(93) House, recently rebuilt, formerly part of the
Crown Inn, was of two storeys with a cellar and had a
symmetrical three-bay S. front with sashed windows,
and a central doorway with a flat hood on scroll
brackets. The house appeared to be mainly of the
early 19th century, but it contained a cellar (11½ ft.
by 20½ ft.) with walls of ashlar and knapped flint,
probably mediaeval. Reset in a ground-floor room was a
small late 13th-century stone carving of a female head; (fn. 1)
there were also two 14th-century oak brackets carved
with curvilinear tracery panels. In 1649 (Parl. Svy.,
untitled sheaf (Sar. 11), f.10) the site contained two
cottages leased to John Batten.
(94) Houses, pair, Nos. 82–4, of three storeys with
cellars, with brick-faced and tile-hung timber-framed
walls and with tiled roofs, appear originally to have been
one house, probably of the 16th century. Late in the
18th century the house was divided into two parts and
the S. front, jettied originally at the first and second
floors, was masked by a four-bay facade set in the plane
of the top storey (two bays to each house). The facade
is of brick in the lower storey and hung with mathematical tiles above the first floor; at the top is a plain cornice
and parapet. Inside, the 16th-century timber-framed
walls of the upper storeys include large members,
probably reused. The roof, ridged E.-W., is of three
bays resting on two heavy collar-beam trusses with 12″ ×
9″ principals, spere-posts of the same size, and curved
braces; speres, braces and collars are lightly chamfered.
Tenoned to the outside face of one spere is a massive
stub tie-beam (9″ × 16″). The trusses carry chamfered
purlins (10″ × 6″) with chamfered wind-braces. Demolition of an adjacent building in 1969 exposed the E.
gable of No. 82; it had a collared tie-beam truss with a
lower king strut and two curved braces.
(94) No. 84 Crane Street
Timber framework of roof.
(95) House, No. 86, of three storeys with timber-framed walls and tiled roofs, appears to be mainly of
the 16th century; the wall dividing it from No. 88 on
the W. is, however, of the 13th century and the S.
front is of the late 19th century. The gabled N. wall
and the E. side of the N. wing have exposed 16th-century timber framework. Inside, there are several
exposed beams and posts. The 19th-century stairs have
close strings and turned balusters. A panel (8½ ins. by
2 ft. 2 ins.) of 13th-century mural decoration (Plate 43)
is exposed on the W. wall of a first-floor room in the N.
wing. The decoration resembles contemporary work in
the Cathedral and consists of rinceaux of dark ochre on
a cream-coloured background.
(96) Cottages, range of four, Nos. 90–96, are two-storeyed with brick walls and tiled roofs and date from
the first half of the 19th century. The ground-floor
rooms are now shops.
(97) Church House, North and West Ranges, now the
administrative offices of the diocese, are of two storeys
with attics and have walls of ashlar, flint and brick, and
tiled roofs. The North Range appears to be of the
second half of the 15th century and is probably the
house called 'le Faucon' which William Lightfoot owned
in 1455 (Liber Niger). (fn. 2) In 1523 the house belonged
to Thomas Coke who bequeathed it to his daughter
Scholastica, wife of Thomas Chafyn; the West Range
probably dates from this period. From c. 1559 the
house belonged to Piers Harris and by 1578 it had been
bought by John Bayley. Early in the 17th century the
hall was chambered over and a stair tower was built in
the angle between the two ranges. In 1630 John Bayley's
heirs sold the house to Lord Castlehaven, and in 1634 it
was acquired by the city and became a workhouse. It so
remained until 1881, when it was bought by the Church
of England and restored (Crickmay and son, architects). (fn. 3)
The South Range (98) was added in 1728, as shown on a
plan of 1742 (Plate 12) in the possession of the Diocesan
Board of Finance.
