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King’s Board

The Kings Board

The Kings Board

 

A structure known as the King’s Board which stood in the middle of Westgate Street above Holy Trinity church was, according to tradition, given to the town by Richard II (fn. 65) and on architectural grounds can be assigned to that period; the earliest documentary record found is in 1455. (fn. 66)

The small size of the structure has led to the suggestion that its original function was as a preaching cross (fn. 67) but by the 1580s it was used as a butter market. (fn. 68)

 In 1693 its top was altered to accommodate a cistern for storing water pumped up from the Severn by the new water works built at Westgate bridge.

(fn. 69) The King’s Board was taken down under the improvement Act of 1750 (fn. 70) and re-erected in the ornamental garden of the Hyett family on the castle grounds.

When the site was taken for building the new county gaol in the 1780s the King’s Board was moved to the garden of a house in Barton Street, from which it was moved by W. P. Price to the grounds of Tibberton Court in the mid 19th century. (fn. 71)

 In 1937 it was brought back and placed in the public gardens at Hillfield in London Road. (fn. 72)
The King’s Board is decagonal on plan, having five bays of open arcading, the spandrels of the arches being carved with scenes from the life of Christ. (fn. 73)

 Effigies of heraldic beasts on the parapet and a pyramidal roof, surmounted by a cross, were taken down to make way for the cistern in 1693 (fn. 74) and it is possible that further alterations to the form of the structure occurred during the later removals and reconstructions.

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