Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

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

Mendip (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 54609 45703



ST5445 CHAMBERLAIN STREET 662-1/7/72 (South side) 12/11/53 The Old Almshouse


Also known as: Bubwith Almshouse CHAMBERLAIN STREET. Almshouses. Begun 1436, extended in 1614 and 1638, major restoration of 1884. Local stone rubble with Doulting stone dressings, Welsh slate roofs with stone ridge and coped gables, tall ashlar chimney stacks on rubble bases. PLAN: complex plan of medieval north wing, with attached wings of 1884 and 1614 extending southwards, a detached south range of 1638 and additional detached central block apparently of 1884. EXTERIOR: north wing of hall, chapel, and rooms is single storey with attics, with an elevation to Chamberlain Street of 13 bays. Bays 1 and 2 are the chapel, part of the C15 foundation. This has a large 5-light Perpendicular E window, heavily restored, and on the N side are a small single light with chamfered surround and a 3-light cinquefoil cusped window to bay 2. Bay 3 has the projecting gabled entrance porch with a pair of doors in a 4-centred arch with plain spandrels and square label under a statue niche; there is a cast-iron footscraper left of the doorway. Bays 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 have 2-light chamfer-mullioned windows, probably C19 restorations, with small pane iron leaded casements, the attic windows have small gablets with carved finials; tall chimney stacks between each pair. Bay 8 has one similar window at mezzanine level. Bays 11, 12 and 13 are taller, with a bell turret to east gable-this is the hall, which had a second floor inserted in c1850, fenestration similar, but upper bay 13 has a 2-light cinquefoil cusped window. The west gable of the hall has a 3-light Perpendicular tracery window at first floor level, with a C20 door and window below-thereafter is the first of the two 1884 wings, replacing a 1614 wing, and behind it the second wing. The south range, 1638, building is a building of remarkable design. It is small in scale, of one storey with attic, in 5 bays, with a symmetrical elevation facing the churchyard of St Cuthbert (qv). 2-light ovolo-mould mullioned windows with labels to upper bays 2 and 4 and lower bays 1, 2, 4 and 5. Between bays 1 and 2 and bays 4 and 5 are cambered-arched doorways with labels and square recesses with labels over. Bay 3 has an ornamental 4-seat sedilia with a mixture of Gothic and Classical detailing. To the left of this range is a free-standing range of 1884, with its gable to the S, including a commemorative tablet indicating that the building replaces one of 1614. INTERIOR: the chapel has a 4-bay roof in heavy moulded arch-braced trusses carried on octagonal posts to stone corbels, with 3 purlins, and 4 ranges of curved wind-braces; in the first 3 bays the purlins are moulded, in bay 4 they are chamfered and stopped. This roof construction also continues to the W beyond the chapel. The 5-light east window of c1850 by Bell of Bristol. The lower part of the screen at the W end has C17 panels. To the right of the chapel entry is a bay with late C20 staircase and sub-division. The private rooms not accessible, but considerable C19 and C20 modification has been made. Medieval hall roof not seen. Chapel roof has having shafts supporting the truss foot similar but more elaborate than The Rib's at 3 St Andrew Street (qv). HISTORICAL NOTE: the original buildings were built in 1436 from an endowment by Bishop Bubwith, (d.1424), and had 12 inmates. They were extended by Bishop John Still's (d.1608) bequest in 1614, and again, for four people, in 1638. There were sundry C18 and C19 benefactions, with major additions in 1884. The range of buildings is extensive, closing off the N side of St Cuthbert's churchyard, and like the Vicars Close (qv) and The Rib was heated by fireplaces. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 329).

Listing NGR: ST5460945703


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (1958), 329


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: 10 Aug 2004
Reference: IOE01/12995/01
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Chester. Source Historic England Archive
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