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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: 1270996



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


District: Shropshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Shrewsbury

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 10-Jan-1953

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: 456421

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

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



SJ4912NW COUNCIL HOUSE COURTYARD 653-1/11/256 (South East side) 10/01/53 The Old Council House


Council house, later episcopal palace, now residence. C15 and C17 with additions principally of c1840. Original parts are coursed and squared red sandstone, but most of house is externally brick, with plain tiled roofs. PLAN: 2-storeyed, one long range facing south-east, with gabled porch and wing on NW elevation, and 2 further parallel wings now separate dwellings (The Nun's House and The Centre House, qv). EXTERIOR: long range facing garden has single wall of sandstone, with fenestration all of c1830, wide 3-window range in a Gothic style: 4-light mullioned French windows to left, with segmentally-arched heads, and paired mullioned windows above. Central canted bay window with stone mullions and parapet with 2-light round-arched windows over beneath gable with fretted barge-boards. Lancet window and canted bay window with tall lancet lights in right hand bay. Brick gable wall with paired mullioned windows with hoodmoulds. Elevation to courtyard has partial coursed and squared sandstone rubble walls raised in brick and incorporating a small 5-light stone mullioned window to the right, with timber-framed gabled porch probably C17 but restored and re-faced in C19. Framed with close studding, with segmental arch carried on Mannerist enriched pilasters, and with boars carved in the spandrels. Small mullioned window over. Inner doorway a 4-centred arch with hoodmould over, and relieving arch: in the tympanum formed by the relieving arch is the inscription, "Unless the lord build the house, they have laboured in vayne that built it". Left of porch, a wing of c1840 projects: brick with paired 2-light mullioned windows with round-arched heads and hoodmoulds on each floor beneath the gable with fretted barge-boards. INTERIOR: much of the detail is C17 though an extensive re-modelling in C19 has altered the positions of some earlier features (and possibly introduced elements from elsewhere). Main hall subdivided during C19 and half now forms part of neighbouring property (Council House Cottage, qv). Very rich decorative scheme, with wall-panelling with arcaded frieze, and tympana over doorways with carved angels. Above the wall-panelling a lavish plasterwork frieze, with mythical beasts, swags, birds. Stone bosses carry moulded beams of square panelled ceiling. Bosses are cut by partition wall dividing this room from the adjoining one in middle of house, suggesting that this may not be an original wall: if so, the plasterwork frieze must have been re-instated. One boss over window is dated 1634. Fireplace in wall which now divides this house from Council House Cottage, so not in its original position. Possibly early C17, a Mannerist style with lavishly carved woodwork, incorporating grotesque figures. In adjoining room wall-panelling probably of C17, and 2 columns with strapwork enrichment on high pedestals partially divide off one end of the room. Unlikely that any of these are in situ. Staircase dates from early C19 re-modelling. Wing of c1840 forms former chapel, which incorporates re-sited C17 wall-panelling divided by fluted Doric pilasters, and a fireplace which is dated 1670. Roof structure over central section survives from C15 or early C16 building: 2 trusses, in gabled cross wing, king-post and collar, and cambered tie-beam truss, with 2-tiers of cusped wind braces. Crown post truss in main range of roof. HISTORICAL NOTE: earliest reference to the building is 1501, and the stone walls and roof structure possibly date from around this time. A building on this site had been used as the meeting place of the Council of the Welsh Marches, which has given it its name, but the present building owes much of its form to programmes of building dating from the early C17 and early C19. It was until recently the residence of the Bishop of Shrewsbury, and formed part of a larger residence now sub-divided.

Listing NGR: SJ4944612710

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: SJ 49446 12710


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End of official listing