Perry’s of Eccleshall, master butcher and game dealer, is in a fine 18thC building on the south east side of Stafford Street, the short length of road between two intersections. Around the corner to the right was once the cattle market.
British Listed Buidings on line describe it:‘C18 with later alterations. Engraved stucco; 2 storeys; 5 modern casement windows; late C19 plain wood doorcase with small rectangular fanlight, modern glazed door and wood cornice hood porch on square pilasters with moulded caps; altered eaves on wood brackets. Projecting modern shop-front on left-hand side.’
If you look closely to the left of Perrys, at ground level, you may just notice the tip of an old milestone above a planter. It is listed grade 2, and thought to be early C19.
There was a period during the 18th century when stage coach travel became more reliable. The turnpike trusts had developed into a way of financing road improvements and Eccleshall was a convenient location on several different routes, including the main London to Chester road. The town and its coaching inns thrived, one of which was the King’s Arms.
The Ecclian Society has produced leaflets on the history of some of the town’s Pubs and Inns which are available in the local library. Reading up about the King’s Arms, ‘there has been an inn on this site since the 16th century and the half timbered facade conceals the original building once known as the Unicorn’.
The inn was also a favourite with the locals and held an all day licence for the benefit of farmers attending the nearby cattle market.
Thanks to local historian Jan Baker who has been such a great help in bringing some of Eccleshall’s more hidden old features to life.
British Listed Buildings on line describes the Kings Arms: ‘C17 with later alterations. Two storeys, the ground storey red brick and the first storey a late C19 refronting of slam timber frame and plaster; gable on right-hand side; 4 late C19 small-paned casement windows, 2 with gables. Ground storey has 2 early C19 tripartite sash windows with a large C18 canted
bay window to right and plain doorway to left with modern brick porch; large brick stack; plain eaves; tiles. One storey wing on right-hand side having carriage-way with 4-centre stone arch and keyblock and semi-circular headed doorway to left. Two storey wing projects at rear. Interior has exposed ceiling beams and large ingle fireplace in room to right of entrance.’
Moving on from the old to the new – The Cooperative Food store. It appears to be on or near the site of a former school (Victorian Eccleshall by David Vincent, map page 21). Does anyone know any more about the former use of this site?
There’s a photo from 1900 on Stafford Past Track where you can see the buildings which once stood here.
Looking at the Ecclian Society Historic Town Trail leaflet, it appears that the school was once in No 5, now home to Eccleshall Fish Bar. Note the stone crosses on the gables and the lovely fishscale rooftiles – apt! This was built as a residence for Roman Catholic nuns and used as a school room in the late 19th C. You can just make out this building in the photo in the above link.
Last of all, we have Daru Chini Restuarant. Looking again at Stafford Past Track, there was once a rather grand doctor’s house standing next to this which was demolished to widen the junction with Stone Road and the High Street. You can also see a former view down the road here, from around 1910-20.
Before I sign off, I’ll be holding an exhibition of framed limited edition prints of all my Eccleshall Streets drawn so far, in Eccleshall Library from 1-30 November 2017. Hope you can make it!
That’s enough from me and thanks for reading.