Architectural Description - In the N. elevation of the
North Range a large 15th-century archway, leading by a
carriage through-way to the courtyard on the S., has a
moulded segmental-pointed head with continuous
jambs and a moulded label with octagonal stops (Plate
59). The oak gates have trefoil-headed panels in two
heights; much of the woodwork is original. The original
facade E. of the arch has an 18th-century sashed window
in each storey. Over the archway is a window of two
square-headed lights, perhaps of the 17th century, under
an original label. To the W. the hall has two windows,
each of four transomed cinquefoil-headed lights; their
state before Crickmay's restoration is shown in a drawing dated 1833 by W. Twopeny (Plate 9). Further
W. each storey has a restored window of two cinquefoil-headed lights; beside these is a large chimneybreast with
weathered offsets. The gabled bay projecting N. at the
W. end of the N. front is largely of the late 19th century
although Twopeny's drawing shows that there was a projection there in 1833; from the plan of 1742 we know
that the ground floor in this part of the building contained a larder and two prison cells, and that the lean-to
building depicted by Twopeny contained an oven. The
S. elevation of the hall is now flint-faced with ashlar
dressings, but both Buckler (Plate 11) and Twopeny (fn. 4)
show it as faced with ashlar. The S. arch of the throughway has a chamfered segmental-pointed head, continuous jambs and no label; above is a window of two
cinquefoil-headed lights. As on the N. side, the hall
windows were restored after 1881, presumably to their
original form. Twopeny's drawing shows first-floor
windows with ovolo-moulded stone surrounds under
cambered lintels; they appear to be of the early 17th
century and probably indicate the date of the
chambering-over of the hall. An original doorway
below the sill of the W. window, with a four-centred
head and carved spandrels under a square label, was
removed in 1881. Further W. is a two-storeyed oriel
with cinquefoil-headed windows in each storey; those
of the lower storey are transomed. The three sides of the
oriel which face the courtyard are of the 15th century;
the two sides within the stair tower are of 1881. There
may originally have been a small stair beside the oriel,
giving access to the solar and oriel chamber (cf. Bing
ham's Melcombe, Dorset III, 164); presumably it was
removed in the 17th century when the stair tower
was built. The plan of 1742 shows a fireplace in the W.
part of the oriel recess, and Twopeny shows its chimney.
Church House, Crane Street
The Stair Tower (Plate 59) remains externally much
as depicted by Buckler except that the present doorway
has carved spandrels and a label, perhaps taken from the
former S. doorway of the hall. The windows with
ovolo mouldings and cambered lintels are evidently of
the early 17th century. The E. elevation of the West
Range has been extensively rebuilt, but the modern
casement windows with transomed square-headed lights
and ovolo-moulded oak frames are similar to those
shown by Buckler and no doubt their design is based on
those removed in 1881. The W. elevation of the range
was rebuilt at the same time. The plan of 1742 shows
that the Close Ditch formerly ran below the wall, and
for a short length at the N. end of the elevation the
depression of this watercourse remains visible. Projecting on brackets over the former ditch, the solar undercroft has a restored 15th-century stone window of six
transomed cinquefoil-headed lights; beside it to S. is a
15th-century privy. On the first floor, above the projecting window and privy, a 16th-century wood-framed
window of seventeen transomed square-headed casements gives light to the solar. Further S. in the W.
elevation, two 16th-century chimneystacks, partly of
ashlar and partly of brick, correspond with fireplaces
shown on the plan of 1742. Elsewhere the W. elevation
is of 1881.
Inside, the Hall was restored in 1881, the inserted
first floor being removed and the transomed windows
reinstated. The chimneypiece (Plate 91) reset at the E.
end of the hall was brought from a 15th-century house
in Mere. (fn. 5) Above first-floor level the E. and W. end-walls
are of timber frame construction, extensively restored.
The N. and S. walls are capped by moulded oak wall-plate cornices.
