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Latitude: 53.1884 / 53°11'18"N
Longitude: -2.8867 / 2°53'12"W
OS Eastings: 340847
OS Northings: 366064
OS Grid: SJ408660
Mapcode National: GBR 7B.319K
Mapcode Global: WH88F.M4L1
Entry Name: The Old Palace
Listing Date: 28 July 1955
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1375949
English Heritage Legacy ID: 469928
Location: Cheshire West and Chester, CH1
County: Cheshire West and Chester
Electoral Ward/Division: Chester City
Built-Up Area: Chester
Traditional County: Cheshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire
Church of England Parish: Chester St John the Baptist
Church of England Diocese: Chester
CHESTER CITY (EM)
SJ4066 THE GROVES
1932-1/6/148 (North side)
28/07/55 The Old Palace
Palace of the bishops of Chester, later YMCA hostel, now
offices. Dated 1751, with C19 and C20 alterations.
Stone-dressed red brick; hipped grey slate roofs.
EXTERIOR: cellars and 3 storeys of 11 windows to main block.
Stone plinth; quoins with concave rustication. Canted
projecting entrance bay, probably later C18, has replaced door
flanked by a 12-pane sash in each oblique face; three 12-pane
sashes left of entrance bay and 5 to right. The first floor
has 12-pane sashes, with 3 to entrance-bay; the second floor
has 6-pane sashes. The sashes are recessed two-and-a-quarter
inches; the entrance bay has simple painted stone sills and
rubbed brick flat arches; other sashes have well-moulded sills
of painted stone and rusticated wedge lintels with ornate
keys. First-floor band; first-floor sillband to entrance bay;
rainwater pipe with moulded lead head to each side of entrance
bay, that to left dated 1751. Modillion cornice; 8-course
brick parapet has stone corner blocks and coping. The left end
has irregular pattern of sashes, most probably replaced. The
right end of the main block has an inner-corner door to the
ground floor; three 12-pane sashes to first floor and three of
6 panes to second floor, detailed as on main face of front.
A one-bay right wing apparently of the original build; a
probably mid C19 one-storey heavily stone-dressed lobby
projects between the original building and a 3-storey 5-window
recessed wing detailed as the entrance bay of the main block;
the right end is canted, with a 12-pane ground floor sash in
each face, one to each oblique face of the first and second
The exterior of the building other than the front door is
virtually unaltered by C20 changes of use.
INTERIOR: partly sub-divided, c1980, for office use, but
retaining features of interest. A good open-well open-string
stair of 6 flights but, if earlier description was correct,
with turned balusters replacing the Chinese Chippendale
balustrade then mentioned. A stone back stair with iron stick
balusters and rail; a replaced secondary stair; some original
6-panel doors. A room with panelling, now painted and probably
restored, on the ground floor, with one row of panels below
dado and a tall row above dado; an excellent main room, now
boardroom, on first floor with plasterwork intact including a
coved ceiling with exuberant mid C18 decoration; a good deal
of minor features of C18 plasterwork; some fireplaces and
HISTORICAL NOTE: built for Bishop Peploe mid C18 according to
Pevsner, but according to Harris occupied as the Bishop's
Palace 1870, when the former palace in the Cathedral Precinct
was replaced by the King's School, to 1921.
(The Buildings of England: Pevsner N & Hubbard E: Cheshire:
Harmondsworth: 1971-: 165-166; Bartholomew City Guides: Harris
B: Edinburgh: 1979-: 145).
Listing NGR: SJ4084366069
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