© Dr John L. Wishlade
NUMBER 12 STREET, 12 BRIDGE STREET AND ROW (west side)
CHESTER, CHESTER, CHESHIRE
Dr John L. Wishlade
30 June 2001
28 July 1955
Date of last amendment:
06 August 1998
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.
CHESTER CITY (IM)
SJ4066SE BRIDGE STREET AND ROW
595-1/4/38 (West side)
28/07/55 No.12 Street and No.10 Row (Cowper
(Formerly Listed as:
No.12 Street & No.10 Row (Cowper
Formerly known as: Nos.2 AND 4 Cowper House BRIDGE STREET ROW.
Undercroft and town house, now shop. C13, C17, C19 and C20.
Sandstone, timber frame with plaster panels and brick; grey
slate roof. Gable to street.
EXTERIOR: 4 storeys including undercroft and Row level. The
undercroft shopfront is late C20; flight of 11 repaired stone
steps north of shopfront to Row walk; brick pier north of
steps; replaced post between steps and shopfront; posts
formerly at each corner of building, now approx one metre back
from encroached shopfront, with chamfered brackets and beam;
C19 and C20 shaped splat brackets at front of sloping
stallboard which is approx 3m from front to back; side posts
at rear of stallboard are stop-chamfered at front and carry a
chamfered beam; C17 joists over stallboard and Row walk; 2
diagonal beams, south, one chamfered, the other having carved
face with dentils; C20 Row shopfront of wood and glass. Carved
fascia above Row opening; 7-light mullioned and transomed
leaded window c1870, standing proud of wall on consoles, has 3
studs with 2 intermediate rails to each side; lead rainwater
pipe north has head inscribed P & E 1830; strapwork carved on
jetty bressumer to fourth storey inscribed TC (for Thomas
Cowper) 1664; a row of 8 round-headed panels with central oak
phalluses and arches carved as if voussoirs; 2 similar panels
to each side of a mullioned and transomed 5-light leaded
casement, c1870, proud of the wall on consoles and projecting
up into the gable which has an interrupted tie carved with
vine leaves and grapes and quadrant-braced panels; carved
bargeboards and finial. A brick chimney.
INTERIOR: the front undercroft, its present floor 2 steps
below street level, is lined, with no visible features of
interest; 6 steps lead down through a mid C19 Gothic Revival
stone screen with archway on colonnettes and flanking windows
in C13 style, within a broad recessed arched panel, to a 6-bay
quadripartite rib-vaulted rear undercroft, probably 1350-75
but possibly a little earlier; squared sandstone rubble
walling; truncated-cone-shaped rib-corbels; deeply chamfered
ribs; a 3-light window at the west end, formerly with trefoil
heads but now heightened and with round heads; a trefoil
archway in the fifth bay leads to a stone stair within the
stone party wall with No.14 Street (qv), rising backward, and
displaying the underside of an upper stair serving No.14. The
rear undercroft was found and excavated in 1839, when the
floor level may have been lower approx 0.6m. The front
undercroft is not capable of interpretation in its present
form, but investigation of other undercrofts in the Rows
suggest it may be earlier than the rear undercroft; it is 16m
long, the rear undercroft 13m.
The Row storey has modern finishes; the portion over the rear
undercroft is up 3 steps. The third storey has modern linings;
a sandstone fireplace above the diagonal beams in the Row walk
is inscribed TC (Thomas Cowper) 1661 to each side of a blank
shield, and has a substantial projecting, moulded mantel. The
attic storey has a moulded plaster cornice in the front room
and C17 purlins and braces discernible but now boarded.
The rear undercroft is the most important visible element.
Thomas Cowper who improved the house, a Royalist, was Mayor of
(Chester Rows Research Project: Harris R: Bridge Street West,
Nos.2-20: 1989-1990; Bartholomew City Guides: Harris B:
Chester: Edinburgh: 1979-: 124).