THIS article is about the Chatterton
House development, written as the work was completed in July 2006
- and updated where necessary
THE transformation of the former Lamb Hotel in
Hospital Street into a restaurant, shops and 19 apartments brought a welcome
breath of fresh air to Church Lane,
replacing a run-down rear yard, with a tin roof visible over the side wall
with a pleasing apartments block.
A far more pleasing area
next to the church, which is one of the town's main visitor attractions
- as well as its importance as a place of worship.
The front part of the old building
(at the foot of this column) retains the
I had imagined that just the very front wall of the Lamb Hotel was to be
preserved as a facade but the whole front section has been saved for posterity.
Muller's, the developers, said in an advertisement in The Nantwich Chronicle back in
early 2004, they "were very keen to retain
as much of the Lamb Hotel building as we could, but had to replace the
middle section of the hotel and the rear section which was little more
than a tin roof."
Why Chatterton House? I have to confess I didn't know this, but
apparently William Chatterton, a groom to Queen Mary, was granted a
licence to keep a tavern on the site in 1552. The present building - a
Grade II listed
building - is 18th Century.
I did know that there is supposed to be a
tunnel running to the Lamb Hotel site from the adjacent St Mary's Parish
Church (or, more likely, the Rectory) - presumably as an escape route
for the Rectors in more troubled times. How true that is I do not know.
The development includes 19 two- and three-bedroom luxury
apartments - including a duplex penthouse - and two restaurants - the Costa
coffee shop and the other is the Aroma Cafe Bar.
A third, Relish, later moved in
to what had started out as the shop of Bang and Olufsen, the home
Also in the development at
first was Muller's own Property Shop. Costa, an Italian
coffee shop, still occupies the whole of the Hospital Street/Church Lane
corner on the ground floor (above). Aroma has the Hospital Street
frontage with the large door (above left).
Prices for the
apartments started at £190,000, and while - soon after the properties went
on to the market, in fact - all were snapped up, some apartments came back on to
the market because (presumably) of changing circumstances of the
According to the Nantwich Guardian at the time of the
complete sell-out, there were five unsuccessful people for every
page is not meant to be an advertisement for Chatterton House or Muller,
but anything that improves a run-down site in historic Nantwich is to be
welcomed and worthy of mention.
CHURCH Lane was closed for quite a bit of
the conversion work, and motorists had to use the alternative entrance
to the car park, in Hospital Street. The builders' yard also stood at
one end of the car park,
occupying some of the spaces.
During the work, there was
still pedestrian access
but wedding cars and hearses had to use Churchyardside
on the north frontage of St Mary's Church, with a
slightly longer journey on foot for wedding parties and
Pedestrians had a very circuitous route around the builders'
yard at times. At other times they could walk straight down Church Lane,
according to how the work was progressing and what "plant" such as
cranes were on site.
Now all is back to normal in Church Lane and on the car park, and
Chatterton House has proved a welcome addition to the area. Much better than
the " tin shed" that used to be there . . . !
the months after the work began I ran the latest pictures of the site at
its various stages on this page, replacing old ones with updated
versions. These are now filed away in "The Brough
Collection" but I have retrieved a few to tell the story of the
transformation - here.
later read that the entrance to the car park used to be the site of
two cottages and then a free church with the present car park as its