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98 King Street, Knutsford

A Grade II* Listed Building in Knutsford, Cheshire East

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.306 / 53°18'21"N

Longitude: -2.3742 / 2°22'27"W

OS Eastings: 375160

OS Northings: 378852

OS Grid: SJ751788

Mapcode National: GBR CZV6.SL

Mapcode Global: WH997.H5NC

Entry Name: 98 King Street, Knutsford

Listing Date: 18 January 1949

Last Amended: 8 February 2017

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1388377

English Heritage Legacy ID: 476387

Location: Knutsford, Cheshire East, WA16

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Knutsford

Built-Up Area: Knutsford

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Knutsford St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Chester

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Summary


Mid-C18 town house, with late C20 alterations

Description

Mid-C18 town house, with late C20 alterations

MATERIALS: red clamp brick, stone plinth and sills to front elevation, with stone coped gables, and a Welsh slate roof.

PLAN: the main house has a rectangular plan; the addition of a late-C20 extension now gives the structure an overall T-plan.

EXTERIOR: the four-bay three-storey house is raised on a chamfered limestone plinth, and has two continuous brick string courses that wrap around all four elevations; the string course bands to the front and around the SE corner have been painted. The front and rear elevations have moulded timber dentil eaves cornices, with more heavily moulded projecting corner pieces to the NE and SE corners.
The main elevation has a six-panelled oak front door with arched heads, approached by a Yorkstone doorstep raised on red bricks, situated in the second-bay; it has a timber door-case with reeded pilasters, projecting entablature, and a plain oblong fanlight, with two vertical ribs. The ground and first-floors of the main elevation together with the SE corner of the S gable, are lit by flush-framed 12-pane sash windows, with stone sills, acanthus decorated keystones and flat-arched gauged brick heads. The windows to the second-floor have flush-framed six-pane sash windows with plain flat brick arches. The remaining elevations are lit by four-pane sash windows of different sizes, with brick sills, and a mixture of flat and cambered brick lintels. A single 20-pane fixed casement has been inserted into the ground-floor of the south gable and patching in the brickwork indicates the former position of an attic window. The gables have stone coping with projecting kneelers; the gabled Welsh slate roof is pierced by two brick chimney stacks and is drained by a central cast-iron down pipe to the front and a plastic down pipe to the rear. A wrought-iron bar grille set in a stone surround is situated in the pavement against the wall of the first-bay of the SE elevation gives access to a basement window / coal chute. A circular green plaque with white writing is attached to the wall at the SE corner, which reads - LISTED AS BEING OF / SPECIAL / HISTORIC / AND / ARCHITECTURAL / INTEREST. A late-C20 two-storey office extension attached to the rear elevation is not of special interest.

INTERIOR: the entrance hall and staircase occupy the second-bay of the house and span the full width of the building. The hall has later C20 timber parquet flooring, contemporary and repaired picture rails and moulded plaster cornices, the walls are lined with oak dado panelling, with small panels; all doors leading off the hall have moulded architraves and panelled door reveals. A variety of heights and designs of skirting boards can be found throughout the house; including lambs tongue, ogee, and torus, it is unclear whether these are primary or secondary features. The staircase has dado panelling and is flanked by a section of C18 oak panelled walling, with a contemporary six-panel door that leads down to the basement (not inspected). The ground-floor has four rooms, two to either side of the entrance hall, each separated by an axial spine wall that rises up through the house to the roof level. The SE room, has mid-C18 painted panelling, classically divided with dado, tall panels and moulded cornice. The base of the E wall is hidden by a modern skirting duct. A small decorative niche exists to one side of the chimney breast, which has an early-Gothic Revival-style fire surround. The NE room has late-C20 oak dado panelling, picture rails, and moulded plaster cornices, together with a late-Gothic Revival-style orange marble fire place. The windows have panelled timber reveals and moulded architraves. The rear ground-floor rooms have later C20 plaster cornices and a minimum of decorative detail; the SW room is accessed, and has been reduced in width, by the creation of a passageway to give access to two ground-floor offices situated within a late-C20 extension.

The four flights of the mid-C18 oak half-landing dog-leg staircase have moulded strings, turned balusters, and substantial moulded hand rails that curve up to square-section panelled newel posts, with moulded square caps. The stair treads are all later C20 replacements. The first and second-floor newel posts have moulded pendants and the landing of each floor gives access to five rooms, with a small room above the position of the entrance hall. All first and second-floor rooms have narrow moulded architraves to the windows. The SE first-floor room has late-C20 oak panelled walls, extending from the floor to the ceiling, together with a matching timber fire surround and a late-Victorian-style blacked cast-iron fireplace; the panelling on the E wall of this room only rises to dado. Although the NE room is relatively unadorned, it does retain a plain painted mid-C19 chamfered stone fire surround, with a blacked open-fret cast-iron fireplace and basket. The SW room has modern oak dado panelling, alcove bookshelves and a parquet floor, together with a late-C20 decorative 'mid-C19-style' fireplace that has been inserted into a false chimney in the E wall. The remaining two rooms are unadorned apart from plaster cornices; the NW room has been reduced in depth, by the creation of a passageway to a late-C20 extension. The five second-floor rooms are arranged in the same manner as those of the first-floor, and are built into the slope of the roof, with sloping ceilings and are unadorned. The interior of the roof was not inspected.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURE: a length of red clamp brick garden wall, with a chamfered brick plinth and flat coping stones is attached to the south gable end of the house. Where the wall meets the house, it is curved up to the height of the first-floor string course band.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that the late-C20 extension built to the rear of 98 Watergate Street, kitchen fittings, all office equipment and modern furniture are not of special architectural or historic interest.

History

This is a substantial high-status town house built circa 1750, as the residence of the agent of Tatton Estate. It was associated with a garden, which encompassed a plot that extended to the rear of Tatton Street, most of which is now covered by a modern elevated car park. The house ceased to be a residence during the 1970s and has been utilised as an office building since 1979; since that date, the house has been subject to a number of alterations to facilitate its use as an office, including the construction of a two-storey rear extension built in 1980, and the surfacing of the remainder of the garden as an office car park. Unauthorised removal of some internal fixtures and fittings and plaster-work was noted in 1980, which included panelling and ceilings in both front ground-floor rooms, the oak staircase with carved rails and balusters, oak panelling to the hall and stairs, marble fire surrounds and cast-iron fireplaces, and various other fittings and fixtures. It is unclear to what extent the above features were removed as it appears that a modified mid-C18 dog-leg staircase remains in situ. Other features were mostly reinstated or where reinstatement was not possible, repaired, some in 'like-for-like' materials.

Reasons for Listing

This mid-C18 dwelling is Listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Date: a mid-C18 building, which falls well within the period between 1700 and 1840 when there is a presumption in favour of listing;
* Architectural interest: as a fashionable and well-appointed high-status mid-C18 town house, that demonstrates a good quality design executed in good materials;
* Interior survival: it possesses high quality original mid-C18 fabric and reinstated architectural features which demonstrate their original form, including joinery, fireplaces, plasterwork and a high status oak dog-leg staircase;
* Group value: it benefits from a clear spatial and functional group value with a number of adjacent C18 houses and commercial buildings.

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