This was the original vicarage of Holy Rood Church, situated on the High Street just to the north of the church. In 1551 the parson, unable to afford repairs to the house, sold it to a wealthy merchant in exchange for a house south of the church. The merchant rebuilt and enlarged the house, after which it was owned or occupied by a succession of wealthy merchants, including Lawrence Prowse, mayor of the town in 1618-19. L.A. Burgess stated that the original Holy Rood House stood in a lane to the north of the church, named Holy Rood Place, and that Lankester’s foundry, which was built here in the 19th century, incorporated some 15th century features of the house.


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