The four trusses of the three-bay timber roof rise
from moulded timber wall-posts which rest on carved
stone corbels (Plate 85). Two of these represent angels
with shields and one an angel with a scroll, two are
men in 15th-century secular dress, one is a monk,
another is a grotesque figure in workman's dress, the
eighth has been defaced. One of the angels' shields is
uncharged; the other bears a merchant mark similar to
that in St. Thomas's church (p. 26) which we ascribe
tentatively to John Wyot. Wrongly associated with
John Webb it has given rise to the belief that the hall was
built by a member of that family. The two intermediate
roof trusses are arch-braced collar trusses with collar
yokes; trefoil-headed tracery above the collars is of
uncertain origin. The trusses in the plane of the E. and
W. walls have the same features, together with timber
studwork (Plate 83).
The lower storey of the Oriel opens from the hall
through a moulded four-centred archway with continuous jambs, partly modern; below the first-floor ceiling
is a roll-moulded and hollow-chamfered string-course.
The upper storey consists of a gallery opening into the
hall through an archway of 1881.
The Solar Undercroft has a ceiling of six panels defined by moulded beams and wall-plates; the posts
are modern. The W. window has two moulded three-centred rear-arches resting on a centre pier which is
joined to the centre mullion by a cusped arch; on the S.
is the former privy. The 14th-century chimneypiece
(Plate 90) comes from a house in Fisherton Street and
was set in its present place in 1881. That another fireplace originally occupied the same position is attested
by the large external chimneybreast (Plate 9).
The Solar on the first floor has a late 16th-century
plaster ceiling with moulded ribs forming geometric
panels. Corbels in the moulded oak cornices on N. and
S. mark the position of two roof trusses, originally
exposed; they are plain collar-beam trusses with chamfered arch-braces and upper angle-struts. The asymmetrical arrangement of the lights in the timber 16th-century
W. window suggests that the S. part of the embrasure,
over the ground-floor privy, originally contained another
privy. The stone chimneypiece decorated with quatrefoils (Plate 90) is original. The projecting N. bay behind
the chimneybreast is of 1881. The window E. of the
fireplace contains fragments of mediaeval glass, reset.
The ground-floor room E. of the carriage throughway, at one time joined to the next house (99), has
18th-century bolection-moulded panelling in two
heights. In the corresponding first-floor room the S.
wall retains traces of a blocked 15th-century window
with a moulded label. The three-bay roof over this part
of the 15th-century range appears to be continuous with
that of the hall although retiling has occasioned a slight
change of level externally. The easternmost truss has a
collar and scissor-braces; mortices in the principals show
that the next truss originally had an arch-braced collar-beam; the third truss, corresponding with the E. side of
the carriage through-way, has scissor-braces above the
collar and vertical and curved braces below; the fourth
truss has been described in the hall.
The stairs in the 17th-century stair tower are of 1881;
reset in the ground-floor stair-hall to the W. is a 15th-century stone chimneypiece (Plate 90) from the house
in Mere which also supplied the hall chimneypiece.
The West Range, extensively remodelled c. 1881,
retains few noteworthy features. In a large first-floor room the openings to E. and W. bays with projecting windows have 16th-century moulded oak lintels
and jambs. Two ground-floor rooms are fitted with
stone chimneypieces brought from elsewhere in 1881.
One in Renaissance style is from Longford Castle (Plate
91). Another, bearing insignia of Henry Serryge, mayor
in 1508, was discovered in 1788 on the site of the
Guildhall (13). (fn. 6) The four shields on the traceried
frieze are charged with HS intertwined; IHS; a dolphin
embowed; a merchant mark (below). A similar chimneypiece, but with six panels, appears in the foreground of
the drawing (Plate 8) which shows the demolition of the
Merchant marks at Church House.
