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25 Market Place

A Grade II Listed Building in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.5372 / 51°32'13"N

Longitude: -0.9057 / 0°54'20"W

OS Eastings: 475994

OS Northings: 182600

OS Grid: SU759826

Mapcode National: GBR C4R.KV8

Mapcode Global: VHDWG.8M1F

Entry Name: 25 Market Place

Listing Date: 28 October 1974

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1425728

Location: Henley-on-Thames, South Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire, RG9

County: Oxfordshire

District: South Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Henley-on-Thames

Built-Up Area: Henley-on-Thames

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Henley-on-Thames

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Find accommodation in
Henley on Thames


Commercial premises with accommodation above. Rear wing of c.1472 with later alterations and extensions; front range of probable C16 origin, remodelled and re-fronted c.1835. Outbuildings of C18 and later.


Commercial premises with accommodation above. Rear wing c.1471 with later alterations and extensions; front range of probable C16 origin, remodelled and re-fronted c.1835. Outbuildings of C18 and later.

MATERIALS: both ranges are timber-framed structures, with later walls of red brick. To the rear is a timber-framed outbuilding with brick and timber walls and to the south a detached timber-framed building with tarred weatherboarding on a brick plinth. The roofs are of plain clay tiles throughout, excepting the front pitch which is slate.

EXTERIOR: the street elevation, of c.1835, is of three storeys of red brick in Flemish bond with a late-C19 or early-C20 plate glass shop front and fascia. There are three bays of sash windows with slightly cambered heads and rubbed brick voussoirs. The blind central bay has painted glazing bars, but the eastern attic window is glazed and bricked up from the inside. The front pitch is of slate and is markedly shallower than the rear. The rear elevations are mostly rendered with casement windows. The small tile-hung addition to the south east and the flat-roofed single-storeyed extension beyond are C20 in date and not of special interest*.

PLAN / INTERIOR: 25 Market Place comprises a three-storeyed front range, a long rear wing of two storeys, and two single-storey outbuildings: these will be described in turn.

The front range is of two bays running parallel to the street. In origin, it may represent the C16 replacement of a former open hall with a ceiled structure, perhaps providing upper chambers over the inn and passageway. The C20 infilling of the passageway and removal of most of the ground floor partitions has resulted in a largely open-plan shop floor, although historic fabric such as ceiling beams and fireplaces have been retained in places. The west wall of the front range incorporates a chimney breast, and a winder staircase adjoins the rear wall (the straight flight from the ground floor was removed in the C20). On the first floor, the ceiling of the eastern front room is c.1m higher than that to the west. The room has been reduced in size with the early C21 addition of an ensuite bathroom (not of special interest)*.

On the second floor the western room created by the C19 heightening has a C19 cast iron fireplace. A small hatch in the partition gives access to the eastern attic space. This has an inserted raised floor and brick-blocked window (which suggests an intention to make this room into a second habitable chamber, perhaps abandoned after structural concerns). The roof shows evidence of at least two phases of construction, a steep-pitched C16 roof, heightened c.1835. The eastern truss has raking queen posts and a collar, and the central truss has a cambered collar and short arched braces. Wind braces connect purlins and principals. The purlins, collar and arch brace are chamfered, suggesting that at least part of the roof was open to the first floor. When the front eaves was raised, new rafters were installed at a shallower pitch, supported by struts nailed to the old purlins. The c.1835 work involved the removal of the western truss and the front rafters.

To the rear is a long timber-framed wing of two storeys and five bays of irregular length. Felling dates of Winter 1468/69 and Winter 1470/71 have been obtained from a dendrochronological survey of the roof trusses (Miles 2015), suggesting a construction date of 1471. The storeyed rear wing may have provided storeyed accommodation to an existing open hall running parallel with the street, although the northernmost bays may have been open to the roof. The frame is partially exposed, the posts having jowled heads and the tie beams and wall plates retaining peg holes for removed braces. The ground floor is now a continuous shop floor. The upper floors, presently in separate occupation, are accessed from the rear yard via C20 external stairs (the stairs are not of special interest*). The two rear bays have been heightened by the insertion of ceilings at collar level. The two reception rooms to the north are divided by a timber-framed partition of late date with a long raking strut; tenons for the stud wall it replaced are visible in the soffit of the tie beam. The northernmost bay is partially occupied by the inserted staircase and flanking back-to back cupboards.

The roof is of tenoned purlin type, with purlins clasped by collars and stiffened with wind braces. The visible trusses display variations in type; they are here referred to as A (southernmost) through to F, defining bays I (southernmost) to V. Trusses B and C have queen struts between tie and collar. Truss C is closed by inserted studs, laths and plaster between the tie beam and cambered collar (this relates to the heightened ceiling of the southern bays). There is some sooting to the rafters of bays I and II, especially towards the south gable end. Truss D has two raking queen posts clasping the purlins and a raised collar which forms a doorway, with lath plaster retained to the east. There are indications of sooting on their south face. Lath grooves cut into the upper faces of the queen posts confirm that this was intended as a closed truss.

Truss E is a fine scissor braced truss. There is no evidence for an early floor and no smoke blackening at bays IV and V, and the chamfered soffits to Truss E suggest that it was open to a two-bay hall or first-floor chamber. If this is the case then Truss F, now concealed behind the inserted staircase, is likely to be of similar form. The central bay (III) has smoke-blackened lath and plaster panels, and truncated rafters suggest a louvre opening. This may indicate its use for the smoking of meat/fish or the drying of hops.

