Former Griffin Hotel, 1 Market Place, Kingston

From Historic England entry:

“Former Griffin Hotel, now shops and bars, and including the first-floor former Assembly Room. Early- mid C19, incorporating some earlier brickwork and with a range probably of the 1860s to rear. Stuccoed brick to front, with painted quoins, cornice and bands, stock brick to rear with red-brick dressings; slate roofs and brick stacks. Three storeys. Long front continuing round from the High Street towards the Market Place, thought originally to have been two buildings. Tripartite composition of three bays, then three-light bow front over late C20 entrance with two bays to right over former carriage entrance now infilled by late C20 shopfront. Upper floors have four-light sashes set in painted architraves, eared on the first floor and with keystones. New central entrance leads to rear shops, with on first floor former assembly room denoted by round-arched windows and glazing bars with a single transom.

Assembly room to rear stylistically of the 1860s, with elaborate plaster decoration. Lozenge-shaped room with arcade on inner wall matching fenestration opposite, with pilasters and round arches bearing plaster heads. The ceiling is a largely tripartite composition of a circle flanked by two diamonds, with central rosette. Doorcase with pediment and moulded architrave.

The Griffin occupies a prominent location at the entrance to Kingston’s Market Square, and is recognisably a former coaching inn of early origins. In 1851 it was taken over by John Williams, who established the assembly room to the rear.”

When John Williams became the proprietor, writes Julian McCarthy, “He incorporated the Post House and he styled himself as a “Royal Postmaster” and mounted the royal coat of arms that is still displayed over the doorway.”.

Kingston Museum:

“An annual Shrove Tuesday football match was held in the Market Place from the late 18th century, lasting from 11am until 5pm, with a pancake lunch provided at the Griffin Hotel. It caused much havoc and disruption, and was banned in 1867.”

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