Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
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Statutory Address:

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

Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:



SJ4065NE LOWER BRIDGE STREET 595-1/6/236 (West side) 28/07/55 Nos.48 AND 50 The Old King's Head Hotel (Formerly Listed as: LOWER BRIDGE STREET (West side) No.50 Old King's Head Hotel)


Town house with undercroft at street level, now hotel. c1208 for Peter the Clerk, rebuilt from former Row level upward and refronted probably in part C15 and C16 and early C17 for Randle Holme I, first of four generations of heralds and armorial painters; heavily renovated 1935. Yellow sandstone, timber frame with plaster panels, render and painted brickwork; grey slate roofs. EXTERIOR: 3 storeys, of 3 bays to Lower Bridge Street and 3 bays plus outshuts to Castle Street, south. To Lower Bridge Street the former undercroft storey is refaced in sandstone with framed and boarded Tudor-arched oak door in canted recessed south-east corner having 2-light leaded window to porch; the rest of the south bay and the centre bay are rendered, with small mullioned leaded casements in stone panel; framed and boarded Tudor-arched oak door; the north bay projects, with Tudor-arched double doors and a 5-light mullioned window in replaced stonework. The second storey is rendered; 3-light oak-mullioned leaded casements, one to south bay, 2 to centre bay and 2 to north bay. A bold coved jetty to the third storey of south and central bays; a 4-light leaded casement with small-framed apron and 2 panels of herringbone strutting to each side, in each of those bays. The north bay has 7 small-framed panels with wavy braces and a boldly projecting sill on shaped brackets beneath a pair of 2-light leaded casements. The 3 gables have plain ties to south and central bays and projecting tie to north bay; herringbone strutting; replaced bargeboards. The whole front was largely reconstructed in 1935. The repaired south face to Castle Street has stonework of probably early C13 origin to the west bay. The central and east bays are of painted brick, with a damaged bay-post; miscellaneous openings. The second storey has the floor-beam to the central and east bays and a lighter, higher rail to the west bay; former Row post in the east bay, bay-posts 2

intermediate posts and struts in the central bay and small-framing to the west bay, all brick-nogged. The third storey has herringbone struts and a little close-studding in the east bay with an intermediate rail and a 3-light leaded casement. The jettied central bay has a pair of leaded oriels with aprons of 3 quatrefoil panels; herringbone panels to each side beneath a jettied herringbone-strutted gable with replaced bargeboards and a replaced chimney at the east corner. The small-framed west bay is jettied, with two 3-light leaded casements. The one-bay flush rear wing of painted brick has cellar door, a leaded casement to the second storey and 2 to the third storey. A 2-storey outshut, formerly stables, has replaced carriage doors and small-pane casements. INTERIOR: the public rooms only were inspected; notes on other parts of the building rely on the Rows Research Project inspection in 1990. The cellars behind the range facing Lower Bridge Street contain medieval stone walls, probably early C13, but much altered later; they now form an irregular group of small rooms, but appear always to have been sub-divided, unlike other Chester undercrofts. The timber-framed former undercroft, now first storey, to Lower Bridge Street has a row of 7 samson-posts parallel with the front with jowled tops carrying a longitudinal bridging beam, arch-braced, formerly with such braces also to front and back. The former Row storey, now second storey, has framing integral with that to the undercroft, including the samson-post arcade, with bridging beams and joists. Evidence of the former Row is in mortices, now empty. The present structure indicates a former plan with a range of small chambers, probably shops, between the Row and a parallel, single-storey hall-like main chamber. The third storey framing appears to be integral with that of the former Row storey and undercroft beneath. The former floor-plan and means of access are not yet established. (Chester Rows Research Project: Grenville J: Lower Bridge Street, West: 1990-; Bartholomew City Guides: Harris B: Chester: Edinburgh: 1979-: 138-9).

Listing NGR: SJ4059165952


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

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Books and journals
Harris, B, 'Bartholomew City Guides' in Chester, (1979), 138-9


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

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Date: 21 May 2001
Reference: IOE01/04052/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Michael J Tuck. Source Historic England Archive
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