(98) Church House, South Range, of three storeys
with brick walls and tiled roofs, was erected in 1728
for the enlargement of the former workhouse. A plan of
1742 (Plate 12) shows the lower storey as a workshop,
without partitions and with a row of seven posts to
support the first floor; there were stairs in the N.W. and
S.E. corners. The plan on p. 74 shows the arrangement of
rooms before 1881 and is taken from Crickmay's survey
published in The Builder (see above, n. 2); further
changes have been made since. The N. elevation has nine
bays with plain sashed windows in each storey, ashlar
plat-bands marking the first and second floors, and a
moulded eaves cornice. The S. elevation is similar, but
less regular and partly hidden by outbuildings; the E.
and W. elevations have plain sashed windows. Inside, two
ground-floor rooms contain reset 15th-century chimneypieces; one (Plate 91) has shields charged respectively:
RP, France quartering England, and an unidentified coat
(27, p. 183); another has shields charged with the letters
W and P. The first chimneypiece was brought from a
house in St. Ann's Street opposite monument (299); (fn. 7)
the source of the other is unknown. Reset in a first-floor
room is a 16th-century fireplace surround with a
moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs with
shaped stops; its source too is unknown.
(99) Audley House, (fn. 8) No. 97 Crane Street, is of two
storeys with a cellar and attics and has brick walls with
stone dressings, and tiled roofs. It was built early in the
18th century, probably for Benjamin Wyche who
acquired the tenement in 1701. (fn. 9) Until late in the 19th
century the eastern rooms in the N. range of Church
House (97) were annexed to Audley House, probably
providing the service wing (plan, p. 74).
The symmetrical five-bay N. front has a central doorway with a pedimented hood on acanthus brackets, and
plain sashed windows in both storeys; the windows in
the upper storey are taller than those below (Plate 74).
Inside, several rooms have early 18th-century
panelled dados and other joinery of the period. The
main staircase is of oak, with twisted balusters. The first-floor drawing room is fully lined with bolection-moulded pine panelling in two heights under a moulded
(100) No. 95 Crane Street.
(100) House, No. 95, of two storeys with attics, with
rendered brick walls and a slate-covered roof, was built
in 1812 on land which had previously contained a yard
or outbuildings of No. 97. (fn. 10) The three-bay N. front
(Plate 103) has plain sashed windows and a round-headed doorway under a flat hood; a parapet with a
moulded cornice masks the roof. Inside, the upper part
of the staircase is oval on plan. The large S. window in
the drawing room is flanked by pilasters with neoclassical enrichment.
(101–2) Nos. 93 and 91 Crane Street.
(101) House, No. 93, of two storeys with a cellar and
attics, has brick walls with ashlar dressings, and tiled
roofs (Plate 73). It appears to have been built late in the
17th or early in the 18th century on ground, probably
open, belonging to No. 91, a much earlier house (102).
The N. front of No. 93 is approximately symmetrical
and of six bays with stone plinths, quoins and moulded
stringcourses and with a plaster eaves cove. One bay
projects to form a two-storeyed porch. The porch
doorway has a flat hood on wooden acanthus brackets;
over it, a stone plaque inscribed STEYNINGS is perhaps
a 19th-century insertion. Most of the plain sashed
windows were renewed in the 19th century, but two
original windows remain in the upper storey. At the E.
end of the six-bay facade a seventh bay, integral with
those described, fronts the vestibule of No. 91 and its
corresponding first-floor room, but the continuity has
been obscured by modern paintwork. Evidently the N.
front of No. 93 was designed to accommodate the
entrance to No. 91.
Inside, several rooms have dados with fielded panelling. The staircase opens from the entrance hall through
an elliptical archway with panelled jambs (Plate 96). The
stairs have turned balusters and newel posts. The S.W.
ground-floor room has bolection-moulded panelling in
two heights. Reset in the corresponding first-floor room
are a richly carved early 17th-century oak chimneypiece
(Plate 92) and panelling of the same period; their
provenance is unknown.
