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List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1232184



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

County: Hampshire

District: Test Valley

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Romsey

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 28-Aug-1951

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 407520

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

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Reasons for Designation

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This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 02/10/2012

SU 3521 4/10 1559 28.8.51

MARKET PLACE (North-East Side) The White Horse Hotel


Inn. Late C15 or early C16, built on site of earlier medieval inn of which stone cellars survive. C18, early C19 and later alterations. MATERIALS: Timber framing; brick; tile hanging. Clay tile roofs. Timber windows.

PLAN: 3-storey frontage of 4 bays; a carriageway in the left-hand bay leads through to a long, narrow yard. A staircase provides access to the upper floors of the front block and to a long 3-storey range at the rear, now hotel rooms. The rear range would have contained the inn chambers, arranged on three levels, accessed by an unwalled walkway at ground floor (now enclosed) and by open galleries above, also enclosed. This range is followed by a deeper 2-storey block and then a 3-storey extension of c1960, which is not of special interest. At the end of the yard is a long 2-storey stable block.

EXTERIOR: Front elevation has an C18 brick fa├žade with a painted render finish, banded rustication to ground floor and plain strings to the first and second-floor levels, and segmental-headed windows with keystones to upper floors 6-over-6 pane sash windows; those to the upper floors later replacements. Moulded and dentilled timber eaves cornice. Steeply pitched half-hipped roof. 3 dormers with casement windows. Timber framing visible in E wall of carriageway passage. Long 3-storey former lodging range facing yard; ground-floor has early C19 glazed timber infill; galleries above have casement windows and horizontal sliding timber shutters of C18 appearance. Sash windows to rear elevation. The following range is of brick and has been altered and extended; it has modern timber sash and casement windows. At the northernmost end of the yard range is a 3-storey extension of c1960, which is not of special interest.

INTERIOR: The lower cellar walls are of coursed stone and flintwork; parts of brick vaulting are also visible. The remains of a Gothic window are understood to survive. The front ground-floor room has exposed high-quality timber framing with bracing of exceptional size. This room leads through to an elegant early/mid C18 open-well staircase with a close-string, slender turned balusters, a moulded ramped handrail and dado panelling. The ground-floor corridor of the rear range has early C19 cast-iron fluted columns supporting the gallery floor above. The inner walls of this range have exposed timber framing at first and second-floor levels. Ground-floor room has restored timber mullioned windows on the corridor side; this room is now open plan apart from a section of a cross partition, and has exposed timber framing, a heavy chamfered axial beam and a brick chimneybreast on the N wall. On the W wall and partition there is a series of wall paintings comprising a geometric design framed by imitation wooden panelling with foliate borders; grisaille imitation panelling with large Tudor Roses, and a much-restored interlocking strapwork pattern. These are typical of decoration from the mid C16 to early C17 and probably form one single scheme. Behind the partition is a further, possibly later, decorative scheme of black latticework on a yellow ochre background with inset quatrefoils and floral designs. Timber framing is visible in some of the upper floor hotel rooms; further framing may be concealed beneath modern finishes. A part-exposed chimney breast on the first floor has decorative wall painting on plaster, comprising black interlaced quatrefoils on a yellow ochre background with circular floral designs, possibly contemporary with the second decorative ground-floor scheme described above. The interior of the following 2-storey block has been much altered. Upper floors of building only partly inspected. Roofs not inspected.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: C18 stable block to rear of yard, converted to hotel rooms. Long 2 storey range. Red brick laid in English bond with vitrified headers. Ground floor altered. Upper floor bays are demarcated by shallow pilasters and have hay loft shutters. Important group value with the inn.

HISTORY: Romsey was situated on a main route between the royal and ecclesiastical centres of Winchester and Salisbury, and became an important staging post in the C18 for travellers to London and the south west. The White Horse has been Romsey's principal inn since the medieval period, and may have been a guest house for the Abbey, founded in the C9.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Of major architectural and historic significance as a well-preserved,late-medieval purpose-built inn with earlier cellars, whose galleried plan form is still clearly legible. Very few galleried inns survive in anything like their original form, and therefore possess exceptional interest. The wall paintings are important examples of secular decoration, possibly spanning 200 years, and contain rare and interesting motifs. There are good features from later phases.

SOURCES: EM Jope(ed), Studies in Building History, 1961, Chapter 9: Medieval Inns by WA Pantin Edward Roberts, Hampshire Houses 1250-1700, 2003, pp179-181; The White Horse Inn, Romsey (report, 2004) Romsey Official Guide, Robert Gowing, The White Horse Romsey, wall paintings, English Heritage report June 2005

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: SU 35246 21254, SU 35248 21224


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End of official listing