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© Dr John L. Wishlade

IoE Number: 470226
Location: NUMBER 28 STREET, 28 EASTGATE STREET AND ROW (south side)
Photographer: Dr John L. Wishlade
Date Photographed: 14 August 2002
Date listed: 28 July 1955
Date of last amendment: 06 August 1998
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.

CHESTER CITY (IM) SJ4066SE EASTGATE STREET AND ROW 595-1/4/181 (South side) 28/07/55 No.28 Street and No.34 Row (Crypt Building) (Formerly Listed as: EASTGATE STREET Nos 28-34 (even) Street & Nos 34-40 (even) Row) GV I In part undercroft of former town house c1300, the frontage and Row storey and above rebuilt as department store 1858 by TM Penson for William and Charles Brown of the Browns of Chester family of drapers. Red and yellow sandstone; banded brown tile roofs. EXTERIOR: 4 storeys including undercroft and Row plus attics in High Gothic manner. A square stair turret with 3 arcaded bays east and one wider bay west. The undercroft bays are divided by stop-chamfered piers; shop windows have stop-chamfered posts and lintels and rounded upper corners to panes; from left to right a window, a flight of 8 sandstone steps to Row, a window and a side-buttressed entry under a carved archway in the tower to the undercroft; 2 windows to the medieval undercroft. The Row front has ornate Gothic cast-iron rails between trefoil pier-responds and quatrefoil columns carrying moulded and carved arches; boarded sloped stallboards 1.81m from front to back; terrazzo Row walk; shop windows with marble stallrisers, colonnette mullions and panes with shaped upper corners; a moulded arched showcase beside the tower; an arched oak framed and boarded door on wrought-iron hinges to spiral stair in the tower; 3 moulded arches across Row; Row ceiling of octagonal and lozenge panels with cornice decorated with Tudor roses; a blank scroll at front of tower; recessed panels inscribed W.B. (William Brown) on east face of tower and C.B.(Charles Brown) on west face; scroll on rear face inscribed AD 1858: CRYPT CHAMBERS; Chester City arms and a scroll to each side of shop entrance. Each of the third and fourth storeys has 3 pairs of 2-light windows with colonnettes between, east of tower, a semicircular 2-storey oriel on the tower and, west of tower, four 2-light windows detailed like those in the east wing. Carved heads as corbels support trefoils beneath an ornate cornice. A gable over the central bay of the east wing has a traceried window in a circular triangle; the tower has a rectangular 4-light traceried window between shallow buttresses; the front gable of the west wing has a small triangular oriel. The tower has a truncated spire with a gabled dormer on each face containing a 2-light traceried window; ornate cast-iron rail to the look-out platform. INTERIOR: 5 steps down to undercroft lobby; sandstone flags to lobby; glazed framed and boarded door, east, and with leaded glazing, west, to the medieval undercroft, which has 2 steps down to the landing before it, then 6 down to the floor. The undercroft front, heavily restored but without alteration in 1858; arched, central doorway has lancet to each side, indicating that it had steps straight down from the street; openings have concave chamfers, probably c1300 AD. The undercroft has 4 rib-vaulted bays. The ribs are chamfered and the masonry of the vault is of high quality. A rear passage perhaps contemporary with the undercroft, beside it to the east. The undercroft extends backward, but with no visible evidence of pre-C20 work; there is a C19 opening in the east wall of the undercroft and an opening possibly of medieval origin to the rear. 2 barrel-vaulted bays of C18 or C19 form east of the medieval undercroft. At Row level surfaces are largely covered, but 2 ceiling panels with circle-in-square mouldings having flower-and-foliage motifs; open-well stair has 2 blank arches of 1858 in north wall of well. The medieval undercroft is an excellent example, and the frontage and upper storeys of special interest as an early example of the development of a department store. (Chester Rows Research Project: Harris R: Eastgate Street South: 1989-1990; Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society: Old Series: Chester: 1858-: 261 (5/5/1858)).

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