Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Great Porch House in Monday Market Street.

The Great Porch House with its Blue Plaque

This is the "Great Porch House" one of only two surviving medieval houses in Devizes.  It was a timbered-framed,  three bay hall, open from floor to roof, and with a two storey cross wing.  Originally it had a large porch to the front, after which it was named, but which was removed in the 17th century to allow houses to be built in the back courtyard.  The board across the arch give it a date of 1450.  The interior has carved heads of Henry 1V and Queen Joan of Navarre, and the flowers paintings on plaster  at each end, inside the roof, suggest that it was the home of a wealthy merchant, possible a member of the Coventry family.  It is also thought that Queen Joan may have stayed here when Devizes castle was being repaired.

In the photo below can be seen, top left, the remains of a rare clerestory or chamber window, the other windows are from the 19th century.  It is now a listed building and in private hands.  The cross beam that carries the date board, is decorated with little carved roundel flowers.  I live two minutes walk from here and can see the roof from my roof garden.  It is very foggy here today,  a day for staying in the warmth.

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