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Ye Olde King's Head, A History

The Ye Olde King's Head, a Tudor style property built in 1622 (the Stuart period), but erected on foundations from the 13th century. The building is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building. The building was constructed in about 1208.

It was the town house for Peter the Clerk, the administrator of Chester Castle.

It initially contained a section of the Chester Rows, but these were enclosed during the alterations made between the 15th and early 17th centuries. The columns, of Greek influence, which supported the rows and can still be seen in the first floor of the King’s Head. The latest of these alterations were made for Randle Holme I. Randle Holme was a herald painter and was a member of the Stationers Company of Chester. He was fined for not attending the coronation of Charles I in 1626 and for refusing a knighthood in 1631. He died on 16th January 1655 and was buried at St Marys on the Hill. The building was restored in 1935 again during the 1960s. It is basically an oak-framed building believed to be from sunken ships, part of which has been refaced with yellow sandstone, and with brick that has been painted or rendered.

The building is in three storeys, of which the upper storey facing Lower Bridge Street is jettied. Both faces have three bays. The three bays on Lower Bridge Street are gabled, as is the middle bay on Castle Street. The garages at the back of the building were once stables. Sheltering the horses for travellers who came in for a pint of mead and to warm by the fire, there was no electricity in that period, hence the Candlelight concept which is reminiscent to that era where the beauty of the building would have been captured by the light of flickering candles.


The building is now operating as a pub on the ground floor, a medieval style banqueting hall on the first floor and an 8 bedroom hotel on the second floor.

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