Adjoining to the south is a single-storey, heated outbuilding, C18 in origin and perhaps representing the rebuilt stables documented in 1771. It is timber framed with arched braces and raking struts to the principals. The brick and timber east wall is later in date, and the gable wall of the rear wing has been partially removed to create internal through access. Central to the range is a brick fireplace with a timber lintel. A modern timber shed adjoins its end wall. The early C21 weatherboarded shed adjoining its southern gable end is not of special interest*. Towards the rear of the plot is an outbuilding of probable C18 date and industrial character, perhaps a workshop. It is a detached timber-framed structure with a timber-frame and black tarred weatherboarding on a low brick plinth.

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.


The building is located on the south side of Market Place near the Town Hall. It occupies a long burgage plot of early medieval origin with a 25’8” (7.3m) frontage. The long rear wing of c.1471 may represent an extension to a medieval open hall, itself rebuilt in the C16 as a two-storeyed, timber-framed structure. The front range was heightened, refaced and internally remodelled in c.1835. A late C19 or early C20 shopfront represents the last substantive building phase. The rear outbuildings are C18 and later in date.

25 Market Place is thought to be among four properties left by William Barnaby to the Corporation of Henley, the greater part of the rents and profits going to poor townsfolk and the upkeep of the church and bridge. Barnaby (d.1587) was a successful draper who owned at least ten tenements and a shop (Townley 2011, p. 84). His will of 1858 details ‘one of the Ten[emen]tes afores[ai]d beinge in the tenure or occupac[i]on of John Cranford or his Assignes in Hendley in a street their called the high streete and betweene the Ten[emen]ts of Joane Hide widdow on the East p[ar]te and Augustine Knapp on the Weste p[ar]te’. This property is incorrectly identified as 27 Market Place in Ann Cottingham’s ‘The Hostelries of Henley' (2000). However a Charity Commissioners’ report of 1858 refers to Barnaby’s High Street endowment as ‘formerly called the “Rose and Crown”’ before identifying leaseholders associated with 25 Market Place. At the time of writing [2015] 25 Market Place remains in the trust of Henley Municipal Charities.

The first mention of the Rose and Crown coaching inn (not to be confused with the public house of that name formerly at 56 New Street, Henley-on-Thames) is in the Quakers’ Minute Book of 1705. Here it is recorded that in 1658 the preacher Ambrose Rigge, having stabled his horses at the Rose and Crown, ‘got a stool or form and set it in the gateway of the said inn, which was against the Corn Market’. His preaching was not well received by some Henley citizens, who pelted him with ‘guts they got from the butchers’. In 1727 and 1738 leases were granted to Charles Brigstocke, brewer and later mayor, and in 1756 to James Brigstock. The stables and outbuildings were damaged by a fire in 1766 and rebuilt by William Bradshaw to a specification of December 1771. Richard Hayward is recorded as tenant in 1776 and 1780, but by 1790 the property is described as ‘late the Rose and Crown’ (Cottingham 2000, pp. 196-97).

After the closure of the Rose and Crown, the property was let on an 11-year lease to the waggoner William Atkins in 1812, while ‘a small shop, part of the same premises [was] let to William Cooper as yearly tenant at £3 3s’ (1820 Commissioners’ report, p. 205). A sales notice of 1835 advertised ‘all that messuage or dwelling house with the gateway, yard, stables and other buildings, situate on the south side of the Market Place, in Henley, lately occupied by Mr Burnett, and now by Mr Hyslop, and used as a Waggon Office; containing a Frontage in the street of 27 Feet [8.2m] and a depth of 429 Feet [130.7m]’ (Cottinham 2000, p. 195).

William Bennett, a cooper and basket maker, took on the 33 year repairing lease. The incoming tenant was liable for alterations and improvements to the value of £250, including ‘to dig a cellar underneath the front room or shop. To put in a shop front and take in part of the present gateway into the shop. To pull down and remove the stack of chimneys in the front room and rebuild them in a more convenient place. To erect a new staircase on the first floor. To lower the flooring over the gateway and to build two attics in front over the said premises and a staircase to the same. To pull down a portion of the present building at the bottom of the yard and rebuild the same on the space adjoining the dwelling house for workshops’ (Cottingham 2000, p. 195). An adjoining gateway (and presumably the chamber over) was leased to Robert Owthwaite for 99 years from 1831 (Cooper 1858, p. 13). Owthwaite described himself in the 1841 census as a cabinet maker, but is better known as a Henley builder and landowner.

By 1851, the lease had been assigned to Thomas Reeves, a cooper employing three men, and his family were still resident in 1881. By 1891, Tom Mott, a dairyman, had moved in. In 1896 the brothers John and Thomas Facy established a drapers' stores at 25 Market Place, expanding into the adjacent properties after the First World War. Facy’s vacated 25 Market Place in 2011, but continue to occupy nos 27-31. The side passage entrance is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1878 and a c.1896 photograph (Hazeldine 2014).

Reasons for Listing

25 Market Place, a C15/C16 timber-framed building, refronted and refurbished c.1835, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: an early C19 front conceals a C16 timber frame, a rear wing of c.1471 and timber-framed outbuildings of probable C18 date;

* Historical interest: the building is well-documented and rich in social history, as a charitable endowment, a coaching inn and a long-running department store;

* Group value: with other listed buildings on Market Place.

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