More on 77 High Street

77 High Street  (plot 419 tithe apportionment) Currently ‘Zach’s Plaice’ NHS02013

In 1869  William Plant bought it and demolished it, and the shop became William Plant fish & game dealer till 1936

Edward Jones described the building  in ‘Historical Records of Newport’ (TSAS) as

Pulled down in 1879 .. where the house and shop of Mr W Plant, fishmonger, now stands.  There was  a beautiful and singularly interesting framework of carved oak of a similar pattern to that seen in the Council House, Shrewsbury.  Most of it was divided into squares of about two feet each way. Below each of the two upper windows were two spaces of about the same size, but with circular tops, the form of these niches giving the impression that they formerly contained figures of some sort.

The text on the back of the photograph reads:

Photograph of Mr G Plant’s House, demolished by J[ohn] F[rancis] Cobb in 1879. Negative by Howle, Newport Salop, now the property of WW Cobb of Atherstone and Chetwynd End.  For full description see Historical Records of Newport Salop by Edward Jones in Trans. Shropsh. Archaeol. Society page 121.

Photo printed by WW Cobb from Howle negative and given to TW Picken chemist, Newport in Feb 1902. Signed WW Cobb

The four arches were purchased from Mr Plant by WW Cobb in Jan 1902.*

*LFletcher has tried to locate these arches. She thought they may have been removed to WW Cobb’s house in Atherstone, but the current owners, whom I contacted,  say not there, 2015.

Is this building pre or post The Great Fire of Newport?

Quatrefoil designs

There is a large variety in the design of quatrefoils and their central decoration in Staffordshire and Shropshire.  77 High Street has a simple square on both sides of the centre. These are all very solid / chunky which seems to the writer that they would be earlier rather than later.

Timbers on Little Moreton hall similar. The earliest parts of Little Moreton hall  were built for the prosperous Cheshire landowner William Moreton in about 1504–08, and the remainder was constructed in stages by successive generations of the family until about 1610.  The first and second floor have quatrefoils similar to 77 High Street. Presumably these date to 1610.

Little Moreton Hall

Tudor House Market Drayton has small triangles centre called ’spurred bracing’ –  these are not similar at all to 77 High St.

The same is true of 2 Dinham Ludlow, 14-15 Raven Lane Ludlow, Stokesay gatehouse and 16 High Street Shrewsbury. All are different.

61 High Street, Shrewsbury

Can anyone find a  quatrefoil similar to ours at Newport?

  • ARCHES

Wooden arched decorations are not very common. Here is 77 High Street.

It has  an elongated flower carved on each pilaster. This looks very  much like a Netherlands tulip or a Renaissance design. Each pilaster has rectangular capitals with  moulded ogee decoration.

The arches have typical trailing vines (see Sandbrook Vaults Market Drayton)  

Other arches can be seen at The Feathers Ludlow. The oldest part of the Feathers, including the world-famous timber façade, was built in 1619 by Rees Jones, a successful attorney in the town, who had frequently appeared before the Council of the Marches.

The Feathers, Ludlow

The arches appear to have pilasters with rectangular capitals. It is interesting that these arches are supporting the roof.

Another example of arches is at The Council House gateway Shrewsbury. These are dated to 1610.
The design is quite different to Newport arch, although  appears to have  egg and dart decoration on the lower arch.

Documentary evidence.

There is very little evidence. A deed of 1865 mentions that  75 High Street was  “bounded … on each side ….  Messuages and gardens… belonging to the trustees of the late John Warner  and occupied by Henry Foxall ( 73) and John Thompson (77), the latter being a fishmonger.

In 1841 the property was owned by John Warner, mercer and wool draper, but he did not use it. (Warner had a draper’s shop  at no 73) In 1841 the tenants were Richard  Adderley (hairdresser shop?); Peter Picken  landlord of the Pigfold Inn ( New Street);  John Cartwright and Ann Spilsbury.  Later the Plant family took over the Thompson fishmonger business and were related by marriage to the Thompsons. The Plant fish & game dealer  business carried on until 1936.

Tithe map (1841) showing 77 High Street.

If anyone can find  features very similar to 77 High Street, in other Staffordshire and Shropshire buildings please contact info@newporthistorysociety.org

Linda Fletcher 2019