History in Structure

Penniless Porch

A Grade I Listed Building in Wells, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2097 / 51°12'35"N

Longitude: -2.6447 / 2°38'40"W

OS Eastings: 355059

OS Northings: 145812

OS Grid: ST550458

Mapcode National: GBR MN.43RB

Mapcode Global: VH89S.3VPH

Plus Code: 9C3V6954+V4

Entry Name: Penniless Porch

Listing Date: 12 November 1953

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1383024

English Heritage Legacy ID: 483442

ID on this website: 101383024

Location: Wells, Somerset, BA5

County: Somerset

District: Mendip

Civil Parish: Wells

Built-Up Area: Wells

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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662-1/7/156 (East side)
12/11/53 Penniless Porch


Gateway to Cathedral Green. c1450, built by Bishop Bekynton.
Doulting ashlar stone, with lead roof. The upper floors
communicate with and are used by the occupants of No.16 (qv).
EXTERIOR: 3 storeys, single bay, exposed on west and north
sides only. Plinth, moulded strings between floors and under
battlemented parapet, octagonal south-west corner turret. West
face has 4-centre arch with rosettes set in mouldings, carved
spandrels with letter TB (for Thomas Bekynton) interwoven with
foliage; first floor has two windows set slightly proud, a
double-and a single-light, with cinquefoil cusping to ogee
tracery under flat heads, and between them a carved angel
figure bearing a coat of arms, further shields in cusped
recesses under windows; second floor panelled, with two
2-light windows with blank underpanels, with worn statue
niches between them and to either side.
The north face has a plainer 4-centre arch with arched label,
a corbelled panelled feature in the northwest corner at first
floor level and a double-ogee arched statue recess to the
left, otherwise the two upper floors rough-rendered and plain,
with string and battlemented parapet, angled buttress to
north-east corner, and rendered lean-to building set in front
of the main east building.
In the S wall are two doorways, one plain 4-centred, the other
a late C18 pedimented elaborate lierne vault.
INTERIOR: there is a single room at each upper level. The
first floor has C17 panelling with pilasters, including
panelling to seats in window embrasures, and a bolection-mould
fireplace to the E. In the SE corner, behind a C17 door in a
4-centred arch is a recess, possibly a former garderobe. The
spiral stair in the SW corner has stone treads to the lower
flight, but wood treads to the upper flight. The upper room
has a 2-bay arch-braced roof with wind-bracing. On the S side
are very large moulded brackets or corbels, and a small cusped
HISTORICAL NOTE: the porch is said to be so named as it was
the spot where beggars normally sought alms; a stone bench
runs along the E wall.
(The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and
Bristol: London: 1958-: 311).

Listing NGR: ST5505945811

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