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© Mr Michael J Tuck

IoE Number: 470423
Location: NUMBER 17 STREET, 17 WATERGATE STREET AND ROW (south side)
Photographer: Mr Michael J Tuck
Date Photographed: 26 August 2001
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) SJ4066SW WATERGATE STREET AND ROW 595-1/3/387 (South side) 28/07/55 No.17 Street and No.21 Row (Leche House) (Formerly Listed as: WATERGATE STREET No.17 Street & No.21 Row (Leche House)) GV I Undercroft and town house of the Leche family, now undercroft shop and shop at Row level and above. Undercroft and lower part of chimney late C14; rear extension of undercroft, oak timber framing and roof trusses of the house late C15; extension of front chamber over the Row, rear extension and internal improvement C17; minor C18 alterations. Sandstone and brick at street level; timber frame with plaster panels above; grey slate roof. EXTERIOR: 3 full storeys including street level and Row, plus attic inserted in front gable. Boarded double doors to street, left, and modern shopfront and pier; right; the present street front projects beyond the early C17 encroachment visible from Row level upward. 3 posts (formerly 4 - that to left is rebuilt in stone and brick) formerly rose from street level; they carry carved console brackets to jettied bressumer and frieze with dentils and a running pattern in relief of grapes and vine leaves. Front rail to Row on column-on-vase wooden balusters; shopfront in earlier C20 manner inserted in early C19 surround with reeded pilasters; a door of 3 vertical panels, right, to passage to rear and to No.23 Row (Lion House) (qv). The small-framed third storey has corner posts carved with figures and decorative patterns; 3 flush sashes with thick glazing bars have date 1736 scratched on glass. The jetty beam above the sashes is surmounted by a row of 8 panels with shaped saltire braces. The gable has a slightly jettied tie-beam, small framing with curved braces and some pargeting, a mullioned and transomed attic window with leaded glazing inserted later C17, cusped and ornately carved bargeboards and a shaped bargepost. Rear elevation: the timber frame is largely concealed by plaster. Each of the 2 storeys of the main gable-end has an irregular 5-light mullioned and transomed window, the upper window leaded. The small rear courtyard is flanked to the east by a narrow wing which contained a passage linking the house to No.23 Row (Lion House) which stands on the probable site of the former kitchen of Leche House. A narrow room, the "Lady's Bower" over a covered way with a column of Ionic derivation and a replaced corner post flanks the west side of the courtyard; the Bower has leaded mullioned windows. INTERIOR: the late C14 undercroft, 14.6 x 5.8m, has ashlar sandstone walls; the east wall steps forward to carry the chimney stack above. The deeply moulded bressumer 1.4m behind the present shopfront has mortices for the posts of the former close-studded front. Massive braced beams on stone corbels carry the ceiling of 5 equal bays; the 2 to the rear are partly hidden by the brick barrel-vault inserted, probably C18, over the late C15 rearward extension. The undercroft is now linked to those of Nos 15, 21 and 25 Street (qv). The former town house at Row level and above, now wholly used as a shop, contains from front to back a small former shop with a chamber above former shop and Row, an open 2-bay hall 2 storeys high set at right angles to the Row, with a gallery above the passage along its west side, the bay for the former screens passage and stair, a parlour with a substantial chamber above facing the small rear courtyard flanked on the west by the Lady's Bower over a covered way and on the east by a closet over the former passage to No.23 Row (Lion House). The front chamber, heightened and extended forward C17 and ceiled with an attic floor c1730, has a raised plaster strapwork frieze visible at the north-east corner. The hall has a late C14 chimney-breast on its east wall with an early C17 overmantel having 3 panels divided by half-columns of Ionic derivation, surmounted by the coat of arms of Sir John Leche; a partly plastered false hammer-beam central truss with a substantial C17 chandelier pendant; the other trusses are king-post; the timber-framed gallery with shaped splat balusters gives access to the front and rear chambers; access to the former screens passage bay is from the through-passage beneath the gallery; some oak small-panelling; the stair to gallery and rear chamber was replaced and repositioned behind the screens bay, probably C18. The rear chamber above the parlour has C17 plasterwork in truss panels: in north truss 2 winged horses with a Maltese cross in a shield, in a pattern of fruit and foliage; in south truss a pattern with human heads, crowns and roses. The closet above the Lion House passage has a panel above its north doorway with a lion rampant on a shield flanked by damaged fleur-de-lys; at south end Prince of Wales feathers in the Garter, flanked by fleur-de-lys. (Bartholmew City Guides: Harris B: Chester: Edinburgh: 1979-: 107).

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