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Secondary House at Plas Chambres

A Grade II* Listed Building in Denbigh, Denbighshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2018 / 53°12'6"N

Longitude: -3.4282 / 3°25'41"W

OS Eastings: 304698

OS Northings: 368143

OS Grid: SJ046681

Mapcode National: GBR 6M.27RL

Mapcode Global: WH76V.9SS9

Entry Name: Secondary House at Plas Chambres

Listing Date: 20 July 2000

Last Amended: 20 July 2000

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 23649

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Located immediately SE of the main house on the SW side of the cobbled former service court.

County: Denbighshire

Community: Denbigh (Dinbych)

Community: Denbigh

Locality: Plas Chambres

Traditional County: Denbighshire

Find accommodation in
Denbigh

History

Formerly the principal seat of the (now extinct) Chambres family. Allegedly descended from Jean de la Chambre, one of William the Conqueror's knights, the Denbigh branch of the family was founded by John Chambres, a follower of Henry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln at the end of the C13. The family were, from the C16 until the C18, amongst of the principal families of the county and its representatives frequently served as burgesses and aldermen of the town. John Chambres additionally served as High Sheriff of the county in 1713. The head of the house at the time of the Civil Wars was Captain Charles Chambres, a brave and notable royalist commander who took part in many of the significant events of the war in North Wales. Amongst these was his attack on Denbigh Castle in July 1648, when, together with Major John Dolben, he attempted to free the imprisoned Major-General Sir John Owen.

The overall complex at Plas Chambres represents a particularly fine example of a unit-planned gentry house of the Tudor and Stuart periods and, with the exception of some minor alterations and additions of the early C19 (such as the carthouse and granary), has remained essentially unaltered since the late C17. Not only do the main and subsidiary houses survive (both with timber-framed, late-medieval origins), but the site also retains a formal walled forecourt, a contemporary cobbled outer (service) court, a walled orchard and the site of a walled and revetted pleasure garden. In addition to this there is a large, early agricultural complex, consisting of a 7-bay main barn, a 3-bay byre and a 6-bay stable range, all with late C16 or early C17 timber-framed origins.

This building originated as a late medieval 5-bay domestic block of full-cruck construction. Its juxtaposition with the main house suggests that it was always a secondary unit, and may have originally served as a steward's or dower house. In the late C16 the building was turned into a storeyed house and was extended to the W in a short rubble projection with end chimney. The building was encased in brick c1680 and was given new openings together with further end and lateral chimneys.

Now used as an outbuilding.

Exterior

L-shaped storeyed house with timber-framed core to red brick main range and a limestone rubble rear section; slate roof with lateral and end chimneys, the former gabled and projecting, and with off-set dentilations to the base of the stack. The main front faces the cobbled outer court. This has a central entrance with boarded door and pegged frame, with tripartite overlight. To the R is a window opening (much overgrown at time of inspection), and to the L is a blocked-up window. The upper floor has 2 late C17 wooden cross-windows which break the eaves and are contained within gabled dormers. The NW gable end (facing the main house) shows evidence of a former external stair with first floor entrance; modern breeze-block infill to this, with blocked entrance and 2-light mullioned window to the L of the stack. Entrance with boarded door to the rubble section, with 16-pane C19 sash above; modern garage lean-to to the R.

Interior

The interior has 2 pairs of cruck blades imbedded in the walls, implying a 5-bay building (at least) originally. Conjoined octagonal flagged floor to the hall section (R), mostly cemented over. Depressed-arched brick fireplace. The ceiling has finely stopped-chamfered main beam and joists of late C16 or early C17 character; C19 stick baluster stair. The parlour section (L) has residual stencilled decorative painting visible at frieze level in one corner; this consists of a cable-work border and is of the late C18 or early C19. The rubble section has beamed ceiling as before, with a wide fireplace having a flat, stopped-chamfered bressummer with the suggestion of an ogee cut to the centre. Stair recess to the R of the stack with the upper winders still in situ to the attic floor. Opposite the fireplace the box-framed external wall to the primary timber-framed building is visible, with later (C17) applied, moulded brackets and a boarded door.

Reasons for Listing

Listed Grade II* as a late C17 brick encapsulation of an Elizabethan unit-planned domestic range, with late medieval, full-cruck origins; of particular interest as forming part of a largely unaltered example of a sub-medieval Unit Planned complex.

Group value with other listed items at Plas Chambres.

Other nearby listed buildings

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