position north of the gate, had to be constructed to its south. This in turn meant that the function of the rear cross-wings was reversed (according to Warmington) so that the south wing (now demolished) housed stables and kitchens with chambers above and the north wing, stables with guest chambers above. However, there remains the possibility (as suggested by Roberts, 1991) that the original kitchens were actually in a separate and detached block, to the west of the main courtyard inn. There was also a west range completing the courtyard with a west gate. The front (east) range is described as housing the hall, gatehouse, a cellar, parlour above the cellar, and chamber above the parlour. The chamber and parlour appears to have been duplicated in each of the cross-wings at the ends of the range. The archives also indicate that very early in the inn’s life, improvements were being made such as a chimney added in 1457 and stables built next to the west gate in 1469.

Rent records for The Angel in its early years survive and tell us the names of the landlords in the late C15 such as the first landlord, Robert Cusse, then Thomas Fewers, John Waterman, Thomas Love and Edward Chamber. Records suggest that they were men of substance and some standing in the town. Inventories for the Angel also survive including one of 1462 which records furniture and various rooms. Another of 1633 lists the names of its chambers (Half Moon, Cross Keys, Crown, Star, Fawlcon, Rose, Fox, Squirrel and Unicorn) and the wealth of the landlord Richard Pope (Warmington op cit, 9). At this time it had 91 beds and 15 fireplaces (Hare op cit, 191) so was an establishment of some considerable size.

Between the C16 and C18 there were considerable alterations including the addition of a gallery to the rear of the east range. There is a C17 record of the courtyard being paved. In the C18 the building was refronted in brick with a classical broken-bed pediment added above the courtyard east gateway. At this time, the jetties on the high street frontage were removed or bricked in: either the ground floor building line was brought forward to smooth out the façade or the jetties were cut-off to the same effect. A brick in the wall of the north cross-wing, inscribed with the date 1775, suggests a likely date for this remodelling. The south range was detached from the Angel Inn in the C18 and was occupied by a Mr Reynold, carrier. The southern part of the east range was occupied by James Church, carpenter from about 1793. Nos. 89-91 High Street were also refronted in brick, possibly at the same time as No. 95 and certainly in the same style, although an early C19 date seems more likely on stylistic grounds and the windows are horned sashes rather than the un-horned examples to No. 95 (now the Angel Inn). A canted bay window to the north range, south elevation is an addition of the C18 or very early C19. A sketch map of 1839 depicts both stables and a kitchen in the north range at that time, also a bar and parlour. The south range still survived and was occupied by stables and a coach house in 1839 and indeed this range was still shown on the 1937 Ordnance Survey map so was demolished in the mid-late C20. Further alterations and additions of the late C19 and C20 are evident including a modern single-storey extension at the west end of the north range and the single storey extension to the north.

Information on display in the pub, although not independently verified, suggests that a number of kings and queens stayed or dined at The Angel, including Henry VII, Catherine of Aragon and James II. The front bar was also used as Andover’s Guildhall and magistrates’ court in the 1820s while the town’s Guildhall was being rebuilt.


MATERIALS: timber-frame, red brick, tiled roofs.

DESCRIPTION: the Angel Inn is a mid-C15 timber-framed, purpose-built, two-storey inn with cellar, and much of this fabric survives although it has been modified over the centuries. The original form of The Angel has been described in some detail by Roberts (1991) using both the C15 contract documents and also analysis of the surviving fabric. In essence the C15 building took the form of a rectangular courtyard-inn with the principal east range along the High Street frontage. The contract indicated that the High Street frontage of the Angel was to be 90ft (27m) and the depth 80ft (24.4m). The bays measure approximately 20ft (6m) deep and 10ft (3m) wide.

EXTERIOR: the façade of the current Angel Inn, facing the High Street, is of C18 Flemish bond red-brick encasing the timber frame. There is a classical broken pediment above the gate with an arched plaster panel at the gable which formerly carried the inn sign. The inn has an exaggerated dentilled eaves cornice, and a hipped tiled roof with a stack on the ridge at the junction with No. 89-91. There is a Venetian window above the arch and another north of the gate on the ground floor. The windows are C18 unhorned sashes in exposed frames with rubbed brick flat and curved arches. To the north is a single-storey red brick extension of C19 date with diaper work to the gable.

The north elevation has exposed timber framing with brick nogging at first floor level. The ground floor is largely hidden by a single-storey C19 and C20 extension.

