Now owned by a small independent pub company, the Church Street Townhouse, originally opened in July 2010, and was given a makeover in February 2017 to smarten it up and re-open as the Townhouse. Many people in Stratford upon Avon remember it as a dental surgery located on the ground floor, with an accountancy firm above.
Four hundred years ago, around the time Shakespeare was going to school across the road at King Edward’s School, the Sadler family lived at 16 Church Street. All of the rooms at the back of the hotel are original, and date back to the 1600s. In 1688, the property was purchased by William Oakes Hunt, and the building became the Townhouse you see today.
Rooms located towards the front of the hotel were added by the Hunt’s in 1768, and feature high ceilings and sash windows typical of this period. The Hunt’s also added the ‘roof lantern’ skylight at the top of the stairs, and the beautiful ceiling lights in our bar and restaurant.
The frontage outside was transformed in 1768, with the addition of the ogee windows. In the rear of the building, the Townhouse had a large garden which produced food for the household. If you look down Scholar’s Lane, you will see parts of the original wall and the archway of the servants’ entrance.
When Mr. Hunt died in 1873, the house passed to his son Thomas (also a solicitor and Town Clerk), who eventually sold it in 1904 to Dr. Henry Ross. Since 1904, the building has housed doctors, dentists and ophthalmic surgeons. Some older Stratfordians will remember the Townhouse as the home of Dr. Donald Murray, Marie Corelli’s physician, who looked after Ross’s practice. After World War II it was his son’s dentist surgery for many years.