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© Mr Michael J Tuck

IoE Number: 470430
Location: NUMBERS 28-34 STREET, 28-34 WATERGATE STREET AND ROW (north side)
  CHESTER, CHESTER, CHESHIRE
Photographer: Mr Michael J Tuck
Date Photographed: 30 June 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 595-1/3/411 (North side) 28/07/55 Nos.28-34 (even) Street and Nos.28 & 30 Row (Booth Mansion) (Formerly Listed as: WATERGATE STREET Nos 28-34 (even) Street & Nos 28 & 30 Row) GV I 2 undercrofts and town houses. C13 undercroft largely rebuilt from Row level upward 1700 for George Booth as the Chester mansion of the Booths of Dunham Massey, converted to Assembly Rooms c1740 and now Sothebys Auction galleries. Medieval stonework and timber; C18 brickwork, later extended; grey slate roofs. EXTERIOR: the altered front of painted stone to the undercrofts has double doors each of one panel in a recessed porch east of centre to No.30 Street behind a pier with a wrought-iron gate to each side; the east undercroft has a pair of double doors to No.28 Street each with 2 panels below a larger glazed panel, with a 1-pane window further east; the west undercroft has a pair of modern glazed double doors to No.32 Street, with two 1-pane windows and a small shopfront to No.34 Street with a recessed door of 2 panels below a larger glazed panel. The Row front has end and central piers with Tuscan responds; 3 Tuscan columns carry the bressumer over each bay, with one added column carrying a parallel beam to each bay, behind. The east and central piers and the pointed arches which they carry over the Row walk, now rendered, are C13, formerly at each end of the gallery of the eastern medieval town house; the west pier of the former western house carries a rendered beam over the Row walk, probably in place of a former arch. No.28 Row and No.30 Row have rendered frontages to the Row walk; each has a tripartite sash, formerly of 12;12;12 panes but with lower glazing bars removed. No.28 has a door of 6 fielded panels; No.30 has a replaced blocked 6-panel door. The bressumer above the Row, on brackets from piers, has a dentilled cornice. The third and fourth storeys of brown Flemish bond brickwork have rusticated stone quoins, plain floor-band and ornate medallion cornice returned at ends; the facade projects from the street line and is slightly angled to be seen from the Cross. The third storey has 8 leaded cross windows with baluster mullions above the transoms; the fourth storey has eight 6-pane sashes, just taller than square; the windows all have painted moulded stone sills and gauged brick flat arches. The roof with ridge parallel with the street, has short hips in front of end gables with chimneys; there are 4 slate-cheeked gabled dormers with replaced 2-pane casements. Later extensions conceal the rear elevation. INTERIOR: the east undercroft is one and a half plot widths, 7.0 x 13.0m. A central stone arcade of 5 bays now truncated to 4 has 2-centred arches on octagonal piers. The coursed sandstone side walls have corbels supporting closely-spaced massive joists dendro-dated 1260-1280, halved over the arcade. There is a blocked rebated 2-centre arched doorway and 2 stone cupboards in the rear wall. The west undercroft is 8.0 x 10.7m with a samson-post central arcade of timbers dendro-dated c1260-1280, now filled with rubble brickwork. A rear extension to the undercroft has 2 parallel pointed barrel-vaults built of wedge-shaped stones. Throughout its height, the east party wall of the eastern medieval house survives, visible from No.26 Row (qv), with a coved cornice at the head of its east face. Like many Row properties there is a thick rubble-filled floor between undercrofts and Row level, possibly for fire proofing between the medieval commercial and domestic premises. A late C13 arched doorway of oak in the east house marks the front of the medieval hall, set back further than usual probably to allow for a service or stair bay between shop and hall. The present stair hall which approximately coincides with the former great hall has a C13 stone corbel, shaped as a crouching man at the centre of its west wall, probably a support for the former principal truss. A slightly altered Jacobean open-well stair with shaped splat balusters, inserted in the south-east corner of the hall leads to the third and fourth storeys. Details of other rooms at Row level and those on the fourth and attic storeys are concealed by modern finishes and partitions. At the front of the third storey is a splendid early C18 Assembly Room approx 16 x 10m occupying the full width of the mansion. Nib walls projecting from the front and back suggest that 2 principal rooms were thrown together in the 1740s when the mansion became assembly rooms. The room is panelled in oak, with one row of panels below the dado and a tall panel surmounted by a short panel below the cornice; the fireplace against the east wall has an overmantel of one panel; each half of the room has a double door with 3 panels to each leaf in its rear wall; double doors of similar design have been inserted in the east wall to give access to No.26 Row. (Chester Rows Research Project: Brown AN & Grenville JC & Turner RC: Watergate Street: Chester: 1988-: 32; Bartholomew City Guides: Harris B: Chester: Edinburgh: 1979-).

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