A c1735 domestic building with later conversions and alterations, including the addition of a 1920s petrol pump.
Reason for Listing
No. 44 Eastgate and its attached petrol pump are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: as a mid-C18 town house with characteristic features;
* Historic Interest: the pump is an early example of petrol provision, providing an interesting survival from the history of the motor car in England;
* Rarity: the pump is one of extremely few survivals of pumps delivering petrol across a pavement, where both the original pump and swinging arm survives.
This building was constructed c1735 by a Miss Barbara Read. At this time it was described as a ‘messuage, garth and garden.’ The front range formed a separate property of one room to each floor, while the rear range was subdivided into two, possibly three tenements; an arrangement that continued throughout the C19 and into the C20. Wood’s 1828 Plan of Beverley indicates an L-shaped range attached to the west end of the building, mostly demolished in the late-C19. Due to the positioning of blocked windows in the extant gable end, this was likely to have been single storey. By 1830, the property was described as including stables, cowhouses and yards together with a piece of land.
The front range ground floor was converted to commercial use during the C19, retaining a Victorian shopfront until the widening of Eastgate during the 1960s; at this point the existing archway was inserted. There was also some commercial activity on the rear of the site, indicated by the large number of workshops, stables and other structures within what was known as Suddaby’s and later Dickinson’s Yard. The remainder of the outbuildings which survived the late-C19 demolition were removed during the C20.
The site was sold to a motor engineer in 1920, at which point the building was converted into a garage. The hand-crank petrol pump attached to the main elevation is likely to date to the early 1920s. It features in a Bowser sales catalogue of 1922, identified as ‘The Red Bowser Kerb Pump’ (although without the swinging arm; a necessity due to its position off the pavement). The niche in which it sits would have originally been the entrance to the passage accessing the yard. The creation of a niche will have been in order to avoid the pump being positioned on a public pavement, for which the garage owner would have required a legal agreement with the council such as an annual licence.
The yard was covered over in the mid-C20, although this roofing has now been removed and the site built on as part of the current development scheme. This involves the addition of a modern two-storey structure to the former yard area, and the amalgamation of this with the rear range. The front range remains separate with commercial space to the ground floor and a flat to the first and attic floor.
MATERIALS: brick with pantile roofs.
PLAN: L-shaped with a front range to the north-east facing Eastgate and a long rear range running south-west, with a slight change of angle.
EXTERIOR: the main elevation is of two storeys with a recessed shopfront to the ground floor. To the left of this a manually controlled Bowser petrol pump sits within a segmental-arched niche; the swinging arm which supports the petrol line is attached to the wall above. The brickwork is whitewashed with a band of render at eaves height. There are two renewed multi-paned windows to the first floor. Brick end stacks sit to each gable of the steeply-pitched pantile roof. The south-east gable is mostly rendered, reflecting a now demolished building’s roofline, with tumbled-in brickwork and a brick kneeler. The north-east gable abuts a separate building. The rear elevation is abutted by the rear range to the north. The southern bay is partially covered by the later infill, however it incorporates two blocked doorways, a renewed window to the first floor and a skylight to the roof. The southernmost doorway previously gave access to the former alley, now blocked by the pump niche.
The rear range occupies the northern half of the plot; the southern half, which originally formed the yard, now houses a modern extension. The roof is of pantiles, incorporating three modern dormers. The former south-east external wall has numerous large openings to the ground floor, accessing the modern infill. The first floor has renewed multi-paned windows which are now internal, as well as an enlarged opening. The first floor of the westernmost bay has been left external; this has one renewed multi-pane window. A diagonally-set brick cornice runs the length of the south-east elevation.
The south-west gable end has evidence of two blocked windows at first floor level, set slightly lower than those to the south-east. The gable wall is abutted by a modern yard wall; the ground floor was therefore not visible.
The north-west elevation of the rear range was not accessible at the time of inspection.
INTERIOR: the front range houses an open, entirely modernised commercial space to the ground floor; this is accessed via the modern shopfront. There are doorways to either side of the shopfront recess. That to the left accesses the former alleyway incorporating a low brick vault; this is now blocked off and forms a storage area. The doorway to the right accesses the upper floors. A modern staircase has been inserted to the north, leading to the first floor. The second flight of stairs, leading from the first floor landing to the attic, appears to be late-C19 although its authenticity is uncertain due to the levels of restoration. The first floor front room has exposed joists running north-east to south-west with chamfered stops. There is a chimney piece to either end, although no original fireplaces survive. Access has been knocked through into the rear range in order to insert a modern kitchen. The attic has been modernised; a chimney stack survives, although there is no evidence of a fireplace having existed here.
The rear range has been entirely opened up to the ground floor, with numerous large openings inserted to the modern extension. The first floor, not including that which has been subsumed into the front range, is now accessed via a door from the extension’s first floor landing; this was once an external window. Both the first floor and the attic have been entirely modernised, with a staircase and numerous modern partitions inserted. Internal doors to both ranges are modern.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.