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©  John Boothroyd ARPS

IoE Number: 483442
Location: PENNILESS PORCH, MARKET PLACE (east side)
  WELLS, MENDIP, SOMERSET
Photographer: John Boothroyd ARPS
Date Photographed: 23 April 2001
Date listed: 12 November 1953
Date of last amendment: 12 November 1953
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

WELLS ST5445 MARKET PLACE 662-1/7/156 (East side) 12/11/53 Penniless Porch GV I Gateway to Cathedral Green. c1450, built by Bishop Bekynton. Doulting ashlar stone, with lead roof. The upper floors communicate with and are used by the occupants of No.16 (qv). EXTERIOR: 3 storeys, single bay, exposed on west and north sides only. Plinth, moulded strings between floors and under battlemented parapet, octagonal south-west corner turret. West face has 4-centre arch with rosettes set in mouldings, carved spandrels with letter TB (for Thomas Bekynton) interwoven with foliage; first floor has two windows set slightly proud, a double-and a single-light, with cinquefoil cusping to ogee tracery under flat heads, and between them a carved angel figure bearing a coat of arms, further shields in cusped recesses under windows; second floor panelled, with two 2-light windows with blank underpanels, with worn statue niches between them and to either side. The north face has a plainer 4-centre arch with arched label, a corbelled panelled feature in the northwest corner at first floor level and a double-ogee arched statue recess to the left, otherwise the two upper floors rough-rendered and plain, with string and battlemented parapet, angled buttress to north-east corner, and rendered lean-to building set in front of the main east building. In the S wall are two doorways, one plain 4-centred, the other a late C18 pedimented elaborate lierne vault. INTERIOR: there is a single room at each upper level. The first floor has C17 panelling with pilasters, including panelling to seats in window embrasures, and a bolection-mould fireplace to the E. In the SE corner, behind a C17 door in a 4-centred arch is a recess, possibly a former garderobe. The spiral stair in the SW corner has stone treads to the lower flight, but wood treads to the upper flight. The upper room has a 2-bay arch-braced roof with wind-bracing. On the S side are very large moulded brackets or corbels, and a small cusped lancet. HISTORICAL NOTE: the porch is said to be so named as it was the spot where beggars normally sought alms; a stone bench runs along the E wall. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 311).

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