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King Charles House

A Grade II* Listed Building in Worcester, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.1925 / 52°11'33"N

Longitude: -2.2181 / 2°13'5"W

OS Eastings: 385185

OS Northings: 254943

OS Grid: SO851549

Mapcode National: GBR 1G4.J0P

Mapcode Global: VH92T.H5Q1

Plus Code: 9C4V5QVJ+2P

Entry Name: King Charles House

Listing Date: 22 May 1954

Last Amended: 27 June 2001

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1389751

English Heritage Legacy ID: 488702

Also known as: 30 New Street

ID on this website: 101389751

Location: Worcester, Worcestershire, WR1

County: Worcestershire

District: Worcester

Electoral Ward/Division: Cathedral

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Worcester

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Worcester, St Martin's in the Cornmarket with St Swithun and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Tagged with: House

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CORNMARKET (South side)
Nos.4 and 5, King Charles House

(Formerly Listed as: CORNMARKETNo.4)
(Formerly Listed as: CORNMARKET No.5, King Charles House)


Includes: No.30 NEW STREET.
House with shop, now shops with flat over and offices. Numbered right to left, described left to right.Two main stages of build: No 5 (built as one house with King Charles' House, Nos. 29 (qv) and 30. 1577 for Richard Durant and William Blagden; jettied upper storey added when annexe (29 New Street) was built in the 1670s, with further rebuilding c1801 to ground floor and to range to right and right return (No 4); restored 1956.

Timber frame with brick and plaster infill and pinkish-brown brick in Flemish bond with flat arches of red gauged brick and stone sills; slate roofs where original, hipped at right angle and brick left end and rear stacks. Cornmarket facade: Two storeys, two first floor windows, with three storey, three first floor window range at right and three storeys, three first floor windows to right return. Timber-framed range: four posts to alternately narrow and wide bays to upper stage with close studding, small square frames and herringbone studding. First floor has 12/12 and 16/16 sliding sashes. To left part a short columnette with hollow moulding which in turn interrupts long columnette. Remains of similar pilaster to left side of right window and at right end with surmounting lintel. Above a jetty with step, cavetto, roll, double step and cavetto moulding. To ground floor at left a wide-plank door with moulded lintel over with double step, ovolo, step, ovolo, step and chamfer. Then renewed multi-pane shop window with plank above inscribed "LOVE GOD WB 1577 RD HONOUR YE KING". Entrance a part-glazed door with lower raised-and-fielded panels in surround with swags, paterae and central medallion over, brackets, frieze and dentil cornice with surmounting timber Pompeian urn. To right a Regency bowed multi-pane window with curved glass, frieze and dentil cornice. Range to right (c1801): first and second floors have 6/6 sashes in plain reveals, with sills and flat arches. Continuous modillion eaves cornice and blocking course. Ground floor has shop front which continues around right corner under continuous frieze and modillion cornice decorated with lozenge and leaf motifs; the frieze bowed outwards over windows and projects over door with cavetto section. Off-centre left entrance a six-flush-and-beaded-panel door with central two glazed panels with overlight between slender fluted "composite" columns; bowed multi-pane shop windows to either side, that at right curves around corner to right return; similar end columns with paterae above.
Right return has to first and second floors 6/6 sashes with plain reveals, sills and flat arches. Further central entrance to ground floor a six-flush-beaded-panel door in panelled reveals with fanlight with radial glazing bars and open pediment. To right a C20 shop window in similar Georgian style. Rear facade has 12/12 staircase sash and 6/6 sash. External stacks have fireplaces.

INTERIOR: ground floor forms a continuous unit to Nos 4 and 5 Cornmarket and retains deeply-chamfered beams. First floor to left part (No.5) has panelling to three sides of main room with step, ovolo, roll and step moulding and frieze panels decorated with lozenge motif. Transverse beams with deep chamfer and step and ovolo moulding. Room to left has deeply-chamfered axial and transverse beams, and rafters. Panelled door and two-panelled door with L-hinge. Rear wall has exposed framing and diagonal braces. Roof retains purlins, renewed rafters. c1801 part has full-height dog-leg staircase with stick balusters and wreathed handrail, carved tread ends. Timber fireplace in Adam style to second floor has central panel with pastoral scene and swags and cast-iron grate. Plasterwork includes delicately moulded cornices.

HISTORICAL NOTE: the dwelling originally included No.29 New Street (qv). The inscription board attached to the building was originally set on a porch and includes the date 1577 as well as the initials WB and RD for Richard Durant and William Blagden, who in 1577 are recorded as leasing a small triangle of land in the Cornmarket from the City in order to square up their plot of land. An engraving of 1799 by James Ross indicates that this was originally a three-storey building, the upper stage jettied and with four gables. The original plan is thought to have been L-shaped, following the angle of the two roads with, from Cornmarket, a kitchen, parlour and entry passage, then shop with cellar under to corner and hall and parlour. A fire c1790s partially destroyed the timber framed building and caused the rebuilding. The gables were removed c1852-60. The presence of fireplaces to the external stacks and alternately proud and flush bricks to left end of this phase indicates that the intention was to replace all the timber framed section with brick.

The house is traditionally associated with the escape of Charles I after the Battle of Worcester (1651). Pevsner describes this as a 'fine' building, noting especially the 'Late Georgian bowed shop windows' and the 'graceful Adamish doorway'. The building was given a City of Worcester Award in 1991.

(Molyneux NAD: Vernacular Architecture Group Spring Conference, Worcestershire: 1995-: 2.10; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Worcestershire: Harmondsworth: 1968-1985: 329; Hughes P: Buildings and the Building Trade in Worcester 1540-1650: PhD thesis: 1990-: 434).

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