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Description: 4,5 and 6, St Gregory's Alley
Date Listed: 5 June 1972
English Heritage Building ID: 229564
OS Grid Reference: TG2282208702
OS Grid Coordinates: 622822, 308702
Latitude/Longitude: 52.6303, 1.2911
1188/15/790 ST GREGORY'S ALLEY
20-AUG-91 (West side)
4,5 AND 6
(Formerly listed as:
ST GREGORYS ALLEY
4, 5 AND 6)
Three houses, converted to shops in the early C20. Nos. 5 and 6 are of the early C17 and No. 4 c1830.
MATERIALS: No. 4 is of gault-brick laid in Flemish bond under a gabled roof clad with black-glazed pantiles, and the exterior walls of No. 5 are of the same build, sharing the same roof, but the interior shows a timber-frame to the upper floors. No. 6 is of timber-framed construction to the upper floors, rendered and colourwashed. Gabled red pantiled roof.
PLAN: Originally each building had a side entrance from the street leading to a hallway and staircase to the upper floors. Re-fronting in the early C19 and re-fitting as shops in the early C20 has obliterated this plan in relation to Nos. 4 and 5. No. 6, however, retains its independent side entry to the north of the display window.
EXTERIOR: The east elevation of Nos. 4 and 5, facing St. Gregory's Alley, is of three storeys with three window bays, fitted with two C20 shop display windows. The display window to No. 4 c1910, with a central glazed door recessed behind curved plate-glass windows with thin circular mullions. There are tiled stallrisers and a canopy box carried on pilasters to the right and left of the composition. The display bays are closed from the interior by two glazed back screens with transom glazing. The shop display window to No. 5 was replaced in the late 1970s with three plate-glass windows and a half-glazed door recessed to the left (south). The upper two floors of No. 4 are lit through one early C20 two-light casement to each storey, both under rendered gauged skewback arches. There is a prominent plain fascia board below the gabled roof, which carries an internal gable-end stack to the south. No. 5 has two unhorned 6/6 early C19 sash windows to the first floor with under painted gauged skewback arches. The second floor has two bottom-hung late C20 casements, also with under painted skewback arches. Moulded fascia board under the gabled roof, which has a gable-end ridge stack to the north, shared with No. 6 St. Gregory's Alley. The rear of both properties are inaccessible, but a single-storey late C20 extension has been constructed to the rear of No. 5 under a pantiled roof.
No. 6 is of three storeys with two window bays. On the ground floor is a 1970s plate-glass shop display window with panelled stallrisers, a half-glazed door to the south and a wide plain fascia. To its right is a mid C18 six-panelled arched door with two leaves, the panels raised. Over this is a two-light overlight. The jettied first floor has a moulded bressumer and is lit through two mid C20 two-light casement windows with glazing bars. The second floor is also jettied and provided with two similar mid C20 casements. Gabled roof which shares the internal gable-end stack to the south with No. 5. The rear, west elevation has a two-storey cross wing to the north enclosing a small yard. Attached to the rear elevation is a C20 single-storey extension under a raking pantiled roof, entered through French doors. Over this, in the brick rear wall of the front range, is a three-light early C19 casement.
INTERIOR: The ground floor of No. 4 has lost its original room divisions in favour of a single retail space with the floor above supported on rolled steel joists. There is a late C20 open ladder staircase to the upper floors, which are similarly open retail or storage spaces. No. 5 also has an open retail space to the ground floor and late C20 staff rooms to the rear. Two plain bridging beams run east to west, and access to the upper floors is by means of a winder staircase to the south. The two upper floors have the early C17 timber frame exposed to the west, north and south walls, with arched braces and chamfered bridging beams. The ground floor of No. 6 has been similarly opened out for retail use, and the fire opening and a former doorway in the south wall removed in the 1990s. The frame exposed to the upper two floors retains two arched braces and mortise holes for several more, but the division into separate rooms has been abolished.
Norwich was until the C18 the second most important city in England after London. Its development from the C8 took the form of the gradual amalgamation of the four original settlements close to, and either side of, the River Wensum, a process which was complete by the time of the Conquest. After an initial destructive phase by the Normans the city rapidly expanded following the construction of the cathedral and castle (around 1094). However, it was not until the late C18 that there was any systematic expansion beyond the early C14 city walls; the walls themselves having the greatest length of any English town, including London. Within this enclosed space the medieval street patterns became established, and they remain recognisable today. St. Gregory's Alley is one of the oldest thoroughfares, with the west end of St. Gregory's church pressing closely on the street. The C14 church fabric is only four metres from the east elevation of Nos. 4, 5 and 6.
It is highly likely that these three plots were developed at an early period, possibly pre-Conquest, but there have been reconstructions since. Both Nos. 5 and 6 are timber-framed C17 houses, No. 5 being provided with a gault-brick façade in the early C19 when No. 4 was rebuilt.
Emery,A, Town Houses of Medieval Britain (2003)143-153
Morrison, K, English Shops and Shopping (2003)
Pevsner, N and Wilson, B, Buildings of England: Norfolk 1 (1997)
Powers,A, Shop Fronts (1989)
Smith, R and Carter,A, Function and Site: Aspects of Norwich Buildings in Vernacular Architecture, Vol.14, (1983)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION
Nos. 4, 5 and 6 St. Gregory's Alley are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* They are three houses, converted to shops in the early C20. Nos 5 and 6 are are of the early C17 and no. 4 c.1830.
* Nos 5 and 6 are good examples of C17, timber-framed houses, no. 6 with a jetty, built with a flint and brick ground floor for fire protection, with timber upper floors.
* No.4 is a brick built house c.1830, with a good curved glass shop front of c.1910.
* All three houses have group value with St Gregory's church, opposite (designated at Grade I) and the adjacent nos. 6A and 7 st Gregory's Alley.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.