(102) House, No. 91, includes part of the tenement
of 'Johne Lysle milite. . ., vocato le Crane', recorded in
Bishop Beauchamp's rental of 1455. (fn. 11) In the following
year it was owned by Robert Newman, mercer, and it
remained with his descendants until William Newman
sold it to Anthony Weekes some time between 1562
and 1572. (fn. 12) The house is mainly of two storeys with
cellars and attics, but partly three-storeyed; it has walls
of stone, timber framework and brick, and tiled roofs
(Plate 71). Apart from a narrow bay containing the vestibule, the plan consists of two parallel ranges at rightangles to the street. The middle part of the E. range
dates from the 14th century and retains two and a half
bays of an original crown-post roof. The northern parts
of both ranges and also the N. front are of the 16th
century. The S. part of the W. range and the narrow
vestibule on the W. are contemporary with No. 93
(101) and date from c. 1700. The S. extension of the E.
range is of the late 18th century.
The 14th-century E. range formerly extended further
N., but the mediaeval structure now ceases some 20 ft.
from the street. The S. end of the same structure is
represented by two timber corner posts (p) about 33 ft.
further south. The W. wall of the range, of rubble with
ashlar dressings, extensively refaced in brickwork, ends
in a stone quoin beside the S.W. corner-post; close to
this the lower storey contains a late 16th-century stone
window of five transomed square-headed lights. At the
northern extremity of the surviving mediaeval W. wall
there remains the S. jamb of a stone doorway (d) with
14th-century wave mouldings (see profile); the mouldings are continuous on an arched head, of which no more
than the springing remains (Plate 91). The E. wall of the
mediaeval E. range can only be seen in the upper storey,
where it is of timber framework. The features so far
described indicate an original 14th-century range with
a W. front of stone containing a handsome doorway.
Presumably the doorway opened into a hall, but we do
not know if the hall was in the E. range or at rightangles, parallel to Crane Street; if the latter, the E. range
must be regarded as a cross-wing.
The present northern parts of the E. and W. ranges
were built during the last quarter of the 16th century
when the property belonged to the Weekes family. A
graffito, recorded in a photograph, (fn. 13) indicates that this
part of the house was in existence in 1578. The N. front
is of two bays. The lower storey, of rendered rubble
with ashlar dressings, has two projecting windows with
ovolo-moulded stone mullions and transoms; beneath
them are two blocked four-light windows of former
cellars, rendered useless at an unknown period by the
lowering of the ground floor. The jettied upper storeys,
of rendered timber framework, were remodelled c. 1700
and have sashed and semicircular windows of that date.
The sashed windows are uniform with those of No. 93.
The entrance vestibule was built at the same time as
the facade of No. 93, presumably because the construction of that house rendered the former access to No. 91
unusable. The porch has Italian-Doric columns and pilasters and a low pediment.
Inside, the vestibule contains an elliptical archway of
c. 1700 with panelled wood spandrels and pilasters supporting a pulvinated entablature. The E. wall of the
vestibule has been stripped of plaster to expose the
stone plinth and timber-framed W. wall of the 16th-century W. range. An 18th-century staircase formerly in
the S. part of the W. range was dismantled c. 1935 and
removed to Salisbury House, Des Moines, U.S.A. A fireplace (f) on the N. of the stairhall, also removed to Des
Moines, had a 15th-century stone chimneypiece which
until c. 1860 had been in The Barracks (258) in Brown
Street. (fn. 14) The N.-S. wall between the two 16th-century
ranges formerly had two ground-floor and two first-floor fireplaces; three with ovolo-moulded 'Tudor' heads
were taken to Des Moines; the fourth is lost. The N.E.
first-floor room has a 16th-century plaster ceiling with
moulded ribs arranged geometrically. The 14th-century
roof over the middle bays of the E. range has braced,
chamfered and cambered tie-beams, octagonal crownposts with moulded caps and chamfered braces, and
coupled rafters. The 16th-century ranges have collared
(103) Houses, two adjacent, Nos. 87, 89, of two
storeys with slate-hung timber-framed walls and tiled
roofs, are perhaps of 16th-century origin but they have
been extensively altered and retain no notable features.
The gabled N. fronts have jettied upper storeys with
19th-century cusped bargeboards. Some roofs with plain
collared tie-beam trusses with clasped purlins and
straight wind-braces have recently been demolished.