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© Dr John L. Wishlade

IoE Number: 470353
Photographer: Dr John L. Wishlade
Date Photographed: 02 May 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) SJ4066NW NORTHGATE STREET AND ROW 595-1/1/297 (West side) 28/07/55 Nos.63 & 65 Street (The Blue Bell) (Formerly Listed as: NORTHGATE STREET (West side) Nos 63 & 65 (formerly Old Bluebell Inn)) GV I 2 shops and town houses; mid to late C15; No.63 was for long the Blue Bell Public House and since the early C19 No.65 was a shop; the tenements are now joined as a restaurant. Timber frames, sandstone and later brickwork, the front now rendered and the side painted; grey slate roofs. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys, plus cellars. The frames of the 2 houses are separate, under parallel roofs with ridges at right angles to the street; the narrow space between is now occupied by stairs and lobbies joining the buildings. 2 gables to front. No.63 has open front to the street, a painted brick pier to south and an octagonal painted stone column south of centre with a plain stone cap; No.65 has a stall enclosed as a booth between the street and the covered pavement walkway, rendered to front and sides, with a small canted 3-pane oriel to the street and brick with large framing and a boarded door to the pavement. The face to the rear of the pavement is largely painted brick with a framed 2-board door to No.63 and a 4-board door to No.65; a replaced window of 16 panes with 4-panel shutters to No.63, a small 1-pane window at centre and a 4-pane sash with 6-panel shutter to No.65. A replaced window of horizontal proportions in the gable to No.63. Two valley chimneys, a chimney on the ridge of No.65, one at the south-west corner of No.63 and a single-flue chimney at the north-east corner of the front booth to No.65. The north side of painted brick has replaced horizontally-sliding sashes to the first storey, and to the second storey a 4-pane casement and a flush 9-pane sash in a half-dormer. INTERIOR: the features of greatest interest are in No.63. The cellar across the front has coursed rubble sandstone walls, stone steps from rear in No.63 and timber ceiling structure; No.63 has a later barrel-vaulted rear cellar. The side walls of the first and second storeys were studded; some posts and studs are exposed, and some chamfered beams and oak joists to the first storey. Some large framing to both storeys of the front wall is visible. The north-east corner post in No.63 has a later console. The broad fireplace in the north side of No.63 has a sandstone back, old brick cheeks and an oak bressumer. The late C17 newel stair has barleysugar turned balusters to the first 3 steps and to the landing; a 3-board oak door near the stair-head has 2 planted panels on its outer face and battens on its inner face; painted stone mantelpiece to blocked south-west corner fireplace. The adjacent roof structures at eaves level, with rafter-ends of the roof of No.65, and the former gap between the 2 houses are exposed near the rear of No.63, and less clearly near the front. The wall-plates are visible; the gable tie-beams, curiously, are also jointed to the corner-posts like wallplates. No.63 has 2 truss-posts on each side. The first internal truss, formerly the central truss of the solar, has a shaped octagonal crown-post braced from the cambered tie-beam and to the principal rafters and the crown-purlin; the truss at the back of the former solar is undecorated, with square post braced from the cambered tie-beam and to the crown purlin; the third internal truss, formerly between chamber and hall, is similar but with tie-beam less cambered. The trusses over No.65, less visible, are undecorated. This property includes the best example, other than in the Rows, of a medieval town house in Chester. (Harris R: Chester Rows Research Project: 1989-).

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