History in Structure

47 and 49 Westgate Street

A Grade II* Listed Building in Gloucester, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8662 / 51°51'58"N

Longitude: -2.2476 / 2°14'51"W

OS Eastings: 383045

OS Northings: 218650

OS Grid: SO830186

Mapcode National: GBR 1KZ.W11

Mapcode Global: VH94C.0C37

Plus Code: 9C3VVQ82+FW

Entry Name: 47 and 49 Westgate Street

Listing Date: 23 January 1952

Last Amended: 3 October 2023

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1271930

English Heritage Legacy ID: 472628

ID on this website: 101271930

Location: Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL1

County: Gloucestershire

District: Gloucester

Electoral Ward/Division: Westgate

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Gloucester

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Hempsted with Gloucester, Saint Mary de Lode and Saint Mary de Crypt

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

Tagged with: Building

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Pair of two shops, formerly dwellings and possibly an early conversion of a large townhouse. The structure dates from the early C18 and was built above the surviving C13 undercroft of a former medieval merchant's house. There have been later C18, C19, C20, and C21 alterations with additions at the rear.


Pair of two shops, formerly dwellings and possibly an early conversion of a large townhouse. The structure dates from the early C18 and was built above the surviving C13 undercroft of a former medieval merchant's house. There have been later C18, C19, C20, and C21 alterations with additions at the rear.

MATERIALS: brick with rubbed brick details, a slate roof partly replaced by a C20 bituminous flat roof, and an undercroft of stone rubble with dressed stone details.

PLAN: a vaulted undercroft is all that survives from a medieval house. The C18 building is divided into two units of equal size by a central party wall, which blocks the window openings in the central bay of the upper floors of the street façade. It is therefore presumed to be a mid-C18 alteration contemporary with the provision of a staircase of similar design in each unit. Both units were originally a double-depth block with a central stairwell. There are C19 rear wings and a linked outhouse at the rear of number 47.

EXTERIOR: three storeys with surviving parts of attics, a cellar, and a vaulted undercroft. The principal elevation has an early C21 shopfront to number 47, with painted, timber framing, mouldings, and fascia, and a door to the right. There is a mid- to late C19 shopfront to number 49, with a recessed entry to the doorway on the left and fascia with moulded cornice and console end brackets.

The upper floors above the shops are five bays wide in dark red brick headers, with details in brighter red and rubbed brick. There is a slight projection to the central bay, and a crowning modillion cornice breaking forward with a pediment above the central bay against the parapet. There are slightly projecting piers at the angles of the parapet over the central bay and at the outer angles of the front, raised and chamfered quoins in the brickwork at the outer corners, continuing to ground level to the right and plain bright red brick quoins to the corners of the projecting central bay. A restraining steel frame was applied to the front in the mid-C20 to prevent movement.

In the central bay, on the first floor, is a six-over-six sash window with thick glazing bars in an opening with a moulded and eared architrave, moulded sill, and a floating, segmental pediment above. Above, on the second floor, is a smaller six-over-six sash with thick glazing bars in an opening with a segmental arched head, a moulded and eared architrave with a raised keystone in the arch and a projecting sill. The ends of both sills are supported on consoles. In the bays to either side of the central bay, on each upper floor, are six-over-six sashes with glazing bars in openings with segmental, rubbed brick arched heads, brighter red brick jambs and projecting sills.

Number 47: the ground-floor shop was refitted in the C21. There is a C20 stair to the first floor and a mid-C18 open well stair from the first floor to the attic with closed moulded strings, column newels, column-on-vase balusters and toad-back handrail. Several doorways on the upper floors retain C18 moulded architraves; some C18 fielded panel doors have been removed and are stored in the building.

Number 49: the ground-floor shop was refitted in the C20. There is a mid-C18 open well stair from the ground floor to the attic, with details similar to the stair in number 47. The front room on the first floor retains a C18 moulded cornice and some door and window joinery. There is also a C18 door to a room on the second floor.

Cellar and undercroft: there is a large, medieval cellar below the building, with stone rubble walls, subdivided in the early C18 into smaller units with brick walls and barrel vaults. In the rubble wall below the street front is evidence of a medieval doorway to Westgate Street at either end, and each doorway is flanked by a recess. Extending from the cellar to the rear, and mostly below number 47, is a large C13 undercroft, its barrel vault strengthened by a transverse. There are chamfered ribs in eight bays; the bays at the further (southern) end are partially blocked by inserted C18 walls. In the west wall is an original doorway with stone jambs and later blocking in rubble. There are also remains of original plaster in the bays of the barrel vault.


The building has an early-C18 semi-detached plan, with fine details including gauged brickwork, and is notable for the survival of a C13 vaulted undercroft. The structure formerly situated above the undercroft was a merchant’s house.

In the late C14, Gloucester’s trade industry – principally in corn and wine – enriched a small but influential group of merchants who monopolised official positions of the city. By the early C17, merchants were displaying their prosperity in new or enlarged houses located within the central parishes. Their proximity to the focus of communal life and centre of the borough administration was an added benefit. A few notable examples of these merchant’s houses survive along Westgate Street as testaments to the area’s trading activity and the prominence of these wealthy officeholders throughout the late medieval and early modern periods.

Reasons for Listing

47 and 49 Westgate Street, constructed in the C18 above a C13 undercroft, is listed at Grade II*, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as a good C18 building with a well-proportioned and finely-detailed principal elevation to Westgate Street, which demonstrates good quality in architectural style and craftsmanship;
* the building has an interesting semi-detached plan, created by the probable early conversion of a single, large house to two shops;
* for its C13 undercroft, which represents the only remaining element of the medieval merchant's house which formerly stood on the site, and is a rare survival.

Historic interest:

* for its long history as a commercial building, including the evidence of medieval trade provided by the survival of the early undercroft.

Group value:

* with the other former medieval merchants' houses in the street, which form a rare surviving group with medieval undercrofts which demonstrate their shared use.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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