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40 Bridge Street

A Grade II Listed Building in Leominster, County of Herefordshire

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Latitude: 52.2312 / 52°13'52"N

Longitude: -2.7404 / 2°44'25"W

OS Eastings: 349530

OS Northings: 259481

OS Grid: SO495594

Mapcode National: GBR FK.1DWB

Mapcode Global: VH84W.G54W

Entry Name: 40 Bridge Street

Listing Date: 10 April 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1446094

Location: Leominster, County of Herefordshire, HR6

County: County of Herefordshire

Civil Parish: Leominster

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Leominster

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

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The remains of a C15 hall house and C15 cross wing, and possible C16 bay, encased within a late C18 inn, with a mid-C19 two-storey addition to the rear. The C20 porch to each side elevation and the single-storey outbuildings to the rear (east) are excluded from the List entry.


The remains of a C15 hall house and C15 cross wing, and possible C16 bay, encased within a late C18 inn, with a mid-C19 two-storey addition to the rear. The C20 porch to each side elevation and the single-storey outbuildings to the rear (east) are excluded from the List entry.

MATERIALS: trestle-sawn oak timber-frame, encased in brick. Brick and stone chimney stacks. The windows are a mixture of late C18, C19 and C20 timber casements. The roof is covered in slate tiles.

PLAN: three bays of a C15 hall house aligned on a north to south axis and comprising the service bay, cross passage and lower end of the hall. There is a two bay cross wing, aligned on an east to west axis and extending from the service bay and cross passage of the principal range. There is an additional bay to the south-west corner of the building. The whole is encased in a brick building which is roughly square on plan. Across the rear (east) elevation is a two storey addition.

EXTERIOR: the C15 open hall house and cross wing is concealed by a late C18, two-storey, brick building. The principal (west) elevation is unsymmetrical suggesting the presence of an earlier building behind the façade. It has an off-centre late C18 doorcase with Doric pilasters and flat, moulded, hood. There is a casement window to either side with diamond leaded lights, and three timber casement windows to the first floor. There are two ridge stacks, and a gable end stack to the south elevation. Across the rear (east) elevation is a mid-C19 two-storey addition with a lateral brick stack.

INTERIOR: the three bays of a C15 hall house, aligned on a north to south axis, the two bays of a C15 cross wing, on an east to west axis, and an additional C16 bay to the south-west corner of the building are evident in the fabric of the building. The floor joists of the jettied first floor of the cross wing and additional bay, form the ceiling of the western half of the building. The jetties were underbuilt in brick in the late C18. The main post of the southern truss of the hall house and part of the post plate are visible to its western wall, and there is a cambered doorhead in the expected position of a doorway between the cross passage and service bay. At the southern end of the building, in the former lower end of the hall, is a C17 chamfered beam with plain stops at its north end. To the west wall is a substantial stone stack, which has been faced in brick.

The timber framing survives to a greater extent at first floor. Most of the main posts of the roof trusses of both the hall house and cross wing are visible, and both the principal range and cross wing have wall frames of large plain panels. The northern wall has been rebuilt in brick. There is a C17 partition wall that runs through the service bay and cross passage with a C17 plank door with strap hinges. The southern bay has a central C17 chamfered ceiling beam with stepped stops at its north end and the wall plate to the east wall has been chamfered with a run out stop, again at the north end. Between the principal range and the cross wing is a doorway with a cambered doorhead. The partition wall dividing the cross wing into two bays may be C17 and incorporates a two-panel door with strap hinges with spearhead ends. The doorway between the C15 cross wing, and the probable C16 bay, has a late C17/early C18 two-panel door, with L-hinges. The west wall of this bay has a possible cruck.

Within the attic the three surviving trusses of the C15 hall house have been preserved beneath a late C18 roof. Each truss has a cambered tie beam. The north truss has a collar at purlin level, and a king strut between the tie beam and collar. Stave holes to the principal rafters suggest it was formerly infilled with wattle and daub, and formed the end truss. The second truss has been modified to accommodate an inserted doorway and has curved angle braces to either side. The south truss has queen struts between the tie beam and collar; the collar has been cut to form a doorway. Most of the common rafters survive, pegged into the single tier of through purlins. There are windbraces on the east side of the roof structure. At the west side of the third bay is a stone stack, with a diagonally set shaft, probably inserted in the C17. The roof trusses of the cross wing extend to the west of the principal range. The east truss has a cambered tie beam with angle struts and is infilled with wattle and daub. The intermediate truss has an arch braced collar with smoke-blackening; the rafters have been truncated at the collar to allow the later roof construction. The west truss no longer survives, apart from the tie beam at eaves level. The brick stack to the north wall of the cross wing appears to be late C18 and coincides with the re-facing of the building in brick.

Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the following are not of architectural or historic interest:

The C20 porch to the north and south elevation.
The C19 and C20 single-storey building to the rear (east).


The former inn The Hop Pole (known as such since at least the mid-C19) is a late C18 building with a C15 core, and is located at 40 Bridge Street, within the medieval suburb of The Marsh, Leominster. During underpinning works to the building in the mid-1990s, when the cellar was infilled, preserved animal bones and horncones were uncovered at the site suggesting that the building may have been used as a tannery, a thriving industry in C15 and C16 Leominster.

The three bays of a C15 open hall house, orientated on a north to south axis, form the core of 40 Bridge Street, and have been interpreted as the service bay, cross passage and lower end of the hall. The south face of the southern roof truss is smoke blackened indicating that the building had an open hall, and this combined with the through purlins, trestle-sawn timbers, and large plain panels to the wall frames are indicative of a C15 date.

In the C17 the hall was floored over. The C17 beams are stopped at their north end only, suggesting that at this time the fourth bay, the upper end of the hall, was extant.

The two bay cross wing that extends from the west side of the principal range is also C15. The intermediate roof truss has a smoke blackened arch-braced collar and no tie beam, indicating that there was an open hall. The first floor, with a jetty to the west end (now underbuilt), may be a later C16 insertion. The north wall of the cross wing appears to have been rebuilt in the late C18 when the building was re-faced and the brick stack inserted.

There is an additional timber-framed bay to the south-west corner of the building with the remains of a cruck to its west wall. Cruck frames are increasingly rare from the C16 onwards suggesting that this phase of the building is no later than C16.

The two storey addition to the rear (east) of the building appears to be mid-C19.

Reasons for Listing

40 Bridge Street in Leominster, a late C18 inn with a C15 hall house at its core, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: as a rare example of a timber-framed C15 hall house and cross wing;
* Degree of survival: the building retains a significant proportion of its C15 fabric including medieval roof trusses;
* Historic interest: the preservation of the C15 building beneath an C18 exterior provides important evidence for the gradual evolvement of the building and this is readable in the surviving C15, C16, C17 and C18 fabric.

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