The Eagles Inn

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1468661
Date first listed:
16-Mar-2020
Statutory Address:
Harley Road, Cressage, Shrewsbury, SY5 6DE

Map

Ordnance survey map of The Eagles Inn
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

Statutory Address:
Harley Road, Cressage, Shrewsbury, SY5 6DE

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

District:
Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Cressage
National Grid Reference:
SJ5917504113

Summary

Public house; originating in the late C16 or early C17 as a dwelling, with C19 and C20 extension and alteration.

Reasons for Designation

The former Eagles Inn is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a multi-phase building which retains a significant proportion of fabric from each of its historic stages of development: the timber framed cross-wing originating in the late C16 or early C17; the northern range modified in the C17; and pre- and post-1850 extensions in brick; * the surviving fabric illustrates the historic vernacular building traditions of the area; * the quality of construction and scale of the timber framing attest to its high status, and it retains a floor frame of unusual design with exceptionally well-detailed joinery.

Historic interest:

* originating as a high-status building within the village, and evolving to become a focal point in local historic business and community activities.

Group value:

* sharing a visual relationship with the war memorial cross, and with other listed timber-framed buildings in the vicinity.

History

The former Eagles Inn stands prominently in the centre of Cressage on a large plot of land. It is likely to have originated in the late C16 or early C17 as a dwelling, and has been extended in a number of phases.

The manor of Cressage was sold in 1559 to Sir Richard Newport. Many of the listed timber-framed buildings in the village date from later in the C16 and C17, during the family’s tenure. In his history of the village, Bramwell notes that the Eagles originated as a farmhouse, had become an alehouse by 1746, and was known as the Eagles Inn by 1823 (1984). Archival records related to licensed houses in the area note the provision of the pub in 1901; accommodation included a bar, parlour, sitting room, front room, seven bedrooms, a brew-house, cellars, and stabling for four horses. The stables appear to have survived until the late-C20, last depicted on the Ordnance Survey of 1972, marked as a garage.

The earliest part of the building appears to be the pitched range standing perpendicular to the road. Moulded timbers on the ground floor suggest it dates from the late C16 or early C17, and in its form it resembles the cross-wing to a hall, which survives, in a modified form, as the intersecting northern range. The quality of the timberwork in the cross-wing suggests a building of high status. The northern range, which stands parallel to the road, has timber framing suggestive of the C17, and the large gabled dormer window to the upper floor appears to have been inserted as part of a secondary historic phase of development. This secondary phase of development is likely to have taken place soon after the original construction, as Rocque’s map (1747) shows an L-shaped building with its approximate present footprint. The Tithe map (1842), likewise, shows the L-shaped ranges, and though slightly unclear in its depiction, appears to show that the main rear extension had been built by that time. The Ordnance Survey map of 1883 depicts the building roughly as it now stands.

Details

Public house; originating in the late C16 or early C17 as a dwelling, with C19 and C20 extension and alteration.

MATERIALS: the early part of the building is timber-framed with some lath and plaster infill and brick nogging. The elevations are rendered, with tile hanging on the roadside front. The extensions are largely brick, with some render. Roofs are tiled with brick chimneystacks.

PLAN: the building stands on the east side of Harley Road at the centre of the village. It has an irregular plan, within which the timber-framed ranges are the northern pitched range parallel with the road, and the intersecting cross-wing to the south. The adjoining pitched southern range, the principal rear ranges, and rear outshuts are early- to mid-C19; most were in place by 1883.

EXTERIOR: the early part of the building is a single storey with an attic and comprises two intersecting pitched, gabled ranges, later extended to the east and south. The west elevation, facing onto the road, is rendered on the ground floor with tile-hanging above. There is a doorway in the ground floor of the northern range, and a large dormer above, then the building line steps forward with the gable end of the cross-wing: the earliest part of the building. Windows are replacements in irregular openings. The return elevation of the northern range is a rendered gable end with irregular openings and an internal stack. Other elevations are enveloped by later extensions.

To the south of the cross-wing is a lower, mid-C19 two-storey extension which has a C20 outshut on the rear, east-facing elevation, and a wide chimneystack at the junction. It has a tile-hung upper storey on the west, and elsewhere is rendered. To the rear, projecting from the main range, is a two-storey extension with a pitched roof; it is built from red brick laid in Flemish garden wall bond with pale headers. Windows are in cambered openings with rough brick arches. There is a wide internal stack on the east gable. There are various other small outshuts and extensions.

INTERIOR: the general form of the two ranges of the original building remains legible, though partitioning within the northern range, and the extension to the south and east, creates a rambling internal plan.

It is probable that the western cell of the cross-wing was the principal room within the building. The floor frame survives well; it has a deep cross beam, and an intersecting axial beam on the east. These beams are carefully detailed, with wide chamfers with stepped lamb’s tongue stops, indicating a late-C16 or early-C17 date. The east end of the axial beam, very close to the end of the building, has housing for a partition, with chamfer stops on either side; it is assumed that the beam has been truncated, having continued eastwards. Most joists, with chamfers and run-out stops, survive. The cross-wing has a partition, and steps up to the eastern half of the building range, where within the original footprint, there is an open-well stair and a small side room. The stepped jowled corner posts of the original rear wall are visible within the side room, encased in plaster, and further timber framing is visible from the cellar stair. The heavy construction of the framework of the stair suggests an early date, and the simple stick balustrade with square newels is likely to date from the C19. In the northern range of the ground floor there are three deep axial beams and joists supporting the upper floor.

On the first floor the timber framing of the northern range and cross-wing is more apparent. In the cross-wing the central partition illustrates the construction: two bays of box framing for the walls, with Queen post roof trusses with a single tier of purlins. The roof is ceiled at collar level, and within the void above, the principal trusses are pegged and have raking struts from the collars, with coupled rafters and a thick ridge piece. In the northern wing the box framing is exposed in the north-east room, and is likely to be encased elsewhere. There is a good collection of wide floorboards, which in some places have been overlaid with later boarding. There are several historic doors: some ledge and plank, some C19 four-panel. Historic fireplaces do not survive, though chimneybreasts illustrate their locations.

There is a cellar accessed by a narrow stair descending adjacent to the timber-framed rear wall of the cross-wing. It has a small room occupying approximately the south-east quarter of the original footprint of the cross-wing. A second room has been added to the east; this has a vaulted brick roof and a narrow ramped barrel chute.

Within the southern extension, the ground floor of the ‘snug’ has a broad spine beam. The room above has curved and chamfered cruck-like principal rafters, and the purlins above are, in contrast, roughly hewn, suggesting they were once enclosed within a loft void. The kitchen, within the eastern extension, has a deep chimneybreast.

Sources

Books and journals
Bramwell, Gordon J, A short history of Cressage, Shropshire, and its environment, (1984)
Websites
The Eagle Inn (ref 22887), Shropshire HER, accessed 17/01/2020 from https://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=MSA30245&resourceID=1015

Legal

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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