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BOOTH MANSIOM

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In 1700 the largest house in Watergate Street was created within the surviving Row system. This was Booth Mansion, erected by George Booth of Dunham Massey, later Earl of Warrington. However, it was different from the new Lower Bridge Street houses which were being constructed at the same time in that it incorporated major elemements of the two medieval houses on the site, radically altering the plan, increasing them in height and encasing the whole in a new brick elevation. The resulting house had an eight bay facade, with rusticated quoins and a heavily projecting wooden cornice below the hipped roof. The street level seems to have retained its shops, and six Tuscan columns were introduced at Row level to carry the building above. The plan of the building has changed, but two large panelled saloons survive at Row + 1 level overlooking the stree. This is an early example of what Girouard has called the double drawing-room, which appears on the first floor of Georgian town houses apparently for card parties and later for dances. In circa 1740 the building was converted to the Assembly Rooms and is now Sotherby's Auction galleries.

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