The west, courtyard facing, elevation has a tile-hung gatehouse chamber with a three-light wooden casement, each light with a pointed arch and tracery. To the south of the gatehouse, the tiled roof extends to the ground floor where there is a further hornless sash window. The upper floor is lit by dormers.

The north range’s south (and courtyard facing) elevation has an exposed timber-frame to the first floor and a hipped tiled roof. The ground floor frame is concealed by a later lean-to which has hornless sash windows of different forms flanking a wide doorway, with a further canted bay window to the west which also has hornless multi-paned sashes. This extension appears to be of C18 or very early C19 date.

PLAN & INTERIOR EAST RANGE: the east range comprises four bays. The southern three bays formed the hall, now situated within the building known as Nos. 89-91 High Street and therefore separately listed. However, it is noted that there is evidence of close-studding here, since removed, but which would indicate an expensive and showy original façade, particularly as infilled with early herringbone brick nogging. The northern bay forms part of the present Angel Inn and originally comprised the gateway at ground floor level, providing access to the courtyard, and part of a chamber above. Although now divided by the party wall between Nos. 95 and Nos. 89-91 this chamber formerly occupied two bays with its southern half oversailing the hall to the south.

The gatehouse chamber’s roof has queen posts and scissor bracing. The wind braces, tie beams and purlins are chamfered and were therefore intended to be on show. The north wall of the gatehouse chamber has an exposed timber-framed wall in large panels with curved braces and wattle and daub infill.

Roberts identified evidence of red and apparently original paintwork on the ground floor timbers of the hall range during renovation works indicating that the interior was originally rather colourful.

NORTH RANGE: the north range is in two-parts. At the east end is a three-bay cross-wing which originally jettied out over the street. The clasped purlins of the queen post roof structure are chamfered suggesting that they were also intended to be visible in the upper chamber. This room also had a fireplace in its south wall, which does not survive, although the original large stone chimney stack remains. The evidence is suggestive of a high status guest chamber. Internally jowled posts are visible in the north and south walls of this former chamber, now divided into two west-east bedrooms. On the ground floor was a single large chamber, now the front bar, where there are two substantial cross-beams with rich ogee mouldings, also exposed timber-framing.

At the west end is a four-bay north range. Again a number of the jowled posts dividing the bays are exposed internally. This had four stables on the ground floor and four chambers above, accessed by an open-jettied gallery which, at one stage, ran all the way around the courtyard. This feature survives on the south elevation of the north range (and also in the west of the east range) but has been enclosed to form a wide internal landing/corridor, lit by wooden casements. The ground floor now houses a bar and the upper floor has been unequally divided to create living accommodation. The first floor living room, for example straddles the two central bays and has pegged panelling to mid-rail level on all walls. This range has a queen post roof with curved wind braces and clasped purlins.

The north range is lower in height and simpler in the form of its timber-frame than the cross-wing indicating its relative lower status. There is no evidence that this range was originally heated: the impressive fireplace in the rear bar is an addition albeit an early one (possibly as early as the C16). It is brick built and has a massive timber bressumer which is chamfered on the rear (west, fire-facing) side. The same bar has a wide axial beam with chamfer and stops and further ogee moulded cross-beams as well as exposed framing.

SOUTH RANGE: this range has largely been demolished apart from two-thirds of the former south cross-wing at the south-east corner of the historic inn, now Nos. 89-91 High Street. This part of the historic inn is separately listed (see also Roberts, 1991, for a detailed description.) The original C15 contract indicates the rear (west) bays of the south range took the same form as the north range described above.

WEST RANGE: none of this range survives as upstanding fabric but it contained chambers over a stable range with a western gate providing access to the courtyard.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Roberts, E, Hampshire Houses 1250-1700. Their Dating and Development, (2003)
Hare, J, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club Archaeological Society (2005), Vol. 60, 187-197' in Winchester College and The Angel Inn, Andover: a fifteenth century landlord and its investments, , Vol. 60, (2005), 187-197
Roberts, E, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club Archaeological Society' in A Fifteenth Century Inn at Andover, (1991)
Warmington, R , 'Andover Local Archives Committee publication' in Timber Framed Buildings in Andover , (1970)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 22 Feb 2003
Reference: IOE01/09719/02
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Charles Blyth. Source Historic England Archive
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