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Latitude: 52.6588 / 52°39'31"N
Longitude: -3.1457 / 3°8'44"W
OS Eastings: 322601
OS Northings: 307404
OS Grid: SJ226074
Mapcode National: GBR B0.5G6J
Mapcode Global: WH79P.NF7J
Entry Name: ,18,Severn Street,Welshpool,,,
Listing Date: 11 March 1981
Last Amended: 29 February 1996
Source ID: 16730
Building Class: Domestic
Location: Towards the lower end of the street, close to the entrance to the canal yard.
Community: Welshpool (Y Trallwng)
Built-Up Area: Welshpool
Traditional County: Montgomeryshire
History: The building is dated 1863, although the date applies to a radical remodelling of an earlier building which is probably late C18. The reconstruction established a purpose-designed office building, said to be the first of its kind in the county, and was carried out for a solicitor, Abraham Howell. He acquired the site in 1853. The dwelling house on the site at the time forms the core of the present building, but was refronted and raised in height, and re-ordered internally.
Exterior: Building comprises 2 parallel ranges: the front range largely of 1863. Brick throughout, with some rubble in the gable; slate roofs with gathered gable end stacks. Main elevation is 3-storeyed, a 3-window range with central entrance. Ground floor banded with blue brick, similar impost and sill bands to first floor. Projecting ashlar porch has chamfered shafts sprung from a raking base, carrying a steep archway brought forward on stiff-leaf capitals: monograms of the original partners and the date in the spandrels of the arch; cornice to flat roof, which has wrought-iron work railing. Flanking windows are 4-pane sashes in steeply arched openings with banded brick heads, and raking stone sills. Similarly detailed windows to first floor with continuous moulded stone sill band. Top storey has continuous raking sill band; low central window below the eaves (which oversail on tall moulded brackets); outer windows have gabled dormer heads breaking the eaves line, and are set in raised brick panels: 4-pane sashes with steeply arched brick heads, stone balconettes with wrought-iron rails, and shaped stone coped gables surmounted by wrought iron fleches. Rear elevation is substantially that of the house of c1800: brick, forming 2 parallel gables, with 12-pane sash windows with wide splayed heads to upper storeys; a single similar window survives to ground floor, but the rear doorway is an insertion of 1863 (4-panelled door with chamfered jambs and marginal glazing to side lights, in segmental brick arch sprung from stone kneelers).
Interior: Central entrance hall leading to rear stair hall, with offices opening off it to ground floor (including original strong room). Staircase rises the whole height of the building, and has chamfered rails, angled newels and moulded tread-ends. First floor is planned with paired interconnecting offices on either side of the stair hall.
Cast-iron rail on low plinth wall encloses a narrow forecourt to either side of the entrance porch.
The building is an excellent example of gothic revival work, of particular interest as it was used in the reconstruction of an earlier building to create a lively and eye-catching new front for an early office building.
Reference: Ion Trant, The Changing Face of Welshpool, 1986, p.88.
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