The Maltster’s House, 76 Bell Street
Grade II* Listed
This is part of a medieval hall with two cross wings. The central, two-bay hall and its cross-passage were dendro-dated to 1405. The northern two-bay wing appears to be of the same date, as it shares its south timber-framed sidewall with the north gable of the hall.
It was built on the edge of ‘Countess Gardens’, possibly on part of the former royal manorial site abandoned by 1381.
Both cross-wings were cut back and the front was rebuilt in brick with parapet c 1800.
No 76 is the two-bay hall. Its entrance is still directly into the cross passage, the original main entrance.
The wall post in the centre of the rear wall of the hall – best seen at first floor level – has remnants of a pilaster and capital from which the east arch brace rises.
Two tiers of cusped, chamfered wind braces, now only clearly visible at the attic stairs, would have made an impressive roof over the open hall together with the arch braced central truss. All roof timbers still show sooting from the former open hearth on the hall floor.
A large brick stack was inserted into the north wall between hall and cross wing, serving fire places in both, when the hall was chambered over, probably in the C16th.
Please see separate detailed reports on each cottage and the